Sydney by ferry

Dangar Island

At Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury River, most Sydney people have heard of the Riverboat Postman, which is Australia's last remaining postman delivering from a boat, to the communities upriver from Brooklyn that have only water access.  It's a great trip - really a river cruise, with lunch included, plus commentary from the skipper.  It does (more or less) qualify as a ferry - because the upper deck takes ferry passengers as well - mainly people avoiding the cost of a water taxi, to get to those water access villages.

But there is another, less well known public ferry that also starts from Brooklyn.  This is the Dangar Island ferry, which is operated by Brooklyn Ferry Service using the small ferry Sun.  It's a one man operated ferry service; you pay the skipper.  With luck, you'll see a train crossing the river from the ferry.

The island is worth visiting because it's a great place to relax over lunch at the island's shop.  If you get there early enough, you should be able to get a table on the water's edge.  It's busier on weekends, and for Sunday lunch, you also have the option of blackboard lunch at the Bowling Club, a short walk from the wharf to the top of the island.  The only public toilet on the island is nearby - there is none at the shop.

After lunch, you can get some exercise by walking around the island's roads.  You're unlikely to get run over, because the island has only one vehicle - most residents leave a wheelbarrow at the wharf to take the shopping home.  There are views, waterholes, and aboriginal carvings to be found.

On the way back to Brooklyn, don't forget to go up and pay the skipper your fare when he's in a quiet part of the river. It won't cost you any extra for a bit more sightseeing.if you pick a ferry trip that goes via Wobby Beach, on the north side of the Hawkesbury.  On weekends, it goes via Wobby on most morning trips from Brooklyn, and most afternoon trips from the island.  On weekdays, catch the 10:15am from Brooklyn or the 3:35pm from the island.

There's some interesting history around here. Right here on the Hawkesbury is where our politicians held a weekend retreat from the 1891 constitutional convention, and during that retreat aboard the Lucinda on the weekend of 27 & 29 March 1891, they negotiated the changes that turned Inglis Clark's draft into the constitution that we have today, .

You can drive to Brooklyn (via the M1 and the Mooney Mooney exit, then cross back over the river) and, although the car parks do get full, you can normally park somewhere not too far from the wharf, and all parking is free.  A nicer alternative is to use the train, which stops almost alongside the wharf.  For some strange reason, the railways insist on calling the station Hawkesbury River, and not Brooklyn despite being right in the middle of town.  The trains only run hourly, but both the Riverboat Postman and many of the Dangar Island ferry trips are timed to connect.  You'll need to be moderately fit to do this, there are lots and lots of steps to get on and off the station.

This page was last modified on Wed Dec 26, 2018
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