Hawkesbury River Information Centre 5 Bridge Street Brooklyn
open6 days 02 99857064.
Hawkesbury River Information Centre is independently owned and operated by Jeff & Tanya Rudge and the staff of Hawkesbury River Real Estate.
Hawkesbury River Information Centre 5 Bridge Street Brooklyn open 6 days 02 99857064.
Known as the gateway to the Hawkesbury River the village of Brooklyn offers a wide variety of activities. Surrounded by national parks there are numerous bush walks through pristine Hawkesbury sandstone bush land. The township of Brooklyn also offers easy access to the 120 kilometres of river.
The essential reading before you head up the River is the Hawkesbury River Cruising guide
Welcome to the Hawkesbury, situated only a short distance north of Sydney is the large estuary of Broken Bay with its extensions into Brisbane Water, Pittwater and Cowan Creek. These provide attractive cruising grounds for boating enthusiasts. In some areas forshores are lined with moorings and marinas.
The Hawkesbury and its tributaries drain an area of over 22,000 square kilometres from its southern limit near Goulburn to the Blue Mountains and Wollemi National Park. The river enters Broken Bay from the northwest; it is one of the longest rivers in eastern Australia and is navigable for some 110km up to the bridge at Windsor. Upstream from its confluence with the Grose the Hawkesbury becomes the Nepean. Two major rivers, the Colo and the Macdonald, drain into the middle reaches of the Hawkesbury but, due to silting, are navigable for only short distances except for shallow draft vessels.
Berowra Creek, entering lower down, is safely navigable for several kilometres, and some of the other tributaries, such as Mangrove, Mooney Mooney and Marramarra Creeks, are worth exploring it craft of shallow draught.Over 1100km of foreshore fringe the Hawkesbury waterway system.
The northern suburbs of Sydney extend to the eastern side of Pittwater and there are small urban settlements at Cottage Point in Cowan Creek and at Berowra Waters. On the banks of the river the early settlements at Brooklyn, Spencer, Wisemans Ferry and Windsor remain and at scattered intervals small groups of houses stand near the riverbank. From Broken Bay to Wisemans Ferry large areas of rugged sandstone country have been dedicated as national parks or nature reserves.
Barrenjoey Headland has recently been added to Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and the rocky platform around the entire headland and extending 100m seaward is designated as an Aquatic Reserve. Opposite Barrenjoey to the northeast is Bouddi National Park, an area of just over 1100ha of rugged coastal headlands and bays with spectacular scenery and sandstone weathering as well as a diverse range of plant communities. It includes a marine extension of nearly 300ha off Maitland Bay, the first such area of ocean floor dedicated as a national park in New South Wales.
At the entrance to Broken Bay is Lion Island, 560m long, 280m wide and rising to 93m above sea level at the eastern end. It is a nature reserve, not open to the public as it is a breeding ground for fairy penguins and other sea-birds. Bordering Broken Bay and the Hawkesbury River entrance is Brisbane Water National Park, some 7800ha in area, while further west, extending from near Mangrove Creek to the Old Great North Road opposite Wisemans Ferry, is Dharug National Park of over 14,700ha. In 1995 Popran National Park was dedicated: this extends along the eastern side of Mangrove Creek towards Mount White.
On the southern side of the river is Ku-ring-gai Chase, extending from the western shore of Pittwater to west of Cowan Creek. Dedicated in 1894 it is the second oldest national park in the State.
Adjacent to the west is Muogamarra Nature Reserve of just over 2200ha; it borders the river and the lower reaches of Berowra Creek. On the western side of Berowra Creek and extending along the river to near Laughtondale a further 11,500ha of bushland is conserved in Marramarra National Park dedicated in 1979. Further upstream Yengo National Park extends inland along the Macdonald.
Finally, closer to Windsor, is Cattai National Park which abuts onto the river. These coastal and near-coastal parks conserve a great diversity of vegetation types ranging from rainforests through drier open forest and woodlands to low scrubs and heathlands with freshawater to brackish or saline swamps and forests bordering the waterways in many areas. The relatively undisturbed bushland together with the striking sandstone scenery and cliff lines provide a magnificant backdrop to the lower reaches of the river and the estuarine areas thus making this a region of high scenic quality.
Between Wisemans Ferry and Windsor landscape features gradually become more subdued. Upstream from the Macdonald River and Webbs Creek the forested slopes are still steep but there are broader river flats, the land mainly cleared for pasture, orchards or water-ski parks. Freshwater swamps and lagoons occur near creeks about Sackville and are backed by low rolling hills. The river edge may have some casuarinas and eucalypts present, or exotic willows, but many of the sandy banks remain bare or grassy.
