Freres Crossing Reserve is a small part of the George’s River Bushland that has been set aside to preserve the natural environment, historic features, and help protect water quality.
The area features native bushland, wildlife, George’s River, and the remnants of a historic bridge. The area is easily accessible and only 8 km from the Campbelltown city center. Walking to the river and crossing is an easy stroll down an old road.
From George’s River Road, turn Right at the “Y” marked by the Freres Crossing sign. Drive about 300 meters and park at the locked gate. Walking past the gate, it’s 300 meters on a paved road to what appears to be an old recreation area car park. Near here are some OK overlooks of the George’s River Gorge. To reach the river crossing, continue on the road, now gravel, for approximately 600 meters.
Old Ford Road (shown on some maps as Freres Road) seems to be a modern graded road. But it’s history is evident upon closer inspection. Peer over the side and notice that the road is elevated by historic stacked rockwork, meters tall in some locations.
As the road travels downhill and closer to the river, several different ecozones are visible.
Even in winter, native plants are found blooming.
The primary feature of Freres Crossing Reserve is the remnants of a historic bridge. The road and original bridge date to 1889-1891. The remnants of a concrete low-water crossing are also present. I wouldn’t cross the river though, as the property over there is marked on maps as a large military base.
Rapids and falls are minimal in this stretch of the George’s River, and most of the river appears more as a long still lake.
Walking the road to the crossing, seeing the bridge remains, and walking back should take the average person much less than an hour. But it’s a nice place to spend quiet time away, an escape from the city bustle. During my stay there were no other visitors at all, the forest was alive with bird songs, and the river shore contains small sandy beaches.
Unfortunately the area is moderately vandalized and littered. Rubbish has been either left by visitors or washed down the river. All of the park signs have been vandalized by spray-painted graffiti, as have the roadway, trees, and rocks.
The Campbelltown City Council produces a booklet, George’s River Bushwalking Guide, with basic maps and information about Freres Crossing and other local natural areas.