The Broken River is a tributary of the Goulburn River, rising in the Wellington–Tolmie highlands and flowing north-west to Benalla and then west for a total distance of 190 km before it joins the Goulburn River near Shepparton. Lake Nillahcootie is the main storage on the Broken River. It is about 36 km upstream of Benalla and diverts water from the river to support irrigated agriculture. The main tributaries of the Broken River are Hollands Creek, Ryans Creek and Lima East Creek.
The upper Broken Creek is defined as the 89 km stretch of creek from Broken River (at Caseys Weir) to the Boosey Creek confluence near Katamatite. The creek is located on a flat, riverine plain and has naturally low run-off from its local catchment. It receives flood flows from the Broken River, although the frequency of these floods has been reduced by earthworks and road construction.
The Broken River and upper Broken Creek continue to be places of importance for Traditional Owners and their Nations. The Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs) in the Broken catchment are the Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation and the Taungurung Clans Aboriginal Corporation. Representatives from both RAPs were engaged during the preparation of Broken River and upper Broken Creek seasonal watering proposals.