The Port Hacking morning air had a decided chill about it when we launched the tinny this morning, heralding the welcome approach of autumn. With the cooler weather we can look forward to less hustle and bustle on the boat ramps, easier parking and less traffic on the waterways, with only the dedicated boaters out for a fish or a morning cuppa on the river. After a busy Easter weekend at home and a visit to the Easter Show, a trip in the tinny, albeit a short one, was well over due.
We made the short motor up the river from Swallow Rock to Audley to meet some friends for morning tea. The trip would arguably have been easier by driving an extra ten minutes by car, but why drive when you can arrive in style by boat?
The trip is a very pretty one, perfect for a short jaunt, which we did several times back in the summer months. During one of these trips we stopped for lunch just short of Audley on a boat ramp beside a little beach. Have you ever wondered where the Easter Bunny spends the summer months? Before we saw it, Rhubarb alerted us to the presence of a small furry rodent which looked suspiciously like an escaped domesticated tortoisehell rabbit. He didn’t seem at all bothered by our arrival, scoffed the sandwich crusts we offered him and carried on sunning himself on a pile of leaves just next to the edge of the sand. We snapped some photos just to prove we hadn’t been imagining it and left the picnic spot wondering how he came to inhabit the private little beach.
Meanwhile, back to today’s expedition. When we arrived at the picnic ground, just a little way along from the previously mentioned picnic spot, we decided to try our luck at foraging for some Easter eggs. Just as I thought, the Easter Bunny himself had already visited and deposited clusters of foil wrapped chocolate eggs in mossy hollows and rotting logs.
Clearly the upper reaches of the Port Hacking is the preferred location of the Easter Bunny during the summer months, before meeting his obligations as Autumn approaches the Southern Hemisphere, and then hopping off to warmer climes (Whitsundays perhaps?) to spend the winter.
Audley is located in the Sutherland Shire of NSW, a 50 minute drive from Sydney CBD. Boats can be launched from Swallow Rock Boat Ramp at Grays Point. There is no Marina at Audley and smaller boats can anchor or land on the small beaches at low tide.
The Audley Weir picnic spot is ideal for a family picnic. There are gas/electric BBQ facilities, flush toilets, picnic tables, drinking water, a public phone, and a kiosk selling coffee, tea, cold drinks, light meals, burgers etc. There is also a lovely National Parks Gift Shop and Visitors Information Centre that provides a wealth of information and resources on exploring the Royal National Park. The centre is open every day from 8.30 until 4.30 except for Christmas day.
Audley Visitor Centre
Tel: 02 9542 0648
There is a also a hire company at the weir where paddle boats, kyacks, canoes and bicycles can be hired for the day
Audley Boat Shed
Tel: 02 9544 1400