Broken Bay (NSW) Anchorages

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The mouth of the Hawksbury River is officially at Juno Point in Broken Bay. Not that you would notice, the whole area is one huge anchorage. The map above covers only the more well-known destinations. Most of these spots have bright yellow public moorings for the taking.
But there are extensive other interesting areas to explore, to the north; Brisbane Waters, Mullet and Mooney Mooney Creeks. To the west, there is the lesser known Berowra Waters. And further west still, you sail up the mighty Hawksbury River itself, which is navigable all the way to Windsor, about 60 km away.

( click on photos for enlargement)

  • Brooklyn
    A small town, about one hour’s drive from Sydney. Not long ago a thriving fishing centre but now relies on tourism and and boating activities. There is a small but modern marina with some shops, a chandlery and a restaurant. Other services are a short walk away at the the town centre including more places to eat. There is a train station (Hawksbury River) and trains leave regularly for a scenic trip to experience the sites of Sydney. You can look up the timetable here. If you are over 60 it will only cost you $2.50 for an all day ticket.
    You can pick up a visitor berth at the marina, check in at the office after tying up at the fuel warf. A picnic area is available adjacent to the marina serviced by a somewhat exposed floating pontoon.
    Brooklyn also hosts a major launching ramp in a well protected ‘pond’ with two pontoons

  • Patonga
    Situated on the north side of Broken Bay, Patonga is a small settlement well worth exploring. It is about two and a half hours drive from Sydney by road so it is quite out of the way. There are a few shops including a fish and chip shop and a cafe.
    The large jetty is a bit exposed but if you wind up the keel and tuck into the eastern side of the beach and drop an anchor you will usually enjoy a sheltered stay. The white sandy beach shoals out quite a distance here at low tide affording the opportunity to dry out if you so desire. Well protected from the prevailing nor’easters but not so good in a southerly. There are better spots for overnighting.

  • Refuge and America bays
    Two adjacent areas that are generally regarded as among the best cruising anchorages anywhere. Extensive but calm bays wrapped around by steep sided hills – part of the national park. They afford total protection. There are many private moorings which may be had on the understanding that they are given up on the chance arrival of the owner. But Noelex owners, by raising the keel have the luxury of being able to anchor in areas away from the moorings. This enables you to enjoy comparitive solitude in busy times or total solitude otherwise.
    Refuge bay has a small beach and an accessable waterfall.
    Avoid the crowded summer school-holiday weekends.

  • Flint and Steel beach
    A fine stretch of beach in calm conditions. Some interesting shapes and colours in the rocks as they are weathered away by wind. It’s common to see people fishing over a deep reef to the north of the beach.
    It is exposed to the prevailing winds and any swell from the heads but is great for a lunch stop and swim in calm conditions. You can sail in quite close to the shore to check beach conditions before making a commitment.

  • Pinta Bay
    A quiet spot in Jerusalem Bay with bush surrounds complete with wildlife and a small creek and waterfall. There is a shoal at the head which can be sailed over at high tide or walked on as the tide goes down. As an alternative to picking up one of the public moorings, good holding in sand can be had at the head of the bay just as it starts to shoal upwards. Totally protected and an especially magical spot if you are lucky enough to have it all to yourself.

  • Barrenjoey and Palm Beach
    This area is well known as the film set for the TV series ‘Home and Away’. A sheltered anchorage can be enjoyed tucked in under the prominent Barrenjoey headland. Just south in the area of the ferry wharf, there is a stretch of grass available for picnics with a fish ‘n chip shop, and other places to eat, across and down the road. Public facilities are available and there is a boatshed nearby.
    There is plenty of room to anchor between shore and the moored boats adjacent to the ferry warf. A wide sandy beach is available for those who prefer a stern moor. A majestic ocean beach is within easy walking distance and a walk up to the conspicuously high lighthouse on the Barrenjoey headland is well worthwhile.

  • Smiths Creek
    One long protected anchorage. A very picturesque stretch of waterway with many opportunities to anchor and enjoy the environment. Many the bays in Smiths Creek offer public moorings some have small sandy beaches at low tide. Take your pick!

  • Bobbin Head
    Bobbin Head lies at the headwaters of Cowan Creek. This waterway winds through the Ku-ring-gai National Park and is totally protected with many inlets and bays, some with public moorings.
    There is a public jetty available at Bobbin Head but tie up on the side, a ferry from Palm Beach calls in about mid-day and stays about one hour.
    A small kiosk or café is available at the newly re-built marina and a larger café — ‘Bobbin Inn’ — at the red-bricked visitors centre. Both provide coffee, snacks and at the cafés, substantial meals.
    Bobbin Head is a pretty spot and has an extensive picnic area. It offers bushwalks, a boardwalk, well-equipped barbeque areas and other facilities. It is usually very quiet during the week.
    A good spot to overnight is around the corner in Appletree Bay.

  • Akuna Bay
    Coal and Candle Creek offers postcard scenery and secure anchorage in the many coves. One of these, Akuna Bay, hosts a marina with visitor berths so you can use the showers and other facilities for a moderate fee. There is a small general store, a restaurant, coffee shop, liquor store. These shops may not be open in quiet times. There is a launching ramp with adjacent jetty and ample parking on weekdays. The ajacent waterway offers an excellent fully protected anchorage for that first night after launching.

  • McCarrs Creek Reserve
    A picturesque picnic area accessible by road as well as water. There is a floating pontoon enabling easy access to the excellent public facilities. This spot is totally protected in all weathers and overnighting here is always stress free.

  • Winnererremy Bay Foreshore Reserve
    Close to the Rowland Reserve launching ramp this attractive reserve offers a café, children’s playground and a picnic area with all facilities. Being at the southernmost end of Pittwater, this bay is very well protected. Watercraft, including trailable yachts, just pull up on the beach. An easy walk to the Mona Vale shops and boat-parts places, including Whitworths (82 Darley Street).

  • Towlers Bay
    A quiet and peaceful bay and small beach are on offer surrounded by bushland. There are a few public moorings, the private moorings must be vacated if by chance the owner arrives.

  • The Basin
    Across from Palm Beach, also known as Coasters Retreat, The Basin offers one of the best anchorages and recreational areas that one could hope to find. It is well protected and is only accessible by foot or water. There is a wide sandy beach, showers, toilets and a kiosk is open in busy periods. Also provided are large grassed areas, barbeques and picnic shelters. A totally protected ‘lagoon’ suitable for swimmers of all ages is netted off. There are many private moorings which can be used by visitors on the understanding that if by chance the owner arrives they are to be vacated immediately. It is often convenient to stern moor to the beach during the day and then as dusk falls move off to a mooring overnight if desired.

Some more shots of the area.