We Love Rivers Fest offers rare insight

WHETHER you want to go for a paddle, join a flotilla of boats or check out the secret source of the Cooks River in the amazing wetlands in Chullora, there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate our natural wonders during the We Love Our Rivers festival.

With events on offer from March to May, you can discover how our three rivers – the Cooks, the Georges and the Duck rivers – each play an important role in the ecosystem we live in.
The Cooks River is one of Australia’s most utilised waterways and is very important to the industry of NSW, with examples of this still seen in Canterbury Sugarworks and historic dams at Tempe and Canterbury.
The Georges River is one of Sydney’s most biodiverse, from its fresh headwaters in the Dharawal Nature Reserve down to its lower, tidal sections flowing past Canterbury Bankstown.
The Duck River accounts for the smallest area in Canterbury Bankstown, including only a portion of the upper river from Sefton to Yagoona, that was channelised in concrete in the middle of last century.
Cooks River Alliance community engagement officer Jason L’Ecuyer said there would be events up the entire Cooks River from Botany Bay to Chullora, with the wetlands not normally opened to the public.
“There will be two tours in March and it’s a fantastic opportunity for residents to enjoy sights they wouldn’t normally,” he said.
“There are loads of green and golden bellfrogs, eels and stunning migratory birds.
“It’s a really special place, a beautiful lush oasis yet it’s surrounded by heavy industry; I have never seen anything like it.”
Helping to celebrate the Wurridjal Festival which coincides with We Love Our Rivers, residents can enjoy a movie night at the River Canoe Club, titled ‘River’, take part in a kayaking tour and pay homage to First Nations People as they welcome the mullet.
“It is such a culturally significant time; the mullet swims up the river and spawns and then swims all the way up the east coast of Australia, it’s something the local indigenous have been celebrating for thousands of years,” Jason said.
Explore natural beauty
at scenic, local events
WE Love Our River events include:
• Wolli Creek Valley Walk Bexley Nth-Turrella: This medium grade walk will take you through a section of the two-valley trail to learn about the natural wonders of the Wolli Creek. It’s on Saturday, March 9, 9-11am. Book at
• Yana Badu Wetlands tour: These wetlands give a window into the natural beauty of the Cooks River as it would have been. It’s on Saturday, March 23, and Sunday, March 24, 10am-noon on Muir Road, Chullora. Book at
• Nature connection in the Wolli Creek Regional Park: Being in nature is restorative and often inspiring. Join a small group to explore our relationship to nature through close encounter. It’s on Sunday, March 24, 10am-noon at Girrahween picnic area. Book at
• Native plant talk and giveaway: This is a fun talk on how to create a thriving garden that incorporates local native species. It’s on Saturday, April 6, 10.30-11.30am, at Campsie Library and Knowledge Centre. Bookings not required.
• Cooks River Kayak with River Canoe Club: Come and experience the wonders of the Cooks River and Wolli Creek from the water. It’s on Sunday, April 7, 8.30-11.30am. Book at
• City Nature Challenge: Make observations of wild plants and animals and take part in one of the largest community science events in the world. You don’t need to be an expert, just snap a photo and upload to the iNaturalist app from Friday, April 26, to Monday, April 29.
More info: