The suburb of Woronora is situated in the narrow valley of the Woronora River, to the east of Sutherland in Sydney's south. Homes line the waterfront, and plenty of others are built on the hillsides with views up and down the river, all less than an hour from the CBD. No wonder those lucky enough to call Woronora home think they are living in paradise!

The suburb, which lines both sides of the Woronora River, is completely ringed by bushland, with only a single road providing access. Many think that this adds to the charm of the suburb, and to the sense of community in Woronora, which has curiously escaped the development that its surrounding suburbs have experienced. The Woronora bridge is the northern limit to residential housing. A footbridge crosses the river at the southernmost limit of housing on the western bank at Prince Edward Park. The housing on the eastern bank continues beyond the end of Prince Edward Park Rd, and some houses can only be reached by a walking track or by boat.

Woronora is an Aboriginal placename. Records show the spelling of the name has varied since it first appeared in the 19th century, the earliest being Wooloonora (Surveyor Dixon, 1827), followed by Wolonora (Dixon, 1837), and Woronora (Mitchell, 1835). The name was first applied to the Woronora River, a tributary of the Georges River, before being given to a hundred, an electoral district, a local road east of the river, and finally the suburb itself. A few meanings have been suggested for Woronora, the main ones being 'black rocks' and 'river-of-no-sharks'. Guesses regarding the original form of the placename depend largely upon the degree of mishearing assumed to have taken place between the Aboriginal informant and the European recorder.

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Woronora River

The Woronora River flows through the deeply dissected plateau to the Georges River from near the sources of the Port Hacking, within the Sutherland Shire. The Woronora River flows through the deeply dissected plateau to the Georges River from near the sources of the Port Hacking, within the Sutherland Shire. The River is tidal at this point. River levels and water quality at Woronora can be affected by the release of water from the Woronora Dam upstream upstream from the suburb. Woronora Plateau, is a geographical region adjacent to the Sydney Plain. Slightly higher in altitude, it is capped with Hawkesbury Sandstone.

Woronora Bridge

The present Woronora Bridge was built to eliminate the steep decents and ascents for traffic between Sutherland and Menai. The bridge was constructed to take through traffic between the southern Sydney suburbs of Menai and Sutherland quickly across the Woronora River, by bypassing the original road which wound down the hillside into the Woronora River valley, crossed the river over a low level bridge, before winding back up to the top again. This 521m long concrete road bridge stands elegantly on a curving row of 30m piers with its roadway 38m above the water. A pedestrian bridge with cycle way has been slung across under the northern cantilever of the box girder, with a viewing platform looking out over the bushland valley of Woronora River. The path can be accessed from Menai Road on the Bangor side and Prince Edward Park Road or River Road on the Sutherland side.

Parks and Reserves
Jannali Reserve: The Reserve is reached from River Road and stretches up from Woronora to Jannali. There are several walkways of varying difficulty, complemented by look-out points and resting places. At river level there are barbeques (wood), picnic tables, seating, playground, shelter sheds, parking, a sandy beach and boat ramp. River Road (picnic area).

Prince Edward Park

Prince Edward Park: This is one of the river's most accessible points, as houses block off the foreshore from public access along much of the river. There are walks, tracks, paths and look-out points in this old park. A footbridge gives access to the opposite bank. An unusual feature is its ruggedness, despite its early establishment. A contrasting stretch of land encompassing some kilometres, Prince Edward Park attracts family groups and individuals who are looking for a bracing and challenging hike. Entries points are at Sutherland Oval, and adjacent to Woronora R.S.L. Club in Prince Edward Park Road. There are barbeques (wood), picnic facilities, shelter sheds, childrens playground, access to Woronora River, change rooms and toilets. There are boats for hire at the Canoe Centre on Forbes Creek, opposite the park. Location: Prince Edward Park, Prince Edward Park Rd, Woronora

Woronora Heights

A neighbouring suburb to Woronora, but as its name suggests, it is situated at the top of the escarpment of the Woronora Plateau, and to the south east of Woronora. The Woronora Plateau is a geographical region adjacent to the Sydney Plain. Slightly higher in altitude, it is capped with Hawkesbury Sandstone. Most streets in Woronora Heights are named after birds.

Woronora Dam

Woronora Dam is the only one of Sydney's major water supply storage dams which is not primarily part of the Upper Nepean/Warragamba/Shoalhaven interconnected system. It has the smallest catchment area, 85 sq km, of any of the water supply dams. The Dam is located on the Woronora River, just downstream of it's confluence with the Waratah Rivulet, about 6 km northwest of the township of Waterfall. Woronora Dam was completed in 1942 and is the only one of Sydney's water supply dams which is not part of the Upper Nepean/Warragamba/Shoalhaven interconnected system. The dam and pipeline were built with the objective of supplementing Sydney's water supply whilst the much larger Warragamba Dam was being constructed.

Water captured by the dam is discharged to a valvehouse located at the bottum of the downstream face of the dam wall. The water then flows along a 27 km steel pipeline. The pipeline follows the Woronora River and Forbes Creek; here a branch pipe feeds Sutherland Reservoir. It crosses the Georges River on the old railway bridge at Como and discharges into two elevated reservoirs at Penshurst. Woronora Dam supplies water to the Sutherland Shire in Sydney's south, and to the northern suburbs of Wollongong. The pipeline was originally camouflaged during World War 2 against potential threat or saboutage. After this period it was painted silver and then in 1980 the pipelines were repainted green to blend in with native bushland.

The dam's grounds are unusual in retaining workers  cottages and old platforms, plant and machinery used in the dam s construction in the 1930s. Facilities for visitors include picnic shelters, electric BBQs, toilets/disabled toilets, drinking water, playground, viewing area. Certain activities are prohibited at SCA dams and picnic areas to protect water quality and the environment. These include horse riding, abseiling, shooting, archery, swimming, fishing and non-powered boating. From the upper picnic area, drive or walk across the two narrow concrete bridges which provide a spectacular view into the deep narrow cutting from the dam s spillway to the river below. From the upper picnic area, drive or walk across the spillway cutting to the lower picnic area near the dam wall, then walk across the wall for impressive views of the lake upstream and gorge downstream.

Woronora Dam is about 50 kilometres drive from Sydney. From Sydney take the Southern Freeway south towards Wollongong. Exit at Helensburgh and then head north on the Old Princess Highway following the signs to Woronora Dam. Open: 10am-5pm every day. 10am-7pm during daylight saving time Sat, Sun and Public Holidays. Disability Access: Yes (Accessible toilets).

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