I am a freelance writer and photographer from Sydney who has now had five books published on fishing. I also write for the Fishing Monthly Group and Australian Fishing Network.
I also like to travel and experience new things to do.
Published December 16th 2014
The Historic Audley Boat Shed was first established back in 1893 and the current owners, the Hughes family which consists of Geoff, Louise and Denise have been running the boat shed since 1984. The boatshed is situated on the upstream side of the Audley Weir in the Royal National Park and from here you can explore the upper reaches of the Hacking River and Kangaroo Creek.
The Audley Boat shed is open 7 days a week, every day of the year, including Christmas day and is located in Sydney's Royal National Park, about 30kms south of Sydney's CBD. It is surrounded by thick rainforest and bush land. It is the perfect place to hire a row boat, canoe, kayak or aqua bike and explore the waterway of the Kangaroo Creek and Hacking River. If being on the water is not your thing you could always hire one of their many bikes and ride out on one of the many tracks that are found here.
NOTE: If you are going to use any of the facilities in the Royal National Park, you are going to have to purchase either a day pass or have a yearly pass. For example, if you go to the Audley Boat Shed and hire a row boat, you will need a pass or if you go over to the Audley Dance Hall and Cafe to have breakfast or a bite of lunch you will need to have a pass. At the time of writing a day pass to National Parks $11 per car, $65 for a yearly pass and if you have a senior's card it will cost you $50 for a yearly pass.
The Audley Boat Shed is located in the Royal National Park
Audley Boatshed is located just 3km off the Princes Highway. Just turn off the Princes Highway, between Sutherland and Engadine, into Farnell Ave (look for the National Park and Historic Boatshed signs on the Highway).
Alternatively you can catch a train to Loftus and ride the tram from the Tramway Museum into the Royal National Park on Wednesdays, Sundays and school holidays.
After you have paddled or rowed you way along the Hacking River and Kangaroo Creek and you need to rest those weary bones, you could have a picnic at the adjacent parking area where they have free gas operated BBQ's and toilets. There are a few tables and seats situated here, but maybe you could take along your own chairs and a table or maybe just take a picnic rug and sit under one of the many trees that are found here.
The Upper Causeway picnic area, which you can drive to. Just take the first entrance to the right after the Tourist Information Centre and follow it to the end. This is a great spot for a quick bite to eat before setting out on a walk along the delightful Forest Path, Couranga walking track or a bike ride along Lady Carrington Drive. It's also a great place to enjoy the lush forests of the hinterland in Australia's oldest park. You'll find Upper Causeway picnic area at the junction of McKell Avenue and Lake Wakehurst Drive in the southern precinct of Royal National Park, near Waterfall.
Now that you have rowed your boat and explored the Hacking River and Kangaroo Creek arms you may have a bit of spare time to pop into either the Tourist Information Centre to pick up a few maps and brochures on what else you can do in the Royal National Park or you could dine at the Audley Dance Hall and Cafe on some of their great food from their all day breakfast or lunch menu.
AUDLEY DANCE HALL & CAFE
If you don't want to go to the trouble of taking your own food, you could always visit the Audley Dance Hall & Cafe, which is under new management. After a 2 year multi-million dollar refurbishment by National Parks & Wildlife Service, the Audley Dance Hall and Cafe is set to relive the settings of leisure times in the Royal National Park enjoyed by generations before us. The Audley Dance Hall and Cafe is found on the ground floor with the Tourist Information Centre situated above it.
You can either dine in or out at the The Audley Dance Hall & Cafe
Why don't you try some of their Blueberry Buttermilk pancakes, lemon butter and maple syrup or if you are feeling really hungry you could sit down to one of their Dancehall big breakfast, two free range eggs (fried, poached or scrambled), smokey bacon, chipolata, roast tomato, field mushroom & sourdough toast from the All Day Breakfast menu.
Instead you may like to dine for lunch on Roast beetroot salad, broccolini, asparagus, candied walnuts, labna, garlic chips, truffle walnut dressing or the Smoked trout & quinoa salad, orange, parsley & fetta and chardonnay vinaigrette.
Better off, why don't you click on MENU and find out for yourself what they have on offer. I would be very surprised that you don't find something that you would like.
Now as for value for money their prices are very reasonable and you get plenty of it.
They also have a function centre that you can hire out for parties and weddings.
WHAT ELSE DOES THE AUDLEY BOAT SHED SUPPLY?
You are allowed to fish from one of the canoes, row boats or kayaks.
Fishing rods and reels for hire.
Bait from Windybanks Bait and Tackle
They have a vending machine with drink and snacks.
Instructions on where the best places are to see plenty of wild life.
They have life jackets for everyone
THINGS YOU CAN'T DO THERE.
No private craft is allowed on the waterway above the Audley Weir.
You are not allowed to go swimming above the Audley Weir in the Port Hacking River Arm, but you can swim in the Kangaroo Creek Arm. For further instructions contact Geoff at the boat shed.
You can use your own private craft on the water
You can go fishing to your heart's content. Maybe you will catch a yellowfin bream, dusky flathead, tailor, whiting, and mullet or even an Australian bass or estuary perch. I have.
Drive in and have a picnic, go for a walk, or ride a bike.
You will need to check the closing and opening times of the gate, as you don't want to get locked in overnight.
Try lure fishing for bream, tailor, bass and estuary perch below the Audley Weir.
Day Hire $34
1 Hour $16
2 Hours $22 and each hour after that is an extra $2
So the next time you are looking for something different to do, why don't you get in your car or catch public transport and get yourself down to The Audley Boat Shed. Maybe you will catch a fish or even an eel.
They even cater for group bookings. So book ahead.