Summer has well and truly landed Down Under. As the temperature reaches 30°C, many flock to Australia’s favourite outdoor spots – from the beach to the river – to socialise, sunbath and have a cool splash after the heat gets too much.
Recently, I was invited to a close friend’s birthday party on a boat on the Hawkesbury River located to the west and north of Sydney.
After 1.5 hours drive from the city, we arrived at the public wharf on Wiseman Ferry Road, Spencer, NSW. John was already waiting in a dinghy to take us to the boat that he and his girlfriend hired for the weekend. He made two trips to get all of us and the day’s supplies (sausages, salads, fruits and drinks) on board the ‘Aquarius’.
It was a beautiful morning. The skies were blue and the sun was hiding, although only briefly, behind patches of soft, white clouds. No sign of the rain that fell in the area earlier that morning. We could not have asked for a better weather.
The landscape around us was spectacular. We were surrounded by national parks and nature reserves.
As we made our way to Refuge Bay located to the south and east of Spencer, we passed under the Peats Ferry Bridge, and watched seaplane landed gracefully on the river.
With 2 hours to kill before we arrived at the bay, we got busy. Four of us took part in the ‘duck float blowing’ challenge. We randomly picked different sections of a giant duck float, and I happened to pick the biggest part of all – its body.
At Refuge Bay, we chose a shady-ish mooring spot. Peter bravely volunteered to be the moor-er.
Once the Aquarius was safely moored, we prepared lunch. In a true Aussie tradition, sausages were on the menu. John, Ben and Peter took turn on the bbq.
I prepared a jug of lime and mint mojito and a bowl of berries topped with whipped cream.
After lunch, it was time to cool down. We jumped into the water with the duck float. The water was super cool and, to my surprise, salty.
At about 3 pm, we headed back to Spencer. We were a little burnt from the sun, but that did not take away our smiles. We had a great time partying and enjoying each other’s company on the Hawkesbury River. What a cracking day it was!
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