Families enjoying picnics, couples rowing down the river reading poetry and friends talking politics while drinking tea in a delightful boathouse kiosk. If it wasn’t for the fact that the BBQs are electric and the poetry read on smartphones you would think you were on the set of a 19th-century period drama.
In fact, the Boathouse was first opened in 1863 and hasn’t moved from its current position in Kew, making it the oldest operating boathouse in Australia.
Today you can enjoy seafood or steak at the restaurant, brunch at the café or sandwiches from the kiosk. However, we recommend that you do none of those things and opt for a homemade picnic instead. The ground can be a little rough so bring a blanket and take your place on the banks, enjoying the natural bushland and listening to the nearby bird life. You can always slip back to the kiosk for a coffee or cold drink if needed.
Once lunch is over, it’s time for a paddle. Again, we recommend ignoring the canoe and kayaks and instead opting for an old-fashioned row-boat. Not only does it perfectly match the romance of this place but it will likely result in a few laughs should you be a first-timer. It turns out rowing and not going in circles is much harder than it looks!
I should add that this is not the place you go for a serious adventure or to learn a new craft. This is about enjoying a half to one hour leisurely cruise. It’s about relaxing while floating amongst the water birds and native flora. It’s a chance to escape and enjoy a pleasant few hours despite being only 10-minutes from the city.
Opening Hours: 9am-5pm (boat hire)
Address: 1 Boathouse Road, Kew