While the northern and western parts of the Georges River catchment are dominated by the expanses of Sydney’s urban sprawl, natural green areas and national parks make up much of the upper catchment in the south.
The Georges River begins in the upland swamps of the Dharawal Nature Reserve on the Woronora Plateau.
The headwater or source of the Georges River is at Maddens Creek, near Darkes Forest and the Dharawal Nature Reserve. The creek flows through hanging swamps towards Maddens Falls, where there is a viewing platform to see the waterfall.
This unique plant community in the area is made up of heath plants and wetlands sedges, growing on a layer of ancient peat and, like a giant sponge, it holds water which is constantly seeping into the creeks and river system below, even during times of drought.
Rain falling across the catchment, finds its way into the soil and streams, eventually feeding the river. Human-made structures, like weirs, help to retain water at certain locations so it can be used as a resource.
Water from the creeks is used for irrigating local farms but plenty of water is left to keep environmental flows and sustain the river.
In parts of the upper Georges, the creeks and rivers have cut through the sandstone plateau forming deep forest gullies where waterfalls cascade into water holes.
Another branch of the upper Georges River is the Woronora River where a large dam was built to supply water to southern Sydney.
The river below has cut into the sandstone to form a v-shaped valley gorge.
Back on the George's River and smooth scour holes can be found where the river slows down after descending through steep sections of the gorge. These are just one of many interesting natural features in the upper Georges River.
Simmos Beach Reserve is also a spectacular bushland gully with a river sand beach high up in the river catchment. There are facilities here such as a picnic area, toilets and playground, as well as a kayak ramp.
As the Georges River winds its way through Glenfield it becomes a more urban river where bridges have been built to carry cars and trains across the river.
These videos are part of a series of free online education resources we produced to assist primary school educators to teach students about the natural and human features and natural resources of the upper Georges River.