A macroinvertebrate survey and water chemistry study of small coastal upland streams was conducted in the Ku-ring-gai Council area in the northern suburbs of Sydney. The purpose of this six year investigation was to provide information on the ecological condition of its waterways. The study revealed that all streams draining urbanised catchments exhibited clear signs of ecological impairment, in contrast to local reference sites. The macroinvertebrate survey reported lower SIGNAL scores and fewer pollution sensitive Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera in the urban streams when compared against naturally vegetated non-urban streams. Further, the urban waterways revealed different water chemistry than the reference sites that were soft, dilute and acidic.