The Hawkesbury River—known as Dyarubbin by the original Boorooberongal people—circles the Sydney Basin, starting in the south and flowing northward—parallel to the coastline—before turning toward the east and joining the sea at Broken Bay. The Hawkesbury River is unusual because it has two names, starting as the Nepean River where it rises on the edge of the Southern Highlands before becoming the Hawkesbury when it is joined by the Grose River near Richmond.
From rolling farmland, the Hawkesbury River winds its way through increasingly rugged sandstone country as the river gets broader and deeper. The hillsides of dense bushland are mostly protected by national parks so it retains a wilderness feel throughout most of its length.
The photo above was taken from the train where the railway follows Mullet Creek before crossing the Hawkesbury River and arriving at Brooklyn station. Mullet Creek is one of the many ancient valleys that were drowned when the sea rose following the last ice age.
Next to the railway bridge are the concrete pylons from the original bridge built in 1887, before the train climbs through Kuringai Chase National Park and four tunnels to Berowra station.
Somewhere in the scrub is the largest collection of indigenous rock art in the world. Some show schools of fish, a beached whale, people gathering for a feast. This is an emotionally charged place, full of history, mysterious and enticing.