The Best Hawkesbury River Cruises

09 January, 2020

Looking for a unique and one-of-a-kind experience in Hawkesbury Valley? Enjoy stunning views of the Hawkesbury Valley as you embark on an exciting river cruise.

Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley is conveniently located close to the Hawkesbury River, giving you access to many river cruises that will help you experience the Hawkesbury Valley in a whole new light.

We’ve compiled a list of the best cruises in the Hawkesbury River. Hop on one of these boats and enjoy good wine and local food as you explore one of Australia’s most beautiful rivers!

 

The Hawkesbury Paddlewheeler

 

Enjoy the most colourful waterway in Australia by boarding the charming Paddlewheeler. The Paddlewheeler (formerly known as Turrumburra) was built and launched in 1976 by The Reynolds family on the banks of the Lane Cove River. She operated in Lane Cove River and was relocated to Windsor in 1996. It’s one of the few genuine paddle wheelers still in operation in Australia.

Enjoy your morning tea with fresh scones, jam and cream as you watch the sunrise above Hawkesbury’s hills. Complete lunch packages that include meats, salads and hand-made desserts are also available. The Paddlewheeler operates every day of the week and the cruise lasts about two hours.

Holiday special cruises on the Paddlewheeler come with extra events for you and your family to enjoy. There’s live music and buffet lunches that will make your special day even better! However, bear in mind that due to poor mobile reception, you’ll have to purchase your tickets using cash.

The Hawkesbury Paddlewheeler – Photo Credit: Destination NSW

 

Riverboat Postman

 

This is one of the most popular cruises on the Hawkesbury River and for a good reason. You can easily access the Riverboat Postman from both Sydney and the Central Coast. The Riverboat Postman will take you on a trip through history, with skippers that tell informative and entertaining stories about the Hawkesbury River and its settlers.

Settlements close to the banks of the Hawkesbury River were some of the first in Australia. Soil close to the river was fertile and the large waterway offered easy transportation between NSW’s most populated areas. To this day, small and secluded communities still thrive on the banks of the river. The Riverboat Postman delivers mail and other essentials to the river-access-only settlements along the Hawkesbury River.

This interesting tour comes with fresh food that’s served on the ship’s upper deck. Soon after departure, you’ll be treated to their famous Anzac cookie with tea or coffee. Lunch includes cold meat, salads and bread rolls. Drinks and alcohols are bought separately from the ship’s well-equipped bar.

The boat departs at 10 am from Brooklyn Public Wharf and returns a bit after 1pm every weekday, with the exception of public holidays. If you’re looking for a fun way to experience the marvels of the Hawkesbury River while also learning more about the area’s long history, then hop on the Riverboat Postman and enjoy the trip! With discounted tickets for children and seniors, this is the ideal family outing on a sunny day.

Aerial View of Hawkesbury River
Aerial View of Hawkesbury River – Photo Credit: Destination NSW

 

Sunday on the Hawkesbury

 

You may not be able to take a cruise on a weekday but worry not! To keep everyone happy, Hawkesbury Cruises (the same company behind the Riverboat Postman) runs a special cruise on Sundays when there’s no mail to deliver!

On Sunday, The Riverboat postman will take you on a trip to the Seven Islands in the spectacular lower Hawkesbury River. Enjoy stunning views while you learn more about the history and heritage of the river’s beautiful islands: Lion, Dangar, Spectacle, Long, Peat, and Milson Islands.

This cruise follows a different path as it travels on the opposite end of the river, meaning that you can enjoy both cruises without much overlap. The cruise lasts a bit over three hours and will take you on an amazing journey throughout Australia’s most beautiful waterway. The views of the ocean behind Lion Island are absolutely stunning so make sure you bring your camera with you!

A fantastic fish ’n’ chips lunch is included with your ticket and you can buy drinks on the boat’s fully licensed bar. The parking area fills up extremely quickly so make sure you allow extra time to find a park if driving. Don’t stress yourself out. Arrive by train to avoid stressful situations and enjoy the spectacular cruise without having to worry about anything else!

Hawkesbury Cruise Boat
Hawkesbury Cruise Boat – Photo Credit: Destination NSW

 

Palm Beach and Hawkesbury River Cruises

 

This is a long cruise that includes several stops, giving you the opportunity to explore more great locations while still cruising along the beautiful Hawkesbury River. The boat travels from Palm Beach to Cowan Creek, but drops off and picks up passengers at Patonga, Cottage Point Inn and Bobbin Head. It departs at 11am and returns to Palm Beach at 3:30pm.

Patonga is only 30 minutes from Palm Beach across Broken Bay. Patonga is the most isolated beach town on the Central Coast. You’ll find a small art gallery, The Boathouse Hotel, and a popular seafood shop. You can go swimming, fishing or kayaking in this relaxing beach town. There are also plenty of scenic walks and hikes around the area. You have approximately three and a half hours until the ferry returns to take you back to Palm beach at 3pm.

Cottage Point is perfect for a fresh meal beside the water. If you want to eat here, you’ll need to make sure you book early and that you call to let the owners know you’ll be arriving by ferry. You only have about two hours to complete your meal before the ferry returns to pick you up on its way back.

Bobbin Head is a beautiful spot in between the Berowra Valley and Garigal National parks. You can picnic in the wider area around the river, but keep in mind that you only have an hour or so before the ferry returns to pick you up.

This long cruise runs Friday to Monday but also operates daily during school holidays. You can catch the ferry at any of the three locations mentioned above. Tickets are relatively cheap and the ride itself is slow but enjoyable, giving you plenty of time to take everything in and really enjoy your time on board. You don’t have to book ahead but make sure you bring cash here too.

Palm Beach, NSW
Palm Beach, NSW – Photo Credit: Destination NSW

 

Starship Cruises

 

Starship cruises have been operating cruises on Brisbane and Hawkesbury since 1985. The beautiful (and classy) MV Lady Kendall offers visitors with everything they need to have an amazing time. With a kiosk, fully-licensed bar, two internal staircases and a disco-equipped dance bar, this all-timber boat can easily accommodate and entertain 200 passengers.

Starship Cruises offers two different cruises. The first cruise is a long 6.5-hour cruise that explores the majestic scenery of Brisbane Water, Broken Bay, Pittwater, and the Hawkesbury River. Aboard the beautiful Lady Kendall, you’ll be served morning tea as well as lunch and afternoon tea, but you’ll have to buy your own drinks and alcohol from the bar.

You’ll cruise past Lion Island, Barrenjoy Head, Ku-Ring-Gai National Park, Dangar Island, Brooklyn, and the wreck of Parramatta. If you’re looking for a full-day cruise with great commentary and lots of humour, then this one’s for you. It departs at 9:30am from Gosford Public Wharf but only runs three to four times a month.

Palm Beach, NSW
Palm Beach, NSW – Photo Credit: Destination NSW

The shorter Brisbane Water Cruise travels mainly around Brisbane water. It runs Saturday to Wednesday and departs at 10:15 am from Gosford wharf and 10:40 am from Woy Woy wharf.

Your Hawkesbury Valley experience will not be complete without a cruise along the stunning Hawkesbury River. Discover more about the region’s history by taking a family river cruise that you’ll remember for a long time to come! Book with us at Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley for easy access to the region’s best river cruises!

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