Picnic at Swallow Rock

Tea at Swallow Rock

Saturdays for many people are usually pretty busy. Clearing up the debris left over from the working week, taking kids to swimming lessons, school sports or doing the weekly shop. Getting all the boring things out of the way so we can have fun. What often happens is that we get to 3.30pm and decide that “there’s nothing left of the day”. This weekend we decided to not let this be the case and,  mindful of the few remaining weeks of daylight saving, we hitched up the tinny and headed to Port Hacking.

The forecast rain did not eventuate and the ususally busy boatramp at Swallow Rock had a certain “tail end of the season” feel about it. As usual, pushing the boat off the sand and putting down the river past Northwest Arm had its usual calming affect, the business of the week floating away within minutes. I couldn’t do a track on Navionics to share with you as Tessa had wrapped the phone charger round the wheels of the office chair and taken it for spin earlier in the week. So with the Iphone well and truly switched off I surrendered to being completely offline (as one really should) with  the exception of snapping a few photos on the camera.

After ten or 15 minutes of wriggling toddler I’m usually keeping an eye out for a nice patch of sand to land on and pour the tea. But today Chris convinced me of the merits of just finding a shallow spot, switching off the outboard and just floating. What could be more relaxing than listening to the sound of the water lapping on the hull and the cockatoos going through their raucous nesting routine as the sun gradually sinks lower in the sky?

Floating Tea Shoppe

 No time for baking this week so we settled for a premature hot cross bun from Brasserie Bread with our thermos tea. Heaven.  As Henry James said in The Portrait of a Lady; ” There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea”. I think he’s quite right, perhaps with the exception of messing about in boats.

Leg Stretching

Labrador Heaven

Rhubarb in a Reflective Mood

The area where we stopped was just off the corner of South West Arm on Port Hacking,  in some shallow water where the river bed was covered in sea grass (note to self to bring snorkels next time). After a rather quick trip up South West Arm and a brief stop on a sandflat for Rhubarb’s benefit, we headed back to Swallow Rock for barbequed snags and what was left in the thermos. No dinner plates to wash when we got back, all that remained was to tip the sleeping toddler into bed, still a little salty,  but oblivious.

Picnic At Swallow Rock

This little excursion has been one of the best so far and was a good reminder not to call it quits on a Saturday afternoon when actually the tail end of the day is the outdoors at its best.

Twighlight Kyack

Swallow Rock is near Gray’s Point, about a 45 minute drive from Sydney CBD. There are public barbeques, a boat ramp, toilet blocks and open air showers. Its a great spot for a late afternoon picnic even if you don’t have a tinny. There’s a sandy beach perfect for children to swim in, and dogs are allowed on leads.

Here’s the google map link:

Swallow Rock

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4 Responses

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  1. Love the pictures Charley. Looks like a great spot…. so relaxing… a place to forget life’s stresses.

    1. Absolutely, on the southern edge of Sydney but you could be a million miles from anywhere!

  2. Afternoon tea is a consternation to me at the moment; rarely does anyone make a ‘cuppa’ quite how I like it! For some reason the quality of the water (yes this varies across UK), the colour, the amount of milk, the temperature and even the teacup fail to meet my expectations and I wish I’d made it myself. I’ve always felt like this about tea but the sense of outrage at a bad brewing effort seems to have increased since I had a baby? Perhaps I need to take tea at picnic spots as beautiful as some of the ones you’re trawling up Charley and stop being quite so particular.

    1. Well, I don’t think there is anything worng with being particular about the way you like your tea, I am much the same. However I find myself less pedantic when drinking from the thermos as tea and indeed all food and drinks just seem to taste better outdoors, and especially at sea when you are cold and wet. I’m looking forward to brewing up some tea in the billy this weekend over the campfire!

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