Did you know ............

American singer Toni Childs found the Hawkesbury River and loved the location.....So much so, they shot the music video for her hit Many Rivers To Cross onboard the MV Surprise (one of the oldest working boats on the river) around Bar Point and Pumpkin Creek. The shots of the Mangroves set the scene for a mysterious and secluded yet romantic video to promote this great song from a music legend.

The township of Brooklyn was known as Hawkesbury River until the construction of the railway bridge by the Union Bridge Company of Brooklyn New York USA in 1889. The township was nicknamed Brooklyn with the adjoining island nicknamed Long Island and it stuck. Evidence of the old name is still present on the local railway station with the station retaining the name Hawkesbury River.

Mangroves in the early days of European settlement were cut and burnt and the ash shipped to Sydney to make soap by boiling it up with animal fat.

A commanding view of Brooklyn ( with Kangaroo Point in the background) is pictured on Australia's first five pound note.

Travelling upriver past Spencer and on the way to Wisemans Ferry, Paddys Bight is on the port hand side. The highland above is known as Canoelands, said to have been named because it was an area in which Aborigines collected bark for building canoes.

Trollope Reach, was named after the English novelist who visited Australia in 1872. He became a great admirer of the scenic beauties of the Hawkesbury River and after his visit wrote, "The lower part of the river - that between Wisemans Ferry and Broken Bay - is very much finer than the upper reaches.. On the Rhine, on the Mississippi and on the Hawkesbury alike, there is created an idea that if the traveller would only leave the boat and wander inland he would be repaid by the revelation of marvellous beauties of nature...but on the Hawkesbury, the headlands are higher, the bluffs are bolder and the turns and manoeuvres of the course which the waters have made for themselves are grander and to me more enchanting than those of either the European or the American river.

The river trade on the Hawkesbury River was of great significance to the early growth of Sydney and played an essential role in the lives of settlers along the river for 150 years. Until 1832 all cargo was carried by sailing vessels, then paddle-steamers like 'William the Fourth' started to appear steaming upriver.

In Cowan Creek before turning into Coal and Candle Creek for Akuna Bay, you can see Looking Glass Rock. Positioned opposite Cottage Point, the rock glows brightly with the dawn sun in mid-summer. Local Aborigines believed that if the rock ever became submerged, then it would be a sign that the Europeans would depart. For thousands of years this area was part of the territory of the Dharug and Eora Aboriginal tribes and many of their cave paintings and works of art are preserved in the National Park.

Mrs Fenton Mathew travelled extensively along the river in the 1830's while her husband conducted land surveys. She recorded in her diary many interesting observations such as..." I was much amused with the porpoises, who followed us in large shoals tumbling and sporting about, sometimes jumping quite out of the water." Porpoises were often seen near Dangar Island as recently as the late 1970's. Fair Penguins can be seen in Broken Bay and Pittwater as a colony still exists on Lion Island.