Tweet Manookatoo Adventures: Exploring the Hawkesbury

Monday, 8 May 2017

Exploring the Hawkesbury

Leaving Sydney Harbour
In 1788, not long after the first British settlement in Sydney, Governor Arthur Phillip set off to explore the 'broken land" north of Sydney. On Monday, 1st May, 2017, we set off to do the same.....
An early (6am) start saw us departing Sydney Heads just on sunrise on Monday morning, bound for our next adventure. A calm three hours and 15 nautical miles later, we rounded Barrenjoey Head, past Palm Beach and  into Broken Bay.
Twilight Cove, Kuringai Chase NP
We headed south to explore Pittwater first; lots of beautiful houses hugging the waters edge and moorings full of expensive boats. We stopped at Church Point to check out the general store, but as ferries use the local jetties regularly it was a quick stop!
Rounding Scotland Island we headed north past West Head, to where the Hawkesbury River begins, then we set our course west into Cowan Creek and the Kuringai Chase National Park, where bush and rock escarpments replaced the houses and the water was calm, clear and deep. We cruised far into the National Park, past numerous bays and inlets, finally settling on Twilight Cove, in Smiths Creek, pulling up a courtesy mooring for the night. We took an afternoon cruise in the dinghy to explore Coal and Candle Creek and Akuna Bay, but were happy to return to our own peaceful cove.
Kuringai Chase NP
On Tuesday we dropped the mooring and headed southwest to explore Bobbin Head, enjoying a walk through the mangroves and up the escarpment before cruising back downstream and into Jerusalem Bay, where another courtesy mooring took our fancy. The scenery in the area is breathtaking - with clear waters, thick bushland, rocky cliff faces and no other sign of human habitation it is hard to believe we are so close to Sydney! We took another afternoon "squirt" in the dinghy to explore American and Refuge Bays, both full of yellow private moorings but no boats, where we could hear the sound of the waterfall at the end of America Bay. Back on Manookatoo we enjoyed another peaceful night.
On Wednesday morning we continued west, stopping at Brooklyn for a walk in the rain then continuing along the Hawkesbury River, under the Pacific Highway bridge at Mooney Mooney. We travelled as far as Spencer, tying up to check out the small village then returning to the boat and dropping anchor for lunch. We retraced our journey downstream and turned into the Berowra  Creek, another beautiful waterway surrounded by bush, with occasional groups of houses which are only accessible by boat. We picked up a mooring in Joe Crafts Creek, with Muogamarra Nature Reserve behind us and the houses of Collingridge Point opposite.
On Thursday morning we headed up to the Berowra Waters Marina, where the first mate's parents met us for a leisurely day's cruising. They enjoyed seeing a familiar area from a different perspective and we returned to Joe Crafts Creek for lunch, watching the fish jump out of the water in front of us! That night was our first ashore in four weeks, spent at Glenhaven enjoying their hospitality and doing some much needed restocking at the local supermarkets.
Fun with Sue and Mal
On Friday we returned to the boat, meeting friends Sue and Mal for another leisurely cruise, with prawn salad and bubbles followed by "Mal-made" apple crumble. We have been blessed by good weather almost every day and this was no exception. That night the captain headed further along the Hawkebury, dropping anchor near Big Jim's Point, while the first mate returned to her parents, having planned a couple of appointments for the next morning.
On Saturday the captain cruised 3 hours to Wisemans Ferry where he met Matt, Anne-Marie, Benjamin and Nicholas for lunch and a lovely afternoon cruise, followed by drinks with the first mate and her parents then dinner at the local bowling club.
Enjoying lunch with Matt, Anne-Marie and the boys
Continuing upriver on Sunday, we travelled past many waterski resorts and waterfront houses, pulling up a mooring for an early lunch before we farewelled the family and began the journey back downstream.
The Hawkesbury River is certainly picturesque with rocky ranges surrounding it and very few houses or small settlements along its shores. We followed the tide out of the river and under the Mooney Mooney Bridge, past Brooklyn and into Cowan Creek, pulling up a courtesy mooring in American Bay just as the sun set.
We have certainly enjoyed the Hawkesbury River but it is time to move on to new cruising grounds next week.
Heading down the Hawkesbury and onto new adventures
Captain's log
Distance travelled:
Sydney Harbour - Barrenjoey Heads 20 nautical miles Cruising the Hawkesbury 107 nautical miles
Fuel: 150 litres

1 comment:

  1. Great read! Really loved our time cruising the area and remember it well!