Ithaca Creek

Ithaca Creek is a waterway in the Enoggera Creek catchment, in the western suburbs of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It arises in the Taylor Range at the Mount Coot-tha forest with two streams, one arising at J C Slaughter Falls, the other and stronger source being Simpson Falls, the western branch.

Ithaca Creek at Bardon, 2007
RegionSouth East Queensland
Physical characteristics
SourceMount Coot-tha
  locationTaylor Range
MouthRed Hill
Basin features
River systemEnoggera Creek
Ithaca Creek at Bardon, 2011.

Ithaca Creek runs through the suburbs of Bardon, Ashgrove and Red Hill, where it joins Enoggera Creek. Ithaca Intact, a creek restoration project by Save Our Waterways Now went into its third year mid 2010, backed by Queensland parliamentarians Kate Jones, Member for Ashgrove and then Minister for the Environment, Andrew Fraser, Member for Mount Coot-tha and Queensland Treasurer, as well as local government councillors Geraldine Knapp and David Hinchliffe.[1]

On 9 August 2020, it was discovered that Google Maps accidentally changed the Brisbane River name to Ithaca Creek after a complaint for the original Ithaca Creek being named Brisbane River.[2]


According to Queensland State Library, Ithaca Creek was named after the birthplace of Lady Diamantina Roma Bowen, wife of Sir George Ferguson Bowen, British colonial administrator, the 1st Governor of Queensland (in office 1859 - 1868). This appears to be in error as, according to the Australian Dictionary of Biography Diamantina was borne on Zante, another of the Ionian Islands. The Ionian Islands, now part of Greece, was a British protectorate at the time and likely referred to collectively rather than individually.[3][4] Ithaca in Greece has one of the world's largest natural harbours and is famous in legend as Homer's Ithaca, the home of Ulysses, whose delayed return to the island is one of the plot elements of the Odyssey. James Joyce's novel Ulysses sets the story of the wandering Ulysses on one day in Dublin in the early 20th century.

Ithaca Creek was briefly considered as a potential main water supply for Brisbane but overlooked in favour of Enoggera Creek, upon which Enoggera Dam was constructed.[5]

Nathan Avenue

Land on Ithaca Creek at present day Nathan Avenue, named after Queensland Governor Sir Matthew Nathan, was owned at one time by Charles James Graham (Under Secretary for Public Instruction until 1878). The land was subdivided in the late 1920s. It once joined Bruce Esplanade, named after Australia’s Prime Minister Stanley Bruce. During the Great Depression in the 1930s and World War 2 from 1939 to 1945, the land was owned by the Gramenz family. After 1947 it became part of a technical college known as the Ithaca campus of TAFE.[6] In 2016 the 8000sqm creekside property was sold to TriCare Limited for $5.4 million for redevelopment as an aged-care facility.[7]

Ithaca Intact

Ithaca Intact is a project by Save Our Waterways Now to restore the whole creek from Mount Coot-tha to Red Hill by building partnerships with business and government, informing and involving the community, reducing key weed species on private and public land, improving water quality, increasing flora and fauna and providing a peaceful and safe environment for enjoyment and relaxation.[3]

In 2008, Ithaca Intact and the Ithaca Creek State School in Lugg Street Bardon developed an education unit based on sustainability and natural and built environments, using Ithaca Creek as the local learning context. The topics which were discussed included water quality, biodiversity, sustainability, fauna movement corridors, invasive species and the role of native species within Enoggera Catchment. Activities included habitat sampling and macro-invertebrate sampling highlighted through Channel 7’s The Great South East. Class 4/3 D ran activities throughout Science Week for the entire school. The students and teachers from Ithaca Creek State School formally adopted Ithaca Creek, taking responsibility for on-going care of the creek including monitoring litter, water quality and engaging with the local bushcare group regarding working bees and tree plantings.[8]

See also


  1. The creek in our back yard ISBN 978-0-646-55158-6. Save Our Waterways Now.
  2. "Brisbane River renamed Ithaca Creek in Google Maps glitch". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 10 August 2020. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  3. Ithaca Intact. Save Our Waterways Now.
  4. Bowen, Diamantina (1833–1893). Australian Dictionary of Biography.
  5. A Brisbane bushland : the history and natural history of Enoggera Reservoir and its environs. Ed. Helen Horton. 2002. Queensland Naturalists' Club.
  6. Brisbane's Rich History Savills Brisbane (see Ashgrove)
  7. Dunne, Robert. "Aged Care incentives benefit inner-suburban Brisbane". Queensland Commercial Property. Savills Brisbane. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  8. Ithaca Creek State School. Save Our Waterways Now.
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