One of the major rivers of the coastal region of New South Wales, the Hawkesbury River and its tributaries virtually encircle the metropolitan region of Sydney. Much of the country through which the lower tidal reaches of the river pass is very beautiful. Few would argue that it is the most beautiful reach of river on the Australian continent, if one excepts the much smaller but blazingly spectacular Katherine Gorge in NT and Giekie Gorge in the Kimberley region of WA.
The Hawkesbury's natural beauty has been preserved by a series of national parks and nature reserves which are home to a variety of flora and fauna. Its relatively unpolluted waterways have become a playground for boating enthusiasts and holidaymakers alike, not to mention daytrippers seeking a few hours of peace and tranqility away from the bustle of nearby Sydney.
One of the most delightful holidays Australia can provide is a leisurely few days or weeks spent cruising on the hundreds of kilometres of clear, sheltered water - from the serene upper reaches to the river mouth where Broken Bay's three long, narrow branches await exploration - Pittwater, Cowan Creek and Brisbane Water.
Ferries operate to and from various settlements, boats of all shapes and sizes from power boats to kayaks and houseboats can be hired at these locations and there are many launching places for those preferring to bring their own means of water transport.