Category Archives: holiday

At Play In The Berowra District

Bobbin Head.png

This week, with the holidays well underway, Berowra Living History thought it was a perfect time to share this wonderful image of Bobbin Head. In years gone by, many holiday makers made their way to Berowra and spent a few days, perhaps even a week, enjoying the beautiful surrounds. Many visitors would have spent a day enjoying Bobbin Head. As can be seen in the image above, once there was an extensive children’s playground, adjacent to the picnic tables and perfect for entertaining the children while parents sat back and relaxed.

Do you remember this wonderful playground?

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Memories Of A Long Hot Summer

Sydney 196402 05 (2)

This wonderfully evocative image has captured the majestic beauty of Berowra Waters. The weather is clear and the passengers look relaxed and enraptured by the view of the river from that vantage point. The picture was taken in 1964 by an unknown photographer, and what also dates this period are the cars stationary on the punt – one looks like a fairly new FC Holden Ute and the other could be a Chrysler.

This is one of the many old punts that has ferried passengers back and forth over many decades. On an average the punts have been replaced about every ten years, but someone may be able to enlighten us on this matter.  The punt is heading west towards the Dusthole Bay side of the Water. It’s getting ready to dock as we can see in this image the landing gear is down, so the vehicles and passengers can safely disembark and continue their journey up towards Arcadia or perhaps they could have been planning a swim and a picnic on that side of Berowra Waters, which was far less commercialised in that period.

From local accounts, as the ferry left from one side, kids in the vicinity would grab hold of the back and hang off until the time was right to get on top of the passenger cubicle and make the big dive off into the Waters. Sweet memories of a long hot summer on Berowra Waters.

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All Shapes And Sizes

Vehicles at the waterside _02

Today’s image from circa the 1930s is a professional photo stamped on the back: F.DEGOTARDI WILLOUGHBY.

What an interesting gathering of yesteryear’s vehicles of all shapes and sizes! In this “car park/queue” by Berowra Waters you will notice hard top and soft top vehicles, two seaters, five seaters, buses with and without luggage racks, a small truck and perhaps a partially obscured motorbike with a sidecar. Can you identify some of the models of vehicles?

Men and boys have gathered near the circular omnibus stand sign while three able bodied people, desisting from claiming a place in the cabin, are seated in the back of the small truck. Is that possibly another cluster of people close to the water towards the Rex Jones REFRESHMENTS advertising sign?

Our thanks to John O’Neil who donated this photo, in a set of eleven, from the collection of the late Pam Gartung.


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Merry Christmas!

Xmas card

This beautifully hand crafted Christmas card sent out by Jack Foster (the original Fosters proprietor) sends out not 100, but a 1000 good wishes, symbolic to the wonderful spirit of the Festive Season. Although the Fosters Store was purchased by Jack Foster in 1914 the card ornately decorated using a range of Art Deco symbols and patterns indicates it’s circa  the 1930s. It is also very fitting that the image shows the majestic and natural setting of Berowra Creek to convey this message of good will.

The team at Berowra Living History wish all our community a happy, and safe Christmas!


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Memories Of Ecumenical Christmas Eve Services


This week, with Christmas approaching, and the holiday season getting underway, it seemed the perfect time to share, and perhaps seek out, a special Christmas memory. When I was little, growing up in Berowra 20 to 30 years ago, I remember going every year to a Christmas Eve service. It was an ecumenical service, which, to the best of my memory, all of the local Churches participated in. I think perhaps the Baptist Church were ‘in charge’ so to speak, but the whole community was involved. In fact, I seem to remember that in hot weather, or rain, the service was held at the Community Centre, in the big auditorium. Of course, in Australia, that meant most years!

There were carols, and the Christmas story, and plenty of community spirit. I also seem to remember that at the end of the night, the children were reminded to go home and straight to bed – Santa would be coming. I for one tended to do just that! I’m sure this was a gift in itself to Berowra’s parents, who were no doubt by this time thinking of all the last minute preparations they needed to make, preferably without children underfoot.

Does anybody else remember these services, and are there any photos out there which we could share with the community?


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A probable location for ‘The Serenity of the River’

On the August 14th blog ‘The Serenity of the River’ I asked if anyone knew the location on Cowan Creek where the C1900 black & white photo was taken.

Neil Davis responded ‘ . . . just a guess,maybe the southern headland to the entrance of Waratah Bay, looking north . . .’

Looking at Waratah Bay on a NPWS map of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park & Berowra Valley Regional Park (see map below) Neil’s suggestion is very likely.

2015-08-21 16.07.34 Waratah Map aug 2015

This suggestion is further supported when you view the 2005 photo(below) taken by keen photographer Ros Mort at approximately the same location as the early photo.

DSC06330 Ros M photo at Waratah Bay 2005

Thanks Neil and Ros


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Out And About On Holidays In The Berowra Area

Image courtesy of The Past Present

Image courtesy of The Past Present

This week, with the holidays rapidly approaching, it seemed the perfect time to again investigate the popularity of Berowra and the area as a holiday destination of yesteryear. Berowra and the region was a popular destination for holiday makers, whether for a day or for an extended break. With fabulous scenery, clean air and plenty of guesthouses, Berowra was a booming holiday town. People visiting Berowra didn’t just stay in the immediate area though, another attraction was the nearby Bobbin Head. In the 1930s not only was there excellent fishing, swimming and the famous Halvorsen Cruisers to hire, there was a restaurant and dance hall available, all a short drive from Berowra.

Do you have any memories of holidaying in Berowra, or perhaps of Bobbin Head? We would love to hear from you, so leave us a comment!

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