Brooklyn (Hawkesbury River) to Katoomba

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August 13th 2019
Published: August 13th 2019
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Our host at the Brooklyn Motel, Keith, told us this morning that someone drove their car off the Peats Ferry Bridge overnight. This is the same bridge that we crossed coming into Brooklyn yesterday afternoon. As at this morning police divers had still not located the vehicle and the driver.

After packing the car we headed down to the Brooklyn Public Wharf for our cruise on the Hawkesbury River with the Riverboat Postman. We were so lucky with the weather today as it was a beautiful clear blue and sunny day on the river. Although it was a bit brisk, it was perfect for a leisurely cruise. The first Riverboat Postman started the run in 1910. Today the tradition continues with Hawkesbury Cruises, the current operators of this famous half day trip.

Before we left the Brooklyn Public Wharf we were already being served with tea and coffee and home-made ANZAC biscuits. Yum! Once we were properly underway, our first stop was at Dangar Island which is almost right opposite Brooklyn so we were only on the river a few minutes before the first mail was dropped off to the Post Mistress and her apprentice (her young son) and the post office dog.

From Dangar Island we started heading upriver. We sailed under the rail bridge that crosses the Hawkesbury River with the captain pointing out a sea eagle perched atop one of the spans. Once under the railway bridge we sailed between Long Island and Spectacle Island. The islands have been used in many different ways over the years, but both are now nature reserves. After passing the islands we arrived at Kangaroo Point for another mail drop.

We then passed under the Hawkesbury River Bridge and the Peats Ferry Bridge. These bridges carry the Pacific Motorway and the Old Pacific HIghway respectively. There were orange water-filled barriers and workmen on the bridge due to last night’s incident.

Once under the bridges the captain pointed out the spectacular Hawkesbury sandstone along the riverbank. The sandstone in this area is much more colourful than other sandstone in the region. There were some beautiful pieces of water/weather sculpted rocks along the riverside.

We made another mail drop at Milson Island. A pattern was starting to form with the the boat being greeted by dogs. We soon worked out why; the dogs were getting treats from the young guy who was passing over the mail (and occasionally fresh eggs, newspapers and other assorted groceries) was giving them treats! No wonder they are eagerly awaiting the mailboat.

After Milson Island we sailed past the wreck of the HMAS Parramatta at Cascade Gully. As we cruised towards Bar Point lunch was served. We had a plate of salad and a roll so we decided to put the salad inside the roll. Much easier than eating the salad with a knife and fork and eating the roll separately. The furthest point on today’s mail run was at Fisherman’s Point. Occasionally the mailboat makes the run all the way to Marlow, but not today.

As we started to head back towards Brooklyn we cruised along the other side of Milson Island past the ‘Republic’ of Milson’s Passage. The self-proclaimed ‘President’, John Carrick, greeted us from his throne on the jetty. He was accompanied by his specially bred miniature albino dingos ... which looked rather like West Highland White Terriers to us!

After a lovely morning on the Hawkesbury River we cruised back into Brooklyn at about 1.00pm. We headed back to the car and set the SatNav for Katoomba. Despite having to venture through Parramatta and Penrith on the way, the traffic wasn’t too bad in the middle of the day and we made it to Katoomba in good time.

However, finding our accommodation was not quite so easy. The street the house is on is on two levels so it was a little bit tricky finding No.8. Fortunately there was a lady out walking her dog who pointed us in the right direction. Of course with the street being on two levels each level is single lane so not much room to manoeuvre. We had to drive to the end of the street and then reverse to an intersecting street, drive out of that street, go around the block again and have another go at getting to the right house!

We eventually made it and carted all our gear down to the house. It may be a slightly difficult location, but the house is in a beautiful bush setting which makes it all worthwhile. With no conveniently located eating options and not wanting to try to get parked in the dark on the skinny, unmade road if we drove into town for dinner, we decided that they time had come to cook a meal. Fortunately there was still time to get to the supermarket for some ingredients before the sun set.

The boys just about froze cooking a BBQ as the temperature started plummeting towards a forecast overnight low of just 2°C. It’s hard to believe that just days ago we were sitting around in Coffs Habour, in the evening, wearing only T-shirts.

The boys won at cards tonight.

Steps: 6,276 (4.57kms)

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