Tag Archives: tourism

Fishing At Berowra Waters

Image Courtesy of The Past Present www.australiaspastpresent.com

Image Courtesy of The Past Present

The image above is an idyllic view of Berowra, a place of fun, leisure and relaxation. In the foreground, a man enjoys a day on the water, casting his line and waiting to see what bites. Fishing has long been a popular pastime at Berowra though, and drew crowds from the city on a regular basis to try their luck. In fact, so popular were Berowra and Cowan Creeks that they were regularly mentioned in fishing reports in newspapers, including papers like the Sydney Morning Herald!

Do you have memories of fishing at Berowra or Cowan Creek – or perhaps a story about the one that got away? We would love to hear your memories!


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In Their Own Words – Off For A Dip

Image courtesy of N. Davis

Image courtesy of N. Davis

Our family photo above shows the tidal baths and people enjoying the water at Berowra Creek now Berowra Waters. In the foreground is our son, Mark aged three making the year of the photo, 1958.

My wife, Merle and I remember the day being very hot, so off we went for a dip!

The tide looks about half, with a few rocks showing. If you look very closely, you will see in the background, the Rex Jones Commemorative Monument. In the flagstone apron sloping down towards the water, there were two small garden plots probably about 18 inches (or 45.75cm) square on either side. If I remember correctly rosemary bushes were planted in these plots.

When we were young teenagers this was a popular spot to sun bake.

Neil Davis

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Day Trippers To The Waters

Image courtesy of the Hornsby Library Collection, courtesy of Hedley & Del Somerville.

Image courtesy of the Hornsby Library Collection, courtesy of Hedley & Del Somerville.

This interesting photograph from the 1920’s features W E (Billy) Wall great/grandson of Mary Wall with visitors at Berowra Waters. In the background is the Kiosk of his mother-in-law, Ada Foster Jones.

The following extract is from  An Entertaining Life -Memories of ‘Mr Don’ by Don Wall son of W E Wall.

‘..During my early childhood I can vividly recall watching my dad convert his tabletop truck from an ordinary vehicle into a bus.He would back the truck into a special stand,release the U bolts and by the use of jacks lift the tabletop off the truck’s chassis and secure it .He would then drive the truck out,minus the tabletop and reverse it into a nearby stand,where the bus top was in position,then lower it onto the truck’s chassis and secure it with U bolts.It was fascinating to watch the transformation. On completion of the exercise he would drive the bus to Berowra and transport weekend holiday-makers,mainly fishermen and people enjoying a day on the river,to and from Berowra Waters. The roads were not sealed and with solid rubber tyres,the bus trip was not as comfortable as we enjoy today.

Everybody was in a holiday mood and after travelling to Berowra by train,boarded the bus,which carried about 30 people.The journey generated a lot of fun.On the Monday, following the weekend’s activities,he would reverse the process and use the truck for his transport business. .’..


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Breaktime At The Riverview

Riverview Berowra Waters Hawkesbury RIver

The photo above is a beautiful snapshot of a day out and about on the ‘river’ in Berowra, stopping for lunch at the famous Riverview Restaurant, equally famous today as the Berowra Waters Inn. Riverview, built in the 1920s, became a favourite place for boats to call in and enjoy a sumptuous seafood lunch. With water access only, it provided a unique experience, and often was a part of a tour of the beautiful Berowra Creek. In the image above you can see not only one of the boats which provided such an experience, but if you look closely, also the people who are enjoying lunch in the beautiful building.

If you recognise any of the people captured in the photograph (including the man perched on the boat), or indeed know which boat this image features, please leave a comment for us!

Berowra Living History wishes to thank The Past Present for permission to use this beautiful image.


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In Their Own Words – Enterprises On The Waters

“Yvonne J “, photo courtesy of the Jones family

“Yvonne J “, photo courtesy of the Jones family

In 1948, the “Yvonne J” was the third cruiser that my late husband, Max Jones built especially to hire to people who wanted to have a holiday on Berowra Waters and the Hawkesbury River. They were the very first of the hire cruisers in NSW.

  Extract from “Outdoors and Fishing”, March 1955, p.60 (price 2/6) Periodical donated to Berowra Living History by Neil Davis

Extract from “Outdoors and Fishing”, March 1955, p.60 (price 2/6)
Periodical donated to Berowra Living History by Neil Davis

During the war in the Pacific (1942-’45) many boats were shipped out from USA in kit form and assembled in boat yards around Sydney Harbour.

When Max was in Asia with Australian Water Transport Small Ships Company he saw many of these very small boats working in shallow rivers and bays as tugs and carriers. The boats were only 26ft long, good design and built of plywood. They were known as “Dories”.

