Created By: Free Hugs
The river played an important role in shaping Parramatta; the land, the city and its people. Over thousands of years the natural landscape was formed by the winding river, which created a catchment circled by hills where Parramatta stands today. Lush native vegetation from eucalypts to mangroves thrived along its banks, some of which you can still see today. Around this area is where the salt and fresh water met, providing an abundance of wildlife.
From its headwaters at Toongabbie, the river flows in a southerly direction through the grounds of Cumberland Hospital. Entering Parramatta Park, it then turns west and flows through the Parramatta CBD. Both banks are largely open to the public, with parkland and walkways, downstream to James Ruse Drive. The river is fed by a number of small creeks and stormwater drains.
The waters are controlled by a series of weirs: the weir at the edge of the hospital grounds, the Kiosk Weir in Parramatta Park, the Marsden Street Weir, and the Charles Street Weir at the ferry wharf. The weirs have been equipped with fish ladders. Kiosk Weir and Charles Street Weir also include footbridges enabling a crossing of the river. Historically, the river was dammed to provide reservoirs for the town. Currently, however, the function of the weirs is aesthetic, preventing the water from draining away during dry periods. As a consequence the river floods in heavy rain, particularly at the Charles Street Weir. The Charles Street Weir forms the boundary between fresh water and salt water, and is also the limit of tides.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Parramatta Historical Walk