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Dangar Island & Historical Cottage - Vivy's Tours & Talks

Home > Sydney > Day Trips | Escape the City | Historic Houses | Tours | Walks
by Seafarrwide (subscribe)
Check out my blog at seafarrwide.com/ for more about me. Contact me : seafarrwide@gmail.com Follow my social media pages - www.facebook.com/Seafarrwide/ www.instagram.com/____seafarrwide___/
Published November 8th 2015
Be Dazzled by the Natural Beauty of Dangar Island
Dangar Island & Historical Cottage - Vivy's Tours & Talks
Dangar Island, Dangar Island Tour, Vivy's Tours and Talks
Dangar Island - Photography by Seafarrwide


Many Sydney-siders think of holidays and weekends away in far away destinations, but often they overlook what is practically on their own doorstep. The treasure on Sydney's most northern suburb has to be Brooklyn and the Hawkesbury River.

Hawkesbury River, Dangar Island, Dangar Island Tour, Vivy's Tours and Talks
Brooklyn - Hawkesbury River - Photography by Seafarrwide


This river contains over 150 km's of navigatable fish filled river, stretching all the way from Penrith through historical Windsor, past popular Wiseman's Ferry, weaving its way past sandstone cliffs and mangrove-lined beaches littered with oyster encrusted rocky outcrops to the tranquil hamlet of Brooklyn.

I have lived in Sydney my whole life and have often driven over the Mooney Mooney Bridge marvelling at the beauty of the bushland and waterways in the area.

Hawkesbury River, Dangar Island, Dangar Island Tour, Vivy's Tours and Talks
Hawkesbury River - Photography by Seafaffwide


Recently I was invited to go on on a tour of Dangar Island with Vivy's Tours and Talks. Vivienne runs different walking tours around Sydney's north and central coast region. Dangar Island is quite popular due to its historical significance. It is part of the Hornsby local government area, only 2kms from Brooklyn and around 62kms (approx 45-60minutes drive) from Sydney or 90 minutes by public transport. A small island encompassing 29 hectares where you can only get around by foot, scooter or boat.

Dangar Island, Dangar Island Tour, Vivy's Tours and Talks
Brooklyn Wharf - Photography by Seafarrwide


I arrived at Brooklyn Jetty by car and found a 4hr parking spot next to the Jetty. Brooklyn itself has a couple of nice cafes, you can easily grab a good coffee before boarding the small ferry for the 15 minute ride to the island. The ferries are privately owned and very well maintained. You can also use the water taxi service if necessary. Vivy's tour group numbers range from 6-12 people which makes it easier for talking and getting to know people. If you book with Vivy's Tours and Talks, your ticket will cost $45 - it includes the ferry service to Dangar Island and return and tea or coffee with biscuits at the historical Pavilion House.

Dangar Island, Dangar Island Tour, Vivy's Tours and Talks
Brooklyn Wharf - Photography by Seafarrwide


The weather was clearing to a beautiful sunny day, with a mild ocean breeze. It felt great to be out on the water. The little ferry was fairly open, which allowed a nice breeze. No smelly fuel like you often get with a regular ferry. The interior has been whitewashed and is sparkling clean. It is a lovely scenic trip, with plenty to see.

Photography by Seafarrwide


Dangar Island is the hidden jewel of Brooklyn and one of the few suburbs on an island with very little cars if any. Rich in European, Colonial and Indigenous history. This island is relatively untouched and houses approximately 267 people. The beauty of visiting this island is the close proximity to Brooklyn Wharf. You can do your own visit to the island, but I like the idea of a guided tour. Vivienne takes groups on a leisurely walk around the island, also for a cup of tea at the heritage listed house, originally built by Henry Dangar - a famous government surveyor, pastoralist and entrepreneur who bought Dangar Island in 1864.

Dangar Island, Dangar Island Tour, Vivy's Tours and Talks
Dangar Island - Photography by Seafarrwide


We arrived at the northern side of Dangar Island at a small jetty. There are no cars on Dangar Island. A few old wheelbarrows propped against the side of the path used to transport their shopping to their humble and not so humble abodes. The fastest thing you will see on the island is possibly a bush turkey running through the bush searching for lizards. Instantly you are overcome with the peaceful ambience of an island that is in no rush.

Dangar Island, Dangar Island Tour, Vivy's Tours and Talks
Photography by Seafarrwide


We commence our walk up the road through beautiful untouched natural garden walkways.

Dangar Island, Dangar Island Tour, Vivy's Tours and Talks
Photography by Seafarrwide


I was impressed to discover a sandstone water tower soaring high out of the garden like a castle turret.

