Love waking up to go on an adventure. My motto is to collect memories not possessions.
Published September 20th 2015
Picnic, BBQ's, Swimming and Pelicans
Brooklyn is around 50 kilometres north of Sydney. Located along the Hawkesbury River it makes for a wonderful, scenic, relaxing day trip. It is easy to access via car on the M1 Motorway or the Pacific Highway. Or get the train and hop off at the Hawkesbury River railway station. We decided to ditch the freeway and went up via the Pacific Highway. This is a lovely way to begin the day - you will start to relax and unwind as you go up through Berowra Valley Regional Park and Ku-Ring-Gail Chase National Park.
It is easily signed to Brooklyn (take the Mooney Mooney exit if travelling the M1) and once you turn off you will travel along Brooklyn Road for about 3.5km until you get to Dangar Road and the Marina. At the Marina you can either head straight ahead to the carpark at McKell Park or up to the right and to the upper carpark and picnic area. There is also a large overflow carpark up here.
We decided to head up to the upper picnic area. This is a lovely spot with great views - up here it is shady and there are tables, toilets and BBQ's and lovely grassy spots to lay a rug down.
At the far end of the picnic area you will find the the entrance to a walk called the 'Federation Foreshore Walkway'. This is an easy, short walk which is fairly well constructed, but it is on a hill so has some steep bits. You will get some lovely views of the Hawkesbury on the way down (or up!). It was pretty easy to navigate even with the baby (in a carrier). It is not suitable for wheelchairs or prams.
At the bottom of the walk, if you turn right you can meander along a paved walkway that will take you to Parsley Bay. You can launch boats off Parsley Bay and there are also picnic tables, toilets and fish cleaning facilities here. There is also a little sandy beach and a large car park.
If you turn right at the bottom of the Foreshore Walkway you will come to McKell Park. This is a fantastic area that includes an excellent well maintained, fenced playground, a beautiful enclosed swimming area and boardwalk, BBQ's, picnic tables, toilets and shower facilities. The only downside to this area is that it is not well shaded - there is no shade cloth over the playground and not many trees in the picnic area. There are some tables with shade. There is also another car park here.
Located right near McKell Park are heaps of other facilities including restaurants, wharves, two slipways, a chandlery, holiday accommodation, a water taxi service, a ferry service (to Dangar Island), shops and boat hire facilities. You can buy most provisions here and get beer and wine. There is also a Federation Interpretive Display.
id="ccblink" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Riverboat Postman and enjoy the scenery as they deliver mail and essentials along the Hawkesbury River. Or why not make a weekend of it and hire a houseboat! This is a popular activity along the Hawkesbury.
If you travel via the Pacific Highway, you will pass Muogamarra Nature Reserve. To preserve the fragile ecosystems this Reserve is only open 6 weekends a year so do check before heading to Brooklyn - you may just get lucky.
Parking can be busy on weekends so come early to get a spot, or better yet take the train.