52 Journeys, Australia: No 2, Broken Bay, Part 3
It’s day one of Sydney’s second Covid lockdown where we’ve been ordered to ‘stay home’ for at least two weeks. I realise this is nothing compared to Victoria and the rest of the world but I’ve just had three weeks of my own mini lockdown due to a fractured ankle – I was looking forward to a long drive somewhere over the next few weeks of school holidays at least (luckily I broke my left ankle, so I can still drive). Anyway, what better time I thought when I woke up this morning, to do some virtual travel, to the last place in my Broken Bay journey – Dangar Island.
Dangar is a relatively small island (30 hectares) on Deerubbin, the Hawkesbury River, in Darkinjung country. Before white settlement/invasion, Indigenous Australians lived here, enjoying the plentiful fishing no doubt; when Captain Arthur Phillip landed on the island in 1788, he named it Mullet Island because of this. I read there were Aboriginal engravings and rock shelters and was keen to check them out.
Aside from that, the idea of escaping to somewhere surrounded by water and wilderness was so appealing last year after lockdown. When I spied a vacancy for a long weekend in November at the Dangar Island House, a beautiful home that at the time was owned by design gurus Karen McCartney and David Harrison (it’s since been sold), I nabbed it and rustled up a couple of friends to come with.
We arrived late afternoon on a Friday and made a beeline straight for the water; we thought it was hot then, little did we know…
cooling off at Bradley’s Beach
Dangar’s one and only shop – with water views
The Dangar Island House is well hidden amongst the trees – standing on the road looking down you can’t really make it out. Once you’re in the house, your view of the surrounds is equally obscured by the trees. I loved that feeling of being surrounded by green.
The interior of the home is just as lovely as its location, light-filled and populated with classic design pieces such as a Noguchi lamp and a handful of iconic, highly covetable chairs.
Over the weekend the temperature hit 42 degrees. We all took to our beds, just lying there, trying to read, waiting for the southerly to hit.
Before it got really hot, we explored some of the island as well as nearby Little Wobby. Walking around the three kilometre perimeter of the island, it’s hard to believe you’re only an hour or so away from the big smoke; it’s serene, quiet and very tree-e.
Once you’ve made your way down to the water’s edge, it’s all about the life aquatic.
previously known as Mullet Island, due to all the fish
We had dinner at the local bowlo on the hottest night – I can still remember the feeling of relief walking into the air-conditioned restaurant.
A quick dip after dinner and then it was back to the house for one last night before jumping on a ferry the next morning.
I had wanted to do more exploring and photography during our stay but honestly, it was so damn hot for so much of the time, I just couldn’t. I was also a bit frustrated because I really wanted to spend time on the actual river in a little boat, looking back at the island in some lovely early morning or late afternoon light. But I feel grateful to have seen what I did, at the same time as experiencing such a beautiful home.
So that’s it for journey No 2 to Broken Bay. Given that Coco is in year 12 doing her HSC this year (and yes, that little thing called Covid too) I probably won’t be journeying anywhere else in this incredible country this year. But look out 2022, I plan to be gallivanting all over the place!
Gorgeous photos. Gee it was hot! X
Sure was! I remember the mattress seemed to radiate heat even. But the bliss of the southerly when it finally arrived almost made it worthwhile xx
Thank you for giving us something lovely in these dreary lockdown times.
So glad it had that effect, Kate. That was my intention! We all need a little brightening up at the moment.
Danger Island has been on my bucket list for years. Must do!!
Lou as usual you have captured the light brilliantly and I love each one of them. Tall trees, the wharf, all of them!
Would be good to go there in the winter. That fire looks divine and I admire their style. Hope your ankle is better and lockdown goes quickly. ❤️
Thanks Di! You’re right about the fireplace – what I’d give to curl up in front of that now, fractured ankle and all (and thanks for the kind words, it’s healing well I think).
Looks beautiful, a perfect place to unwind…
It really is. Despite the oppressive heat, we all felt like we’d had more than just a few days away. Looking out at the cold and rainy day now makes me even more appreciative of our time there.
My dream of perfection…looking through trees to the water, from a house just like that.
Living vicariously. Xx
I know, location and house are both so beautiful aren’t they Gaylee?! I did feel some envy has to be said xx
What a great promo for Dangar Island Louise! It all looks superb, but thankfully my viewing took place in temperatures far less than 42C!
42C was tough going, Bron! Would be lovely now, with a fire on… xx
It’s such an awesome surprise to find a new email from you. So wanted to be in those photos
Oh, that’s so lovely of you to say, Lisa – I always wonder if people resent getting yet another email. Good to hear you were happy to see one from me!
That was such an interesting article on Dangar Island, Great to read this morning while being in ‘home detention’!! It’s your information and photographs that truly bring such places to life, so thank you .
Thanks Jenny, very glad to be of service in these trying times. And it’s reassuring to know you appreciate the information – I’m never quite sure how little or how much to include but I feel a few notes helps the viewer understand the bigger picture.
Allowing the shadows to be almost black gives an extra dimension to those photographs. Sorry to hear of the fracture, hope it heals well. As for the HSC: most of us survive, but the language of our charming child at the time nearly incinerated the house. Stay Well.
Ha! I can just picture the look of horror on your faces when the language became ‘robust’. Here’s hoping. And yes, I agree re the blacks in some of these images. Thanks Frederick.
Always good to receive an email from you, especially as I’m in quarantine in Townsville a million miles away from my old haunts near Dangar. Beautiful shots Louise, as ever!
Oh Gill, I hope that you’re free soon enough. Glad I could provide a virtual escape!