Feel like heading out of town for a drive, or just want to escape for a bit. The Berowra Waters Ferry Drive takes you through some long forgotten roads in northern Sydney. Heading up the M1 brings you to Mooney Mooney, and the Brooklyn turnoff.
Most people continue their way up the M1, but if it is an enjoyable afternoon’s drive you’re after, get off the main drag.
Take the off ramp. Go right at the roundabout and back on to the Old Pacific Highway towards Cowan.
The rusting old bridge looks like something from a movie set. There is a beautiful, if short, set of curves to Pie in the Sky at Cowan.
The pies are icons of old Sydney, and is a decades-old symbol of what it means to get out of town just for the sake of the drive. The staff are young, and hip, and very helpful.
The view is stunning back over the river from high above the M1.
This is a favourite spot for Motor cycle and sports car enthusiasts. The small car park is often full of classic cars from all over the world. Sometimes, there are hundreds of bikes too.
On a weekend, you’ll be lucky to find a table. Have your photo taken under the tree of wisdom.
After stuffing yourself full of home-made pies, and the best coffee in town, head back towards Sydney.
Take a turn right at the Berowra Waters sign a few kilometres down the road.
There are long slow bend, and sudden dramatic twists, with straight-aways tempting fate, don’t put your foot down. Cunning cockroaches lurk, secreted behind bushes with their evil LIDAR guns.
An easy spin through outer suburbia, draws you ever closer to the gorge.
The 40kph limit is not advisory. If you drop off the sandstone shelf, your clothes will be out of fashion before you reach the bottom.
There are very few vehicular ferries left in NSW, and one awaits you at the river.
You can’t rush the experience, so take your time.
There are a few secluded spots to eat and drinks in and around the marina. You can stop for coffee at A Chef Secrets before you cross the ferry.
The ferry is free of charge, but is occasionally closed for routine maintenance checks.
The marina has a paved carpark just across the water. It is a great place to sit quietly at the edge. If you’re still peckish, the Fish café serves excellent fish and chips while your feet are cooling in the water..
Sandstone canyons close in. The twisting road is narrow and leads back up to the plateau via a set of scenic hairpins.
Instead of heading straight back to Sydney, why not challenge yourself with a quick spin through Galston Gorge.
Just follow the signs to Galston and turn left at the roundabout. Depending on carrier, your phone may be out of range for a short while, but it’s worth it.
Be careful at the quaint, but narrow bridge.
The thick forest canopy is thick in places. It makes the sun dance on the windscreen like a scene from a 60’s movie. You can almost hear that cocktail music lilting in the background.
If you’re lucky enough to be in a V8, you’ll be rewarded with a loud reverberation coming back at you. You wind your way slowly up another set of dramatic hairpins, and ascend once again to the plateau.
My advice is to you, is to take a left and head back toward Cowan, then right on to the M1 once you reach the top of the Gorge.
There is only few K’s of the M1 to be had before getting back to the Pacific Hwy, but it is a rewarding 110kph section. Well worth it if your baby likes high speed runs.
Berowra Waters Ferry.
Round trip time: approx. 3 hours from Sydney CBD
Road Surface: Varies. Tarmac poorly maintained in sections
Skill Level: intermediate