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Where's the Best Big Breakfast in Sydney?

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by Gary Brown (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer and photographer from Sydney who has now had five books published on fishing. I also write for the NSW Fishing Monthly, Visit the Shire, Fisho App & Tackle Tactics. I also like to travel and experience new things to do.
Published April 16th 2015
It's not every day that I crave a big breakfast, but the urge could be early in the morning, for brunch or it could come at any time!
Is this Sydney's best big breakfast? The author thinks so.

I have found that sometimes there is nothing better than tucking into a big breakfast rather than having anything else. Over the years I have dined at a variety of cafes and restaurants where I have enjoyed and also not enjoyed a big breakfast, and I have often thought back as to which one I would class as the best place I have enjoyed one at.

After much deliberation I would have to put the Audley Dance Hall and Cafe[/B as the best place for a big breakfast and that is not because it is in my local area. There were a number of things that made the decision very easy for me:
Try the big breakfast at The Audley Dance Hall & Cafe

[B]1. You couldn't ask for better service and everyone always has a smile on their face, no matter how busy it gets.

2. Even though this is a very popular place, once ordered it didn't take long for the meal to arrive.

3. During the cooler months of the year you can dine inside.

Dining inside during those cool days will get you away from the elements.

4. When the weather warms up, you can sit outside and take in the view of the Hacking River.

5. There is a magazine rack full of a variety of magazines for you to read.

6. Each table has a small vase of fresh flowers.

The flowers are a nice touch.

7. The food is freshly made on site and is amazing.

8. In the same building and adjacent to the cafe is the RNP information centre.

9. I have never had a bad coffee here.

10. The seating arrangements both inside and outside is quite spacious.

There is plenty of room between tables. No overcrowding here at this cafe.

11. You don't get that feeling of having someone hovering over you to get up and leave as soon as you have finished eating.

12. The prices are very reasonable.

13. The big breakfast has everything that I like in a big breakfast.

Where to start?

I guess that you could call this my lucky thirteen points to having a great big breakfast.

The cafe has extensive comfortable outdoor seating that overlooks a grassed area that leads to the edge of the Hacking River. When I was just recently down at the cafe there were a group of kids playing soccer, while their parents were sitting having a cup of coffee and cake and there were grandparents and their grandkids feeding cockatoos, a couple of galahs, wild ducks and even a crow or two were getting in on the act.

The parents can have a bite to eat while watching the kids play on the lush grass adjacent to the cafe.

You can always feed the local wildlife after you have finished eating your big breakfast.

There were also a number of other children riding their bikes and scooters up and down the path, and even when one of the kids had a bit of a spill I noticed that one of the staff of the cafe went over to check that he was ok.

Inside the Audley Dance Hall and Cafe the seating is of the bench type and has plenty of padding for those weary travellers who have popped in for breakfast. You will also find that there is a magazine rack for those of you that like doing a bit of reading while tucking into your big breakfast.

As you walk in from the north you will go through the RNP Information Centre. Don't forget to come back and have a look.

There are a number of flat screen TVs hanging on the wall that depict a Powerpoint presentation of what different types of native animals and scenery you may see while visiting the RNP.

On another little note you will need to go to the counter to place and pay for your meal. The friendly staff will bring it out to you when it's ready.

Find a table and then place your order.

For a cost of $24 I got two free range eggs (fried, poached or scrambled), a pile of smokey bacon, 2 chipolatas, 1 roasted tomato, a heap field mushrooms and 2 pieces sourdough toast. Sure you can get other big breakfasts with plenty more items on it, but when you see the amount that you get and how good it is cooked, you don't want anything else!

On this particular day I chose to have fried eggs and they were done to perfection. The white of the egg was cooked and not runny, but the yolk was slightly hard while at the same time being a little bit runny on the inside. The tomato was cooked so that you could easily peel off the skin and the chipolatas were cooked through, but not dry inside.

When it comes to bacon I prefer to have the rind slightly crispy with the meat part just cooked to a medium state and I like to have plenty of it. Which there was! The mushrooms were sliced not to thin and melted in the mouth. Finally the sourdough bread was slightly crispy on the outside and soft in the middle.

Now you may like to have you eggs done differently, your toast a bit crustier and you bacon cooked to a point where it is crispy and that's up to you. But what I received on the day I paid a visit to the Audley Dance Hall and Cafe was exactly what I was after.
It might not be the prettiest photo. But as they say, 'the proof is in the pudding' or in this case the empty plate.

The Audley Dancehall & Café is located in the small village of Audley in the Royal National Park, about a ten minute drive south of Sutherland and ten minutes drive north of Engadine. If you were driving by car from the Sydney CBD, you would need to get yourself onto General Holmes drive, then onto Rocky Point Road and cross over the Captain Cook Bridge onto Taren Point Road.

From here you will need to turn left at the Sutherland Hospital and travel along President Avenue and turn left at the Sutherland By-Pass and travel pass the Dolphin wall. Not far up the road you will see a sign pointing to the left to the Royal National Park. Continue on for about five minutes and you will come to the Audley Weir. Cross over and the Audley Dance Hall and Cafe will be on your right. There are plenty of parking spots in the parking areas north and south of the Cafe.

If you are travelling up from Wollongong you can either come up through the Bulli Pass and over Mount Ousley along the M1 and you will pass through Heathcote and Engadine. After going through Engadine you will need to keep an eye out for the set of traffic lights, where you will need to turn right into the RNP.

By public transport it is a bit harder to get to the Audley Dance Hall and Cafe, as you will need to catch a train to Loftus Station and then walk to the Sydney Tram museum and then take the tram ride into the park where it stops. From here you are going to have to walk for about fifteen minutes downhill to the Audley Weir. If you have a group that would like to try out the big breakfast you could catch a train the Sutherland Station and pre organise a bus from the Shire Shuttle Bus company.

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. So if you go to the Audley Dance Hall and Cafe to try the big breakfast 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.

But don't forget, this will allow you to use the RNP for the rest of the day. So why don't you make a day of it?

Whether it is before or after you have tried out the big breakfast (I would say after so you can walk it off) there are a number of things that you could do while down at Audley.
Make the most of your visit and go for a paddle in a canoe or a kayak or maybe take a bike ride. I an sure it will wear off the big breakfast.

You could go for a canoe or kayak paddle, maybe have a go at peddling one of those Aqua bikes. Why not go for a bike ride or a walk along one of the many tracks that are located in the RNP. To check out the Audley Boat Shed click here.

Maybe you could do some bird and whale watching at Bundeena, go for a fish in the Port Hacking River on the saltwater side of the Audley Weir. Click here to check out what there is to do at Bundeena.

On you way back home you might like to call into the Sydney Tram Museum at Loftus. Click here for more information.

So the next time that you get the urge to try out a new place to get a Big Breakfast, why don't you get yourself down to the Audley Dance Hall and Cafe and try one. You too may think it's the best Big Breakfast in Sydney!

Do you know of another place to enjoy a Big Breakfast in Sydney? Share it with us by leaving a comment!
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