The sandstone deposits through which the Hawkesbury now flows were formed more than 200 million years ago. Sands and silts were carried by the ancient rivers into ocean areas undergoing subsidence and the deposits built to depths of 100m or more. About 150 million years ago these deposits (as sandstone and shales) began to be uplifted and more recently the Hornsby and Woronora Plateaus were formed and the Blue Mountains.
The spectacular gorges and cliffs seen today are the result of the rivers cutting down and eroding the softer elements of these deposits. During the last million years several ice ages have occurred resulting in large changes in sea level. After the last of these the lower reaches of the river and its creeks were flooded or drowned leaving isolated rocky outcrops such as Lion Island and Barrenjoey. Waves and currents created the tombolo which now links Barrenjoey to the mainland. After the sea flooded the lower valleys heavy silting took place. Near the rail and road bridges, for example, these deposits are about 60m deep above the bedrock.
Towards Wisemans Ferry and beyond the more recent (relatively speaking) lowering of the sea level has left raised areas of deposited material that are quite fertile and were cultivated by early settlers initally to produce cereal crops and later to grow stone fruits and citrus.The strata of the sandstone are remarkably level as a result of being formed on the bed of the sea but sometimes narrow bands of rock may be seen, usually just above the water's edge, running at quite a different angle. These ripple marks and cross-beddings were built up by sand bars forming across ancient streams. Before the coming of Europeans the Hawkesbury region had long been occupied by several Aboriginal tribes: the Dharug name for the river was Deerubbin.
It is now known that the Aboriginal people have been in Australia for at least 40,000 years and there is evidence of occupation in the Hawkesbury region going back at least 14,000 years. Sandstone caves offered good shelter and there was a abundance of game, fish and shellfish. The extensive shell middens along the shores of the estuary indicate that large quantities of the latter were consumed over a long period of time. Many of these middens were largely destroyed in the 19th century in order to make lime for use in the mortar of the sandstone buildings of early Sydney. The shells were burnt on the banks of the river and the lime then shipped to Port Jackson.
The rugged sandstone country surrounding the lower river is rich with evidence of Aboriginal culture: axe grinding grooves, wells and engravings. In Dharug National Park more than 10,000 engravings have been recorded. The Dharug people lived along the Hawkesbury and Nepean rivers for many thousands of years but were virtually wiped out by smallpox and influenza epidemics during the first decades of European settlement. By 1890 only 34 full-blood Aboriginies remained and the last of these, Martha Everingham, died in 1927 at Ebenezer. Aboriginal camps were always established close to water supply and this inevitably led to conflict with the early European settlers when they began to occupy land along the riverbank.
The Hawkesbury region, as it has done for the past 200 years, supplies Sydney and much of New South Wales with a variety of agricultural products estimated to have an annual farmgate value of more than one billion dollars. The most important products are poultry and eggs followed by garden plants, fresh flowers, vegetables, beef and dairy products, fruit, turf and mushrooms. Agricultural production is being threatened by urban expansion, pollution problems, and the creation of 'rural residential' blocks carved out of high productive value. Many of the fertile flats along the middle river are now occupied by caravan parks, horse studs and housing developments.
- Extract from 'Cruising Guide to the Hawkesbury River, Cowan, Broken Bay and Pittwater" By John and Jocelyn Powell.
Waterfront and Local Restaurants, cafes and other facilities on the Lower Hawkesbury and Cowan.
BEROWRA Berowra Waters Marina (East side) is a general store, deli, bottle shop and also sells bait and ice. (94563200)
Berowra Waters Marina (West side) provides refuelling facilities and brokerage, restaurants with waterviews and a cafe.
Waterview Restaurant is an A la Carte, seafood buffet ($42.50) with average price entree ($12) and mains ($21).
It is BYO/licensed and bookings are essential.
There are limited mooring facilities available, contact the marina for details. Open Friday - Sunday for lunch and dinner. (9456 2633) Cafe - Breakfast and light meals, eat in or takeaway, average price meals (around $10). Open Monday - Sunday 9am-4pm for lunch / Friday and Saturday - 7pm.
