A cruise down the Nepean River and a visit to the Mother Earth Nursery…

On a sunny autumn day, Paul and I joined a group of gardeners from the Bowral Garden Club on a coach trip to the Nepean River. This tour included a cruise down the Nepean river on The Nepean Belle, an old world style paddle wheeler designed on the Mississippi sternwheelers.

The tour included a picnic lunch and a visit to the Mother Earth Nursery, known to be a gardener’s delight!

Our Nepean Belle on the right hand side

We had an early start boarding the bus and drove to the Nepean River, with a few eye-catching moments on the way. As we turned towards Penrith, we passed the construction and building of the new airport in Western Sydney.

The new airport being constructed in west Sydney..

It was an amazing sight, (even from the road rather than the air) with enormous cranes that could match windmills, and along the highway we could see suburb upon suburb of new houses. All the houses seemed very close together, hardly a bit of space for gardens, and not a tree in sight anywhere!

Many years ago, as a very young teacher, I taught at a school around this area, but with no airports, and no suburbs. In fact, my walk from the train to the school was surrounded by paddocks! Now the city has come to the country!

None the less, this is a beautiful part of the world on the edge of the Blue Mountains National Park.

The Nepean Belle slowy moving through the water to pick up our group..

Once we boarded the boat, and chatted to fellow passengers, we were served with tasty scones, strawberry jam and cream. As you can imagine, after our early start, the scones and tea/coffee were very welcome!

The Nepean River (and the Hawkesbury River) supplies water to the city of Sydney’s five million people, as well as providing agricultural production. As such, it is a lifeline for Sydney.

As the Nepean river is at the base of the Blue Mountains National Park, it provides a haven for natural flora and native wild life, and has walking trails and canoeing and kayaking.

Some of the wildlife seen in this area are, wombats, wallabies, lizards, eagles, cormorants and even mountain goats. We did see one White Breasted Sea Eagle, but no other sign of any other wildlife.

The White Breasted Sea Eagle perched on a branch. Flood damage is very obvious in this photo..

The Nepean and Hawksbury rivers have flooded many times, however, the flood in July 2022 was the worst since 1978.

On the cruise it was easy to see the damage done by these floods, with broken trees and huge boulders rolled across cliffs and sand..

Fortunately some trees show amazing resilience, growing in between rocks, with very little soil.

This photos show the long winding Nepean River and the edge of the Blue Mountains National Park

To end the day, here we are at Mother Earth Nursery, with an enormous amount of plants to buy or just look at and enjoy..

Mystic Spires and Santa Barbara (Mexican Sage)

…and here we are back home, with our two new plants and a wish list for Paul for two new Dahlias

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog today, and best wishes to all who are gardening in spring and those who are enjoying autumn (some of the time)

Copyright Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved.

18 Replies to “A cruise down the Nepean River and a visit to the Mother Earth Nursery…”

  1. What a truly fun trip you had here. I’ve been on a river cruise like that many years ago, but we didn’t stop at a nursery. Win – Win. I like your choice of plants, and I can imagine dahlia shopping going on at your house. I have to get mine out and see how they’ve weathered the winter.

    1. Yes, the nursery part of it was a really good added extra! I forgot to mention that the bottom part of the bus was loaded up with plants…. bought by almost everyone! Good luck with your dahlias.

  2. Looks like a fabulous day out., Gerrie. The scenery is lovely and it must have been so relaxing being onboard. The white-breasted sea eagle is so handsome. I’m sure you were both spoilt for choice at the nursery, but I love your choice of plants to take home with you.

    1. Thanks Sylvia, and yes, it was a very relaxing trip, both along the river, and also the coach trip, because usually we drive ourselves…much more relaxing on a coach. I hope you are enjoying lovely warm weather in Florida, it is absolutely freezing here today!

  3. A first rate day out (apart from the sight of another airport being built, which doesn’t bode well for the chances of reducing carbon emissions)

  4. I love that you were able to take a cruise to a nursery! It was fun to see the map of Australia too; I’ve been to Adelaide and Perth, so I was able to get a better sense of where you are – brings back wonderful memories!

    1. I’m pleased you’ve had a trip down memory lane seeing the map of Australia, and I’m glad you have happy memories of both cities, we have enjoyed trips to Adelaide recently.

  5. This must have been such a lovely day, Gerrie! The last time we were on a paddleboat was on Lake Lucerne in Switzerland in 2017 so I know what fun they are. Plant nurseries are irresistable; I always come away with something no matter how stern I try to be with myself.

    1. What a wonderful way to enjoy Lake Lucerne, a paddleboat would have been just the right speed and comfort to enjoy the scenery! I must say, I envy you that trip, we missed out on Switzerland once Covid arrived.

  6. What a wonderful river and sweet paddle boat. I loved the sea eagle, struth what an array of wildlife the river supports. Such a shame seeing the flood damage. Those are lovely dahlias.xxx

    1. Thanks Dina, going on the paddle boat made it easier to see the beautiful river. Hope all goes well with you and your family.

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