things to do in Sydney
The “Merinda II” ferry (run by Palm Beach and Hawkesbury River Cruises) leaves from Palm Beach wharf (inside Pittwater) & does a return trip up the Hawkesbury River, Cowan Waters & Pittwater to Bobbin Head via Patonga. The trip is relaxing & the scenery is spectacular. The full return trip takes around 4½ hours but the time passes quickly. The ferry leaves at 11:00am every day during the summer months, the return trip cost is $40 for adults.
You can go up some steps at the rear of the ferry onto the top deck. The railings have panels fitted to reduce the amount of wind experienced & the roof offers protection from the direct sun. The deck offers a great view during the trip. The seating is basic but fine & comfortable enough around the perimeter of the deck. Inside the main cabin area downstairs is good if you need a rest from the wind. The rear lower level deck can also be protected from the wind.
Once you leave Palm Beach wharf you will see Barrenjoey Headland, Lion Island, West Head & some of the little beaches below West Head lookout. The first stop is small town called Patonga. Some passengers may join or disembark from the ferry here.
The ferry captain gives good commentary during the trip about everything from historical war facts to geological formation of the waterways. The crew seem happy enough. Lucky for them, I don’t think too much stress exists on these waters. The whole trip is calming.
The ferry births for 1 hour when you get to Bobbin Head so you can have a look around & have some lunch. Bobbin Head can get busy during summer weekends with lots of families enjoying the picnic / barbeque areas.
The ferry stopped at Cottage Point on the way back. I guess you just let the captain know if you want to disembark for lunch here on the way to Bobbin Head & get picked up on the way back to Palm Beach?
Overall the experience is memorable & is worth the money. I give this trip 4½ out of five on my scale of things to do in Sydney.