Berowra Waters Inn is a licensed modern Australian restaurant with French influence. Average meal prices - Entree ($18) and Main ($30). Buoys are available for mooring and the restaurant will collect guests. Open Thursday - Saturday for Lunch and dinner, Sunday lunch only. www.berowrawatersinn.com (9456 1027)
PEATS BITE Peats Bite Restaurant, fully licensed, bookings are essential, mooring facilities available. Open September - June, 5 course meal ($105) www.peatsbite.com.au (9985 9040)
SPENCER Has a general store, bottle shop, 2 coffee shops (eat in or take away), public wharf and fuel available but not on the waterfront.
MOONEY MOONEY Mooney Mooney Workers Club/Hawkesbury Views Restaurant, seafood, A la Carte, licensed with average priced entree ($12) and mains ($25), seafood platter for two ($95). Wednesday - Sunday for lunch, Friday and Saturday for dinner. Limited moorings are available. (9985 9199)*Bistro, licensed with Bistro style meals, average prices ($13 for daily specials). Monday - Sunday lunch 12-2:30 pm, Monday - Sunday dinner 6-8pm. Limited moorings available. (9985 9244)
BROOKLYN Hawkesbury River Marina provides a general store, bottle shop, laundromat, accommodation, chandlery, bait, ice and fuel.
Riverside Brooklyn is a modern Australian restaurant, with average prices: Entree $13 and Main $22. Open Monday - Sunday for lunch, Thursday - Sunday for dinner. BYO (wine)/licensed.(9985 7248)
Leah's Alfresco, breakfast, local seafood and light meals. BYO. Average price $15, Cold Seafood Platter for two $55. Open Monday - Sunday 7:30 am - 4pm. (9985 7102)
JJ's - Eat in courtyard and take-away. Fresh local seafood, oysters, fish and chips, hamburgers. BYO. Average price $10. Open Monday - Thursday 7:30am - 7pm. Friday - Sunday 9am - 8pm. (9985 7106)
Joshua's - Al a carte restaurant, average dinner price: Entree $12, Dinner $22. BYO. Open Thursday - Sunday for Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Wednesdays for dinner. (9985 7877)
Lifeboat - fresh local seafood, fish and chips. Eat in or take away. BYO. Price $10 - $30. Open: Summer - Sunday - Friday 9am-6pm, Saturday - 9am - 9:30pm. Winter: Monday - Sunday 9am-5pm. (9985 7510)
All in One Cafe - All day breakfast, light cafe meals. Casual dining, eat in or take away. Open Thursday - Sunday 10am - 4pm. (9985 8818)
Anglers A-LA Carte Restaurant - A la Carte seafood, bistro menu for Anglers Rest Hotel, Average price: Entree $14 and Main $28. BYO. Open Monday - Saturday for lunch and dinner and Sunday for lunch. (99857860)
DANGAR ISLAND Island Shop - Alfresco style, fresh provincial, weekend BBQ breakfast. BYO. Public wharf for drop off. Open 7 Days. (9985 8539)
Dangar Island Bowling Club - Open Friday - Saturday for dinner, Saturday and Sunday for lunch. Licensed. Average price $20. Public wharf for drop off. (9985 7083)
COTTAGE POINT Cottage Point has a general store, a bottle shop, bait and ice, and access to unleaded fuel.
Cottage Point Inn - Modern Australian Licensed Restaurant. Average main meal $35. Open Summer: Monday - Sunday for lunch, Wednesday - Sunday for dinner. Winter: Friday and Saturday. Moorings available.
www.bestrestaurants.com.au/cottagepoint. (9456 1011)
Cafe - Light Cafe style meals, average price $13. Open Monday - Sunday 8am-4pm. Limited moorings. www.cottagepointkiosk.com.au (9456 3024)
AKUNA BAY Cafe - Modern Australian cafe with limited mooring facilities. Price $15 or less. Open Tuesday - Sunday 8:30-4:30pm. Bistro Friday and Saturday 6pm-10pm. (9450 1344)
Restaurant - Modern Australian licensed restaurant. Average price: Entree $14, Main $25-35. Open in Summer only - Wednesday - Sunday for lunch and dinner. Bookings are essential. (9986 3355)
NOTE: All information was correct at time of printing.
Brooklyn Marina Boat and houseboat hires houseboats, BBQ boats, tinnies/runabouts, berths, moorings, slipway, shipwright, electrical services 99857722
Holidays afloat Houseboats 99857368
Luxury Afloat 99857344
Ripples Houseboat Holidays 99855555
Fenwicks marina 99857633
Hawkesbury River Marina 99857858
Wharf Street marina Berths, Moorings, Fuel, T.V, power, water, Parking, slipway 99857074 or 0418240768
River Information Milsons Passage