Saturday, January 28, 2023





Dangar Island is a forested island, 30.8 hectares (76 acres) in area in the Hawkesbury River, just north of Sydney, New South Wale and is a suburb of Hornsby Shire.

Name origin:

Dangar Island has been known to the local Guringai Aborigines for thousands of years. The first European to visit the area was Governor Arthur Phillip, who explored the lower river by small boat in March 1788 within weeks of the First Fleet's arrival. He named it Mullet Island, for the abundance of fish in the local Hawksbury River. At first the local people were friendly towards him, but when he returned a year later, they would not come into contact. By 1790, over half the Guringai people had succumbed to the smallpox the British had brought with them.

The island was purchased in 1864 and renamed by Henry Cary Dangar, the son of Henry Dangar, a surveyor, pastoralist and parliamentarian.


Henry Dangar leased the island to the Union Bridge Company of Chicago for the construction of the original Hawkesbury River Rail Bridge between 1886 and 1889. About 300 workers and their families lived there and the island boasted a large social hall, school, library and its own newspaper.

In the 1920s the island, which is barely a five-minute walk across, was divided into residential plots, though space was reserved on the beach, the flat and the top of the hill for recreational use.

In the 2021 Census, there were 313 people in Dangar Island, which swells dramatically during holiday seasons.

Some features. attractions and comments:

Dangar Island is the only residential island on the Hawkesbury River. The village is an isolated community by its very nature.

This suburb is the only one in Sydney with no cars. Private cars are not allowed, hence children can play safely on the roads, the air is fresh and the surroundings are serene.

The locals are friendly.

There is an idyllic setting of the cafe facing the Hawkesbury River, with welcoming jacarandas and palm trees lining the shore.

Residents carry their possessions in wheelbarrows instead of vehicles. The wheelbarrows lie beside the ferry wharf, ready for use. School children ride their bikes to the wharf to catch the ferry to go to school. There are wheelbarrows and bicycles parked at the wharf instead of cars.

The Riverboat Postman delivers the mail here, the last in Australia, and to the other isolated communities on the Hawkesbury River as well.


Henry Cary Dangar

Peats Ferry wharf and steamers, decorated for the opening of the Hawkesbury Railway Bridge 1 May 1889

Floating span into position c1888
(Souvenir of the opening of the Hawkesbury Bridge, May 1st, 1899 )

Residence of E.K. Morse, Dangar Island, Hawkesbury River, N.S.W. Australia 1887-1889

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