Dangar Island, Dangar Island Tour, Vivy's Tours and Talks
Photography by Seafarrwide


We continue onwards past an open lawn area full of Jacaranda trees in full bloom.

Dangar Island, Dangar Island Tour, Vivy's Tours and Talks
Photography by Seafarrwide


The Pavilion

Not much further to find the entrance to 'The Pavilion' owned by writer Ann Howards. Ann has lived in the house for 41 years and fell in love with the house, the area and the history surrounding it. This cottage was once the servants quarters end of the original Henry Dangar house. The rest of the main house burnt down in 1940.

Dangar Island, Dangar Island Tour, Vivy's Tours and Talks,The Pavilion House, Henry Dangar
The Pavilion - Dangar Island - Photography by Seafarrwide


Ann Howards is an exceptional woman full of life and vitality, warmly welcoming us into her gorgeous cottage that overlooks the Hawkesbury River. The cottage is surrounded by beautiful greenery and flowers.

Dangar Island, Dangar Island Tour, Vivy's Tours and Talks, Ann Howard
Ann Howard Author of Ten Dry Pies and othe Dangar Tales - Photography by Seafarrwide


Dangar Island, Dangar Island Tour, Vivy's Tours and Talks, Ann Howard
Photography by Seafarrwide


I almost expected to see little fairies dancing with butterflies.

Dangar Island, Dangar Island Tour, Vivy's Tours and Talks,The Pavilion House, Henry Dangar
Photography by Seafarrwide


Dangar Island, Dangar Island Tour, Vivy's Tours and Talks,The Pavilion House, Henry Dangar
Photography by Seafarrwide


As you can see I was very camera happy on the day. The garden has a carefree wildness which adds to its mysterious history.

Dangar Island, Dangar Island Tour, Vivy's Tours and Talks,The Pavilion House, Henry Dangar
Photography by Seafarrwide


We are taken on a tour inside the cottage and Ann regales us with some very interesting historical facts about the island, bridges and surrounding township. We were all enthralled by her depth of historical knowledge and fascinated with her story of her circumstances and how she came across the cottage. Ann has also written 4 books on the area. Her books are not only filled with historical facts but amusing and quirky tales from back then and rare photos and news clippings.

Dangar Island, Dangar Island Tour, Vivy's Tours and Talks,The Pavilion House, Henry Dangar
Photography by Seafarrwide


After seeing some wonderful historical photographs of Anns and enjoying a very interesting and informative talk on the history of island and the house, we were offered morning tea on the verandah overlooking more beautiful jacaranda trees and the river.

Dangar Island, Dangar Island Tour, Vivy's Tours and Talks,The Pavilion House, Henry Dangar
Photography by Seafarrwide


Such a love peaceful place. Ann Howard also rents our her rooms on Airbnb for bed and breakfast stays.

Dangar Island, Dangar Island Tour, Vivy's Tours and Talks,The Pavilion House, Henry Dangar
The view from Ann Howard's 'The Pavilion' - Photography by Seafarrwide


After an hour of chatting we moved on to walk past unique residences, vegetable patches were galore and the soothing sounds of chickens clucking and scratching filled the air.

Dangar Island, Dangar Island Tour, Vivy's Tours and Talks
Photography by Seafarrwide


There are specific walking tracks you can follow around the island though Vivienne knows all the best ones to follow, which is why a guided tour is ideal.

Dangar Island, Dangar Island Tour, Vivy's Tours and Talks
Photography by Seafarrwide


Dangar Island, Dangar Island Tour, Vivy's Tours and Talks, Ann Howard
Photography by Seafarrwide


Eventually, we came to Bradley's beach. A peaceful stretch of sand. Some lucky residents even have their own jetty.

Dangar Island, Dangar Island Tour, Vivy's Tours and Talks
Photography by Seafarrwide


We finished our day with a snack at the island's community cafe before boarding our ferry back to Brooklyn Jetty.

Dangar Island, Dangar Island Tour, Vivy's Tours and Talks
Photography by Seafarrwide


It was a lovely relaxing day out. The weather was perfect and the walk an easy one that any age can enjoy. Vivienne makes everyone feel welcome with her engaging personality and interesting facts. It is well worth booking a tour and also finding out about the other walking tours that Vivienne conducts around the Central Coast region.

You can keep up to date on her Facebook Page and Twitter
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Why? See Dangar Island & Historical Cottage
When: Call Vivienne for the next tour date
Phone: 0434 375 128
Where: Brookyln & Dangar Island
Cost: $45 include ferry fares & Coffee/Tea & Biscuits
Your Comment
I just discovered this article. Sounds great and one that will go on the list.
Many thanks
by Carole Liivrand (score: 2|791) 519 days ago
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