The war ended 15th August, ‘45 and Max was discharged in April,’46. About that time the army was selling off surplus equipment through Army Disposal Stores. When boat kits came up for auction Max got 8 of them. The first two he assembled and fitted out as 4 berth cruisers and sold privately and the others he kept for hiring. Later he brought in larger 36ft, 6 and 8 berth boats. It was a very successful business that we both enjoyed – many of our regular customers becoming lifelong friends.

“Jones Bros Cruisers”, photo courtesy of the Jones family

“Jones Bros Cruisers”, photo courtesy of the Jones family

In the 70s, when we had been in the boat hiring business for nearly 30 years, the first fibre-glass houseboats were being built for hire. That’s when we decided to sell up and get out. By that time we had fifteen 4 to 6 berth hire cruisers each with a dinghy and some spares. We also had half a dozen 18ft half cabin boats for fishermen, complete with icebox for cool beer and fish.

Then there was my favourite – the work boat with its massive Thunderbird motor. It was very fast and powerful for towing.

Yvonne (Von) Jones

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A Postcard Paints A Thousand Words


Recently, I was away for the weekend, pottering through the wonderful antique shops of the Kangaroo Valley when I stumbled across a range of postcards relating to our beautiful area. One of these postcards, shown above, focussed on the popular Windybanks business, showing the houseboats on Cowan Creek which Windybanks was so famous for. Others focussed on areas slightly further afield, such as Ku-ring-gai Chase, areas which visitors to and residents of Berowra alike would no doubt have made good use of.

Postcards provide a fantastic glimpse into the historic past of areas, particularly those which appealed to tourists. We know that many of the businesses in the area even sold postcards during the tourist heyday. If you have any such postcards, please let us know!

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In Good Company At Collaroy



Ces Richards 2

The above photograph is from the collection of Ces Richards of Mt Colah


It features L-R Joyce Church,Reggie Ivanoff, Joyce Thompson and Ken Rowles posing together on a c1946 day out to Collaroy Beach. Behind the foursome on the grassy reserve campers can be seen and note the stump with  B TIDY painted on it just to Ken’s right !


Such day trips were regular outings for the Berowra and District Younger Set during the 1940’s. They were possible due to the generosity of the local iceman, Bill Erskine and his Chevrolet truck. The day trippers, girls first, all boarded the truck using a low ladder.


The younger set included people from Berowra, Cowan, Mt Kur-ringai, Mt Colah, Asquith & Hornsby & was active for about 5 years.

Another photo of the Younger Set on Queenscliff beach can be seen in my earlier blog of November 9,2012 . . . A Day at the Beach


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Pumping Petrol In Berowra


Recently, I was chatting with a friend of mine about the petrol situation in Berowra. As she pointed out to me, four petrol stations could be seen as slightly excessive for a community like ours ‘if it weren’t for the express way – I suppose people come to Berowra on their way north to get petrol’.

The conversation put me in mind of this photo, showing Berowra’s first petrol station, outside Fosters Store on the Old Pacific Highway. There was a certain charm to the little petrol pump – Berowra’s modern petrol stations aren’t quite the same are they!


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A Day On The Waters

Blog image

With the weather hot and people looking for ways to spend their leisure time over this Australia Day weekend, it seemed the perfect time to share this image with our readers.

Berowra has long been a haven for people seeking to enjoy a day by (or indeed on) the water in a beautiful bushland surrounding. Of a weekend, or during the holidays, people still flock to Berowra Waters to enjoy our beautiful ‘river’, and this has been the case for many years.

We have a wonderful collection of historic photos and memorabilia, but we are always looking for more. If you have memories to share or photos of a day out and about in Berowra we would love to see them, and share them with our community. Just leave us a comment!


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Memories Of Berowra Waters Swimming Spot

Image courtesy of The Local Studies Collection, Hornsby Shire Library

Image courtesy of The Local Studies Collection, Hornsby Shire Library

My early childhood was spent at Thornleigh and my later teen years at Normanhurst (1945-late 1960’s). Neither place had suitable swimming spots near to our house so during the Summer my father would come home from work and pack us three children (and mum too) into the car and off we would go to Berowra Waters.

The pool was beside the ferry and although I think that the shoreline may have changed since those days, I remember it being almost triangular in shape with a net across the end, I never looked to see if it was shark proof though. My dad was a hard worker (read work-a-holic) and we seldom went to the beach or on holidays so we considered this to be a treat on a hot day. We must have gone late in the day unless it was occasionally a weekend as I do not remember any other people ever being there with us. I remember rides across on the ferry and very occasionally an ice-cream from the shop. I think there may have been a shop just near the ferry and another up higher above the road on the left.

By the time I was a Mum myself the spot became more of a picnic ground and if the netted pool was still there it must have been surrounded by the business that was conducted on the eastern side of the river.

Robyn Rogencamp

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