Berowra Waters

Berowra Waters is a unique location tucked deep in the Berowra Creek valley and surrounded by Muogamarra Nature Reserve. Berowra Waters is ideally situated for easy boating access to many of Sydney's waterways, including Berowra Creek, Pittwater, Cowan Creek and the Hawkesbury, which are all nearby. A toll-free car ferry connects the east bank to the west bank with winding roads ascending uphill on both sides.

Where is it?: Berowra Waters is situated upstream from where the Pacific Highway crosses the Hawkesbury River at Kangaroo Point, 50 minutes from downtown Sydney on that part of Berowra Creek between Calabash Bay and the ferry.

Rex Jones, a young local man who returned from the war and in the 1920 2s, began hiring out row boats and development took off. Boat hire at Berowra Waters continues today at Berowra Waters Marina - home of the first hire boat fleet in Australia. The privately owned Berowra Waters Maina provides vital supplies and services to boaties on the middle section of the Hawkesbury River and its tributaries. The marina offers berthing for pleasure craft, hire boats (BBQ boats, canopy 'tinny' boats and kayaks)

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Berowra Waters Inn
An iconic restaurant, Berowra Waters Inn is unique due to its being accessed only by private ferry, as well as being one of Pritzker Prize winning Australian architect Glenn Murcutt's only venues regularly open to the public. For many years Berowra Waters Inn represented the cutting edge of both Australian design and cuisine. The menu changed frequently but was a 'mix of classic French and Modern Australian'. The Edwardian style teahouse had major engineering flaws however and a decision was made to close and redesign the venue. Between 1976 and 1983, the architect Glenn Murcutt redesigned the property using a 'distinctive Australian vernacular style: corrugated tin roof over glass louvre windows, on a Sydney sandstone base, set among eucalypts and angophoras". During excavating work for the rebuild, Indigenous Australian (Aboriginal) midden remains on the property boundary were discovered. These were radiocarbon dated and found to date back nearly 10,000 years, indicating a long term human association with the location.

Berowra Food, Wine and Arts Market
Berowra Waters Rd and Hillcrest Rd, Berowra NSW 2081, Australia
Trading: 2nd Sunday of the month ( except Jan) - 9am - 2pm
Type: Artisans, Farmers, Produce, Organic
Phone: 0405 176 411

Berowra Valley National Park

One of the largest natural bushland reserves in the Sydney metropolitan area comprised of the land surrounding Berowra Creek and its many tributaries. Berowra Creek is a major tributary of the Hawkesbury River, Berowra Creek runs through Galston Gorge and enters the Hawkesbury River at Bar Island. Covering a 25km stretch of the Great North walk, the park offers more than 70km of walking tracks and fire trails. If you d rather enjoy nature at a slower pace, enjoy a picnic or barbecue at Crosslands Reserve, so close to the suburbs and yet so far from the speed of daily life. Berowra Creek is a great spot for some canoeing or kayaking, and there are some good places to dangle your line overboard - you might be lucky enough to catch some lunch.

Berowra Valley National Park contains excellent examples of the deep and scenic gorges that dissect the Hornsby Plateau. The area is jointly managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and Hornsby Shire Council, in conjunction with a community-based board of trustees. The park protects a rich diversity of flora and fauna in the Sydney metropolitan area, including the koala, tiger quoll, powerful owl, platypus and many other rare and threatened species. Throughout the valley there are extensive walking tracks, including a section of the Great North Walk. Picnic facilities are provided in many areas.
UBD Map 94 Ref C 10.
Public transport: (Northern section): Train to Berowra. Bus No. 594, 597 alight Cnr Wyanna St and Barnetts Rd. (Southern section): Train to Thornleigh, walk up Eddy Street, left into Tillock Street, right into Morgan Street.

Galston Gorge

This picturesque valley is located north of Hornsby and can be accessed where the Hornsby-Galston road crosses Berowra Creek. The road through Galston Gorge was constructed between 1891-1893 using men left unemployed as a result of the 1890s depression. Surveyor Ebsworth surveyed the route and put in seven hairpin bends on the steep eastern side of the gorge. The two wooden McDonald Truss bridges over Berowra Creek were built from materials that had been man-handled down the cliffs with ropes and pulleys. The name Galston was suggested by Alexander Hutchison who came from a village of that name in Scotland. The name was officially adopted in 1887.

Aboriginal rock art For thousands of years the Aboriginal people lived in complete harmony with the river, evidenced by a rich collection of rock carvings and cave paintings. On the eastern shoreline on vertical rockface are a wallaby and a circular object on the wall of a small rock shelter. 10 metres upstream are a shark, an eel, part of a kangaroo, parts of other worn figures at a place known as Shark Rock. 100 metres upstream on a vertical rock face are figures of headless men with 5 fish superimposed on the body and part of another worn object.

History of Berowra Waters

Photo: Hornby Shire Council: Hornby recollects

Within weeks of the landing of the First Fleet in 1788, smallox was recorded among the native people of the Hawkesbury River region and many died. The epidemic continued for two years and the tribes of the northern side of the harbour were halved, and then halved again by influenza and syphilis. One of the last full blood Aborigines to live on Berowra Creek was Granny Lewis at Marra Marra Creek. In 1789 Captain Hunter surveyed and charted Berowra Creek and in 1895 timber-getting was one of the main commercial activities on the Hawkesbury, sailing boats ventured right up to Crosslands. In 1829 The Government Assist. Surveyr, Govett, traced Berowra Creek to its source. Four years later the first land grant on Berowra Creek was to George Murphy of 50 acres, land at Marra Marra to John Grace, at Peats Bight (now a restaurant) 50 acres to George Peat, 30 acres to George Sullivan and 16 years later to John Crumpton, whose descendants still live here today.

George Collingbridge a poet, artist, wood engraver, founder of the Royal Art Society of NSW, publisher and teacher, took up a selection of 88 acres on Berowra Creek in 1886. Now known as Collingbridge Point; he built a stone cottage -Cape di Monte - which still stands today. He lived there from 1883 to 1887. Later, in 1898, Jack Smith built a boat shed (now the most historic building in the vicinity), held fishing competitions, ran a small hand operated punt for pedestrians and horse drawn vehicles. As the punt grew popular, the roadwork to the creek began in earnest. The Dept of Works and Main Roads decided to wind the road down directly to the creek and the ferry commenced running across to Dusthole Bay and onto Berrilee via Bay Road.

The parish was originally named Berowra, and the town established on Peat's Ferry Road took its name from that. The road from the railway station to Berowra Waters was completed in 1902, which was when Jack Smith began to operate a ferry. Before that Berowra was only known as Dusthole Bay. Berowra is believed to be derived from 'Perrara' to which the earliest known reference occurs in the Sydney Gazette. "Last week 8 very fine pheasants were shot at Perrara ... south branch of the River Hawkesbury ... by one of our most experienced foresters." The pheasants were in fact lyrebirds. Some sources suggest he term Berowra may come from an Aboriginal word meaning 'place of many winds'.

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