We have just spent the most relaxing few days in Broken Bay in the company of our dear friend Sue. This is a large inlet 31 miles north of Sydney Harbour. It was discovered and named by James Cook in 1770. This drowned valley estuary has its origin at the confluence of Pittwater, Brisbane Water and the Hawkesbury. The three arms are flooded rivers formed at a time when the sea level was much lower than it is at present.
These calm waters are a popular boating area. Going up the arms and tributaries, particularly westward up the Cowan and Smiths Creeks, as we chose to do, demands constant tacking if you are sailing… and those who know us realise we are too lazy for that sort of behaviour!So we did a great impersonation of a motor boat, and for the five days we were there we explored right up some narrow creeks, finding hideaways, surrounded by the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. The creeks are really deep – in places 15 to 20 meters right to the edges. They wind their way through the Australian bush, with tall sandstone escarpments and angophora trees that grow literally out of the rocks with pink or grey gnarly trunks. You don’t anchor in these parts; you pick up one of the many moorings provided by the National Park Service. And at this time of year, during the week, there is plenty of choice and no crowd. It would be awfully busy in summer! Beyond the moorings, you can sometimes keep going further by dinghy or kayak.
It was peaceful, very relaxing, and we very much enjoyed this break with Sue. Waking up to the sounds of forest birds was quite soothing. Sea eagles and whistling kites were frequent visitors, oh and ‘dinghy devils’ as terns or seagulls perching there get called.
We dropped Sue back at Patonga and with a strong SW due on Thursday, we spent the day at Pearl Beach, a beautiful protected bay just on the outside of Broken Bay: deep, safe for anchoring and sheltered in the strong wind. We are underway again today; our next stop is Swansea, Lake Macquarie, some 37 miles north.
Here is a gallery of our favourite shots. As always click on the first image to displays in full screen slide show.