The Riverboat Postman: Hawkesbury River Cruise Review

The Riverboat Postman was one of the most fun day trips I took from Sydney. It was just a little bit after a lot of the COVID restrictions had been lifted in New South Wales. I took two weeks off work and finally started doing the bits and bobs I wanted to explore in my new home that had been off-limits for over a year.

So I recruited my housemate to come along with me on a Hawkesbury River cruise.

riverboat postman

riverboat postman

What is The Riverboat Postman?

There is a stretch of development along the Hawkesbury River just upstream of Brooklyn, New South Wales that isn’t accessible by any roads. These residents love living in the idyllic bush without trading access to the big city…as Sydney is just an hour away. They don’t have cars, but what they do have is boats. The only way in or out is up and down the waterway.

riverboat postman riverboat postman

However, I assume just like the rest of us that these people also probably have online shopping addictions. They need their packages!

That’s where the Riverboat Postman comes in. Since 1910, the fabulous skippers have been delivering mail to these folks and in recent years, have begun bringing the public along to enjoy the scenery as well.

It’s a fun day out of local Aussie history, great food, friendly people, and of course, amazing scenery.

Getting to the Hawkesbury River

It was very easy to get to the starting point for the cruise.

Brooklyn Public Wharf, Dangar Rd
Brooklyn, NSW, Australia 2083

riverboat postman

If you take the train, you can see the boat from the platform. It’s maybe a three-minute stroll from Hawkesbury River train station down Dangar Road to the wharf.

If you drive, there is a small parking lot near the boat. Aim to arrive at least 15-20 minutes before your Hawkesbury river cruise, just in case there are any delays on the way. The residents need their mail, so the boat can’t wait for you.

When you book, you will get an email from the Riverboat Postman advising of the best trains to take from Sydney Central station, as well as north towards the Central Coast.

Highlights of the Riverboat Postman

Hawkesbury River Cruise

Here is one of the friendly crew members delivering the mail! At some of the places, the boat hardly slowed down, so they really had to book it to get the mail dropped off and themselves back on the boat in time. It was really entertaining to see how fast they work. I don’t think I would be cut out for this job.

Some of the houses had their own mailbox and piece of land far away from everyone else. Other homes, like these, were clustered closer together and had a mailbox system you might see at an apartment complex.

The landscape on either side of the river was also gorgeous. The skipper was probably the funniest guy in Sydney, so the time on board flew by with fun facts about the area’s history … including scandals and the personal business of the locals. As a nosy person, I loved this part.

Hawkesbury River Cruise

Hawkesbury River Cruise

But really, the best bit was being on a boat named after me. 

Hawkesbury River Cruise

What to bring along with you

You don’t need to bring any snacks along with you, as you get to eat on the boat. When we borded, the amazing crew of the Emily Melvey gave us a choice of coffee and tea, as well as homemade ANZAC biscuits.

Hawkesbury River Cruise

These cookies were sent by wives and women‘s groups to soldiers from Australia and New Zealand serving in World War I. They were popular because the ingredients do not spoil easily and the cookies wouldn’t spoil during long journeys. It was all very Australian and very delicious.

We also got a great lunch with a sandwich and salad. If you have any special dietary needs, just call ahead of time to let the staff know and they can sort you out.

Hawkesbury River Cruise

Water is free, but there is also soda, beer, and wine available for purchase at the bar onboard.

My housemate and I were probably the youngest guests on the Riverboat Postman by about 50 years, which worked out well for us because all the pensioners were so kind. I think I walked away with some great advice for preparing for retirement, as well as a slice of cake because one of the ladies was celebrating her 80th birthday with some friends on board.

Just don’t forget a hat, some sunnies, and maybe a pair of binoculars if you’re a birder like my housemate. He saw a few species that he was very excited about.

Hawkesbury River Cruise

Overall, this Hawkesbury River Cruise was one of my favorite day trips from Sydney. It was great value for money, easy to get to, and a lot of fun.

It runs every weekday except for public holidays. On Sundays, there is an alternative sightseeing cruise as there isn’t any mail. You can buy your tickets here.

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  1. Kerry S
    January 26, 2023 / 9:47 PM

    This looks so fun! My style of sightseeing, too!

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