Looking for a day trip that offers stunning views of one of Hawkesbury River’s most beautiful creeks, a peaceful waterside hiking trail where you don’t have to line up behind crowds of tourists, kayaking adventures, and picturesque cafes right on the waterfront, all within a stone’s throw from Sydney? Look no further than Berowra Waters.
Berowra is just under an hours drive from Sydney, making it a perfect destination for a day trip adventure. Head north out of Sydney onto the M2 via the M1, then take the Pacific Highway all the way up to Berowra. Follow directions straight to Barnett’s Lookout to kick off your day with some incredible panoramic views across the Berowra Valley and the waters of Berowra Creek.
Once you’ve soaked up the views from this spot, head down Barnett’s Road and take a left down Berkeley Close. Park at the bottom of this residential road to join the Berkeley Trail and begin your one hour hike down to Berowra Waters. Walk through the gate marked “Berowra Valley National Park”, and head downhill for about five minutes until you see a turning to the right with a sign to Berowra Waters and a red hiking icon for ”The Great North Walk”. Follow these red icons all the way and you won’t go wrong. The hike starts with a luscious bush walk to reach the trail running alongside the creek – be ready for a few steep climbs here and there.
Within about 15 minutes you’ll start to catch some beautiful glimpses of Berowra Creek, with some well placed rocks, giving you great photo opportunities along the way.
Carry on following the trail as it winds you down towards Berowra Waters and treats you to more spectacular views.
As you start to descend down, you’ll get closer and closer to the water, and the views just get better and better.
At the end of the path you’ll reach the road, which to the left takes you to a beautiful little Italian Bistro called ‘A Chef’s Secret‘. Serving excellent coffee and fresh home-made food, this is a great spot to take a break and refuel on their sun drenched deck right out on the water.
Once you’re finished up at A Chef’s Secret, jump aboard the free community ferry (for foot passengers and vehicles) just adjacent to the bistro, which runs every ten minutes across the creek to take you across to Bay Rd. Once across the creek, walk five minutes down the road to reach Berowra Waters Marina. If you’re more in the mood for fish and chips vs Italian, stop off at Berowra Waters Fish Cafe (part of the marina) – another lovely spot on the water. You can even pick up some fresh fish from the cafe to take onto BBQ boats available to hire from the marina. Prices start from just $300 for half a day.
If you’re feeling fancy, the Berowra Waters Inn is a fine dining restaurant just north of the marina accessed only by sea plane of private ferry. For a more casual and cheaper option, take a packed lunch and find a spot on the grass for a picnic.
As well as BBQ boats, the marina also offer kayaks, which cost just $20 for a single and $30 for a double (one hour rate). For a scenic kayak route, head right out of the marina and cruise down the river, picking out your dream river houses as you go.
Take some time out on the kayaks to soak up the tranquility of the area as you float down the peaceful and beautifully still creek surrounded by bushland.
After your kayaking adventure, jump back onto the ferry to take you back onto the trail you originally took. Look out for the red hiking icon to take you up a steep left turn back onto the trail – it’s easily missed and can take you on a slightly rocky detour into the bush (a mistake that we made!). Stock up with water as it’s a more challenging hike back this way, but it’s well worth it for the incredible sunset views you’ll catch on your way back.
The sunset hike back is stunning as the setting sun casts a beautiful orange and gold filter across the rocks and trees, so definitely try and time your return trip with sunset (about 4.45pm in the winter).
By the time we’d finished our hike back, we’d already planned our next trip to Berowra Waters as we were all totally taken by this hidden waterside gem in the middle of the NSW bushland – perfect for a weekend get away. There’s some beautiful big river houses available to rent on Airbnb, many which are only accessible by boat and offer private kayaks and tinnies to get around the area. I’ve already got my eye on a few to rent out so look out for an upcoming blog post to tell you all about a weekend retreat in Berowra!