Our Catchments and Watercourses

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No matter where you live in Newcastle you live in a catchment. A catchment is an area of land that drains eventually to a single point. The rainwater that runs off our roofs, roads and footpaths flows into our local waterways and out onto our beaches and will eventually end up at the bottom of the catchment, along with whatever stormwater pollution it picks up on the way.

Within the Newcastle Local Government Area there are many smaller sub-catchments that form part of the larger Hunter River Catchment, one of the largest coastal catchments in New South Wales.

Some catchments in Newcastle are still in a relatively natural state while others have been heavily developed, with natural creek lines replaced by concrete channels in an effort to control flooding in the 1930’s. The remaining areas of bushland, wetlands and creeks are important ecological, recreational and visual assets valued highly by the community.

City of Newcastle is responsible for managing 65 wetlands, 79 kilometres of creek and 8 kilometres of river wall and with your help, we are working to rehabilitate our important watercourses. 

Creek Rehabilitation

Ironbark Creek Rehabilitation

The Ironbark Creek Rehabilitation project has been ongoing for the last decade and aims to rehabilitate the creek from Elermore Vale Park downstream to Wallsend Park, where the creek flows into a Hunter Water channel.


Natural channel design principles including rock construction, pool and riffle sequences and revegetation have been used to mimic a natural stream while accommodating changes to stormwater flow volumes and patterns. This award-winning, seven stage project aims to:

  • protect public and private assets
  • stabilise creek bed and bank erosion
  • improve the quality of water that eventually ends up in internationally significant Hexham Swamp and Hunter Wetlands National Park
  • reduce pests and weeds
  • reinstate a native wildlife corridor
  • improve the amenity for our local community.

The Ironbark Creek Rehabilitation started in 2011 and City of Newcastle completed Stage 5a in 2020. Stage 5b is scheduled to start in 2021.

Before Stage 5a works.

After Stage 5a works.

In recent years we have rehabilitated a number of creeks across Newcastle including Waterdragon and Upper Styx Creek, Kotara, Willai Creek, Elermore Vale and Lambton Ker-rai. Stay tuned for our next stage of Ironbark Creek rehabilitation and future work along Kaiyutibbin and Maryland Creeks.