I liked Dangar Island from the moment I stepped out of the ferry.
A few things helped:
The welcoming jacarandas and the palm trees lining the shore, the idyllic setting of the cafe facing the Hawkesbury River and the bridge, the wheelbarrows and bicycles parked at the wharf instead of cars, but mainly the relaxing pace.
This suburb is the only one in Sydney with no cars, and it
must also be the suburb with the friendliest locals. And the only place that
makes you feel like settling there forever.
Welcome to my future hometown…
Visiting Dangar Island? Read our complete guide below.
There are no big tourist attractions or hotels on the island.
So why visit?
As I mentioned, the place is free of vehicles, and it's also the only populated island on the Hawkesbury River. The village is an isolated community by its very nature, so it's peaceful, wonderful, and different.
The 270 or so residents carry their possessions in wheelbarrows instead of cars. The wheelbarrows are parked beside the ferry wharf, ready for use.
School children ride their bikes to the ferry wharf to catch the ferry to go to school.
Walking around the village is surreal...
Cars can't be seen or heard, and you do notice their absence. You can walk freely on the streets and not have to watch for vehicles.
So the best thing to do here is to walk around the island and experience it like a local.
Drink a coffee at Dangar Island Depot. Then walk the 4-kilometre loop around the local streets. Enjoy the beautiful houses surrounded by lush vegetation.
There are toilets near the Bowlo and a shop beside the wharf.
Stay overnight in a holiday accommodation if you can.
Come for a tour…
After alighting from the ferry, head to Dangar Island Depot, a delightful cafe beside the ferry wharf.
The café serves all day breakfast and lunch. Enjoy a fair trade coffee with a ploughman's lunch or an avocado, feta and soft-boiled egg on sourdough bread garnished with dukkah.
It opens daily from 8am to 4pm.
Sit at a peaceful table overlooking the Hawkesbury River and the bridge. It's one of those places that makes you want to stay for hours.
After lazing at the café, have a stroll around the island.
The roads wind around for 4.3 kilometres. You can't get lost because all the roads lead back to the ferry wharf.
Allow 2hrs 15min.
You'll walk past the bowling club and Bradleys Beach, and you'll get great views of the Hawkesbury River from higher up the island. You'll also walk past heritage listed Blackbutt trees.
The Riverview Loop circles Kiparra Park, which contains a playground, community hall and timber Bowling Club.
The Bradleys Beach Loop circles the island's eastern side and leads to Bradleys Beach.
Located at Kiparra Park, the bowling club and the community hall are important places for the locals who come together there.
The quaint Dangar Island Bowling Club opens from Thursday to Saturday for dinner and on Sunday for lunch, and it’s also open on Saturday for lunch during the school holidays.
Have a relaxing dinner with fish and chips, salt and pepper squids, or a gourmet burger.
Be mindful about the last ferry departure to Brooklyn. If you’re only spending the day here, you may only have time for lunch.
Located on the island’s south, Bradleys Beach is a long and narrow stretch of sand fringed with houses and lush vegetation, with boats anchored out at sea.
It’s the place where children play and locals go to cool off.
You can access the beach via Grantham Crescent.
Have a dip in the ocean or chill on the beach for a few minutes.
Staying on Dangar Island for a few nights is a great experience. The island is located close to Sydney, yet it’s isolated and surrounded by nature.
You can search for a holiday rental on a site such as Airbnb. Fabulous Aibnb’s include:
To get to the island, you have to catch a ferry from Brooklyn.
The ferry travels between Brooklyn and Dangar Island several times a day. The
trip takes 15 to 30 minutes, depending on whether the ferry stops at Little
Wobby on the way. It costs $9 for adults and $4.50 for children. They don't accept Opal cards.
Brooklyn Wharf is located beside Hawkesbury River railway station, so it’s easy to get there by train from Sydney on the Sydney-Newcastle railway line. The train trip takes one hour from Sydney Central Station or 25 minutes from Gosford Station.
Remember to also plan your trip back because the last ferry leaving the island is late afternoon.
You can also drive to Brooklyn via the M1. Click here to get the directions to the wharf on Google Map. There’s usually free parking available, but it can fill up quickly in the weekends and school holidays, so travel by train if you can.
You can also take the Hawkesbury Water Taxi if you miss the ferry. Call 0422 300 100.
Side note: When you take the ferry back, notice how busier and noisier Brooklyn seems to have become – it’s because you have adapted to the tranquillity of Dangar Island.