Port Hacking Anchorages
Reviewed Aug 2016
If you're looking for spots to head to, here is a brief list. Boat Harbour is located on the northern side of Bate Bay which is at the east end of Cronulla Beach. Boat Harbour is protected from winds from NW through to NE but is exposed to southerlies. It has a sandy bottom and averages 3m in depth. Merries Reef protects boats from a NE to SE swell. It is not, however, recommended as an overnight anchorage. Boat Harbour is the site of many fishermen's shacks that were built early last century and passed down the generations. The Cape Bailey walking track can be accessed from Boat Harbour and takes you along the Kurnell peninsula to Captain Cook's Landing Place and Botany Bay National Park.
Lying an hour's sail to the south, Wattamolla could easily be mistaken for a south sea paradise. Then again, that's precisely what it is; or at least a glimpse of what the area looked like pre-European colonisation. After negotiating the three reefs, Wattamolla (also known as Providential Cove) opens up into a beautiful lagoon complete with waterfall. The Aboriginal meaning of Wattamolla is 'a place near running water'. Bass and Flinders were pushed into the inlet by a violent storm and soon found themselves sheltered in the lagoon, no doubt very happy about their lucky find and the providence that brought them there.
On the south side and near the mouth of Port Hacking lies Jibbon Beach, a popular day and overnight anchorage adjacent to the township of Bundeena. Jibbon Beach is great for snorkelling and the beach is popular.
There's plenty of water under the keel at Audley itself, however, caution is required when making your way there up the Hacking River. Be careful to stay within the green and red channel markers as there are sandbanks and jagged oyster-encrusted rocks. Particularly between Grays Point and Swallow Rock which can get quite shallow. But there are plenty of points of interest on the way up, especially at high tide when dropping the dinghy in at Muddy Creek makes for a great excursion up its winding route into the heart of the Royal National Park. Great for bird watching and exploring. The anchorage is snug but accommodates several boats easily. Drop the anchor just before the weir at Pool Flats and back towards a concrete block with fastening points then run a line to shore with the dinghy.
Audley is the oldest area in the Royal National Park developed for recreational purposes and has been popular for Sydneysiders for over a century. The dance hall, pavilion, boat shed and ornamental trees offer a step back in time. For snacks, the Dance hall and pavilion have been recently upgraded and provide an excellent cafe with first class seating in a well equipped information area operated by the National Parks. Or you can sit on well manicured lawns or use the covered tables provided to watch the rental row boats bob past.
Lady Carrington drive, an early carriageway, also begins at Audley. Closed to motor vehicles, it makes for a nice walk or cycle along the river if you've taken the foldaway bike. So, as you can see there's many ways to enjoy the beautiful surrounds that make up Port Hacking. There are two main clubs in the area: the Royal Motor Yacht Club (RMYC) and Cronulla Sailing Club.
There's also northwest and southwest Arm. They are great anchorages with high sides sheltering them from the wind.