HAWKESBURY / PITTWATER NO 1 (Sydney’s best secret spot)

Discover the beautiful deep waters of the Hawkesbury River and the elongated graceful waterway of Pittwater, running from Newport to Palm Beach. Broken Bay is dominated by Lion Island with plenty of small inlets and coves to cruise your yacht, cruiser or house boat through.

Set amongst four National Parks, Kur-ring-gai Chase, Marramarra, Dharug, Brisbane Water and Bouddi, there are gorgeous beaches, historic villages, mangroves, with abundance of flora and fauna. This area is similiar in scenery to the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland but is only one hour drive from Sydney. It offers beautiful scenery set amongst National Parks and sandstone headlands..

The best method to get to Pittwater and the Northern Beaches is to use the L90 bus from Wynyard, which goes all the way to Palm Beach. Sit on the right hand side going and the left returning as the views are good.

Hawkesbury River


There are numerous ways to see Pittwater/Hawkesbury River, the best being hiring a houseboat and crusing the Cowan River and Berowra Waters.The other alternative is to take a cruise on Palm Beach and Hawkesbury River Cruises and  spend a day enjoying the beautiful waterways, stopping off for lunch at Bobbin Head.

Another suggestion is to get off at Cottage Point Inn and have lunch overlooking Coal and Candle Creek, they also have overnight luxury accommodations available but you need to book (612 9456 1011).The cruise leaves Palm Beach Wharf at 11.00am daily and returns at 3.30pm. There is also a twilight cruise which departs at 5.30pm and returns at 7.30pm.  www.palmbeachferry.com.au 

The Hawkesbury River

The Riverboat Postman, delivers mail to isolated houseson the river It takes approx 3 hours and runs Monday to Friday. If you want to go along on the rourte, you can catch the boat at the Brooklyn public wharf at 10am each weekday (except public holidays) and return at 1:15pm.. You can get to this cruise via train (Hawkesbury River Train Station) or car. Catch a train from Central Railway Station in the city at 8.45am. (02 9985 9900) or www.riverboatpostman.com.au for more details. Train departures and timings ring 131 500. The Riverboat Postman cruise includes morning tea & lunch. This is the only regular cruise of the Lower Hawkesbury River.

Lion Island & Broken Bay

Palm Beach ferries also offers an unique way to see Pittwater which operates from Palm Beach Wharf (02 99182747) you can catch a ferry to Ettalong, The Basin, Patagona, Pearl Beach and Woy Woy. www.sydneyferries.info   www.palmbeachferry.com.au 

Pearl Beach

If hiring a boat take the train to Brooklyn it has a railway station called the Hawkesbury River railway station. However, you must check that your train will stop at this station. On arrival at the Hawkesbury River station, just phone Ripples Houseboats, and they will come and pick you up free of charge. Or North Shore Airport Service takes you to door from the airport. Other companies do the same, or drive to Church Point/ Palm Beach 45 mins from Sydney and catch the ferry/ water taxi to location.

Broken Bay and Lion Island

Apart from being on a boat, the other excellent way to take in the beauty of the Hawkesbury River, Pittwater and Brisbane Waters is observing the landscape by air. Take a sea plane from Sydney (Rose Bay) and see the wonderful coastline from CBD to Palm Beach. There are numerous tours available through different companies but all offer fabulous service and unique experiences.


www.viator.com/sydney-tours  www.sydneybyseaplane.com

Lobster Beach

  • Waterfront Restaurants: Cottage Point Inn /Waterview Restaurant/Riverside Brooklyn/Peat’s Bite/Dangar Island Café/Berowa Waters/Cottage point kiosk/Forgotton Valley Restaurant/Newport arms Hotel/Akuna Bay/Newport Yacht Club/Newport Boating Club/Mooney Mooney Workers Club/ Pearl Beach Restaurant.

Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club

  • Restaurants in Palm Beach

Barrenjoey House : 1108 Barrenjoey Road, Palm Beach   / Beach House - 1 Beach Road, Palm Beach

  • Places of Interests:The Basin /Refuge Bay/Smiths Creek/ Cowan Creek/ Kangaroo Point/ Cottage Point/ Dangar Island/ Bar Island/Milsons Island/ Berowa Waters/ Brooklyn/Akuna Bay/ Newport/ Palm Beach/ Church Point/ Scotland Island/ Brisbane Waters/ Ettalong Beach / Pearl Beach/ Patonga Beach/ Mackerel Beach.

Hallets Beach

Refuge Bay - natural waterfall

  • Websites for boat hire



Hawkesbury River

For the budget traveler you can take the ferry from Palm Beach Wharf to The Basin and camp in the National Park perched on the waterfront. You must ring and book a site, showers and toilets are available and a shop to buy essentials(opened only in summer)02 9974 1011. Another budget accommodation is Pittwater YHA (9999 5748) catch the 156 bus from Manly Wharf to Church Point and then a ferry to Halls Wharf. Then take a ferry to Scotland Island and do the walk around the Island.

Refer to   http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g25...  for Palm Beach details.


There are a few different options available for seeing this magnificent region.

1)  Cruise and lunch on Cowan Waters

This ferry cruise is a MUST DO if visiting Pittwater and Palm Beach. The ferry departs Palm Beach Wharf at 11.00am and stops at Patonga at 11.30am and then arrives at Cottage Point Inn at 12.15pm in time for lunch. The ferry departs at 2.15pm and arrives back at Palm Beach at 3.30pm.

2) Patonga to Bobbin Head

This ferry leaves Patonga at 11.30pm cruising the beautiful lower Hawkesbury River and Cowan Waters arriving at Bobbin Head at 12.50pm for lunch at the cafe or kiosk at Bobbin Head. It departs for its journey back to Patonga at 1.45pm arriving at 3pm. Along this route you will visit Refuge Bay , Cottage Point, Swallow Rock and Bobbin Head.

3) Palm Beach to Bobbin Head

This ferry leaves daily from Palm Beach Wharf opposite Barrenjoey House on Pittwater side of Palm Beach. The ferry ride passes Stokeys Point , Clareville, Scotland Island , Towlers Bay, The Basin , Mackerel Beach, West Head, Lion Island, Patonga, Challenger Head, Refuge Bay, Yeomans Bay, Cottage Point, Smith's Creek , and finally arriving at Bobbin Head at 12.50pm and returning to Palm Beach at 3.30pm.

4) Palm Beach to Patonga

Same ferry as in (1) above but instead of going to Cottage Point, get off at Patonga wharf. Directly opposite (over the road) are a fish and chips shop which has been often rated as the best in Sydney and the Central coast (that's not a bad rating!)  or next door is the Patonga Beach Hotel which has typical pub fare - but really nice. Bookings are very advised, particularly on weekends, where on a nice day it's packed to the gunwhales.  After a leisurely lunch get the 3pm ferry back to Palm Beach.