Cedarspan Loft Cottage Becomes Tourism Icon

It’s one of the only places where the mail gets delivered by boat.

Welcome to Brooklyn, a small town, an hour away from Sydney.

Population 722.

It’s also home to a tourist attraction with a history.

Here stands a custom-made Cedarspan™ Loft Cottage known as The Riverboat Postman.

“I had exactly the idea of what I wanted it to look like, and it needed to become this icon of Brooklyn.”


Custom-made Cedarspan™ Loft Cottage, The Riverboat Postman, an icon of Brooklyn


One of its owners, Catherine Pignéguy, says, “it’s now become part of this little square of heritage-looking buildings, even though mine is brand new, but it looks like it’s been there forever.”


The first Riverboat Postman started its mail service in 1910, delivering post and essentials to the water access only settlements upriver from Brooklyn.

In 2012, the ferry postal run went into liquidation, so Catherine, her husband, and brother-in-law who run Hawkesbury Cruises found themselves delivering the mail.

“Australia post rang us and said, okay, now we’re in trouble because you guys are the only other charter boats in the greater Sydney area. Can you do it while we work out what we’re going to do next?”


And so began a long battle to give The Riverboat Postman a home on the Brooklyn Marina.

“All we needed to do was fight the Lands Department to get the shed that belonged to the post run, which was the dilapidated little thing that flooded knee-high at every high tide.”


The old shed, now the site of The Riverboat Postman


“When I went to Cedarspan™, I said, look, this is my problem. I have to submit a tender to The Lands Department with a plan of what I’m going to do, so I need a plan from you guys.”

“They were amazing. They designed the shed. They gave me all the plans for it which needed to be submitted to Lands.”


Meanwhile, Catherine set up shop in the marina carpark.


Catherine’s truck, The Riverboat Postman’s makeshift ticket office

“I ran my office at the back of a Pantech truck, selling tickets for the cruise.”

“I would have anywhere between 50 and 200 people coming, queuing up outside the truck. No power, everything had to be self-sufficient.”

Onboard for the ride as The Riverboat Postman delivers mail along the Hawkesbury


With patience came a big victory.

“I said to Cedarspan™; we’re done. We’re ready to go.”

“My absolute favourite memory is the fact that it took three years almost to the day of fighting with The Lands Department to allow me to do it.”

“After three years, it went up in 2 days.”

“It was phenomenal, absolutely amazing.”


An icon is born, The Cedarspan™ panels going up

Custom Cedarspan™ Loft Cottage, manufactured in a few weeks, assembled in two days


“The locals have embraced it now. They love the fact that it’s there, and they can use it as a directional point as well.”

“I would probably say without a doubt; it’s the most photographed Cedarspan™. It’s in everybody’s tourist pictures of Brooklyn.”


Custom-made Cedarspan™ Loft Cottage with Weathertex cladding


And now, it’s about to feature in an upcoming Destination NSW campaign as the State continues to revitalise tourism.

“We had to shut down for six months last year, so the mail was being run out of a tinnie.”

“All the deliveries coming through Australia Post had to be hauled up onto people’s wharves.”

“We were delivering these big boxes of toilet paper all over the river!”


The Riverboat Postman has become an icon of Brooklyn, NSW


While the path to running the Riverboat Postman was accidental, Catherine says it’s a time of her life she’ll never forget.

“To have left the next generations of this run with this cool little shed is even more special.”

“That’s my stamp on it.”


Dreaming of building your own rural retreat?


Cedarspan™ is the leading manufacturer of quality Cottages, Cabins, and Barns throughout Australia.

Made by Australians for Australians since 1976.

For more on how to get your own cabin, cottage, or barn made to order just for you,  give us a call on 1300 635 966 to get your project underway.

Click here to download prices.

Exploring NSW: Brooklyn

Sydneysiders, the ultimate weekend escape awaits you!

Brooklyn, just a short drive from Sydney, is a cozy waterside town that will make you feel a million miles from the city. 😍

Enjoy a relaxing cruise of the Hawkesbury via @theriverboatpostman, grab a fresh bite to eat at Life Boat Seafoods, and then stay the night in a cozy Airbnb on Dangar Island. 🌲👌😉

Scroll down for our full list of what to do & where to stay in Brooklyn. 


EXPERIENCE: A relaxing river cruise 


The first Riverboat Postman started the run in 1910, delivering mail and essentials to residents of nearby Dangar Island.

The tradition continues today, where you can join the Postman on his run and experience a relaxing river cruise, beautiful scenery and a hearty lunch onboard.

The friendly skippers are locals who have lived in the area their whole lives, and will tell you all the best stories of the river, 95% of which are true. 😂


The cruise departs daily every weekday (Monday to Friday) except Public Holidays from the Brooklyn Public Wharf (see the ferry icon on the map) at 10am, returning at about 1.15pm.


Bookings are essential. 

Call 0400 600 111 or click here to book online. 

The Riverboat Postman : an unforgettable cruise

No complaints about the view! #luckyskipper


The Riverboat Postman's ticket office is a custom-order Cedarspan Loft Cottage!

The Riverboat Postman’s ticket office is a custom-order Cedarspan Loft Cottage. Manufactured in-factory in a few weeks, delivered and assembled in a few days. 


EAT: Unforgettable Anzac Cookies & Super-Fresh Seafood


Let’s not forget the most important part of any weekend escape: FOOD.

Whilst exploring Brooklyn, a must-visit for lunch or dinner is Life Boat Seafoods.

Just a short walk frrom the Riverboat Postman ticket office, this venue offers a wide selection of fresh seafood, in a relaxed, casual atmosphere. 

Whilst exploring the Brooklyn area, a must-visit for lunch or dinner is Life Boat Seafoods.

Whilst exploring the Brooklyn area, a must-visit for lunch or dinner is Life Boat Seafoods.


You didnt think we’d forget to explain the Anzacs, did you?

A highlight of taking the Riverboat Cruise is the unforgettable Anzac cookies served onboard.

 Put best by the skippers themselves: “Our coffee is real, our tea is hot, and our famous ANZAC biscuits are home-made daily to Grandma’s recipe!”

(If youre lucky, you might even walk away with a copy of the recipe!) 😉


STAY: in a cozy cabin on Dangar Island


 A cozy waterfront timber cabin on the beautiful Dangar Island, The Boat House is our pick for where to stay on your Brooklyn getaway!

Set on the beautiful Hawkesbury River, this is not just a ‘river view’. The boathouse is literally on the riverbank. Tastefully decorated with a cosy wood burning fire, your own bathroom. Bring whatever you need to eat and drink and settle in to get away from it all. We have cosy blankets, great books, games, wine glasses and everything you need for a romantic getaway or some family time.”

The Boathouse is boat-only access, and there are no shops or restaurants on the island, so make sure you bring everything you’ll need for the night.

If you’re on The Riverboat Postman,  get off at Milsons Point Wharf, ready for a cozy night in the cabin by the fire or on the beach under the stars!


Where to stay in Brooklyn: The boat house on Dangar Island

Where to stay in Brooklyn: The boat house on Dangar Island


We love exploring rural NSW and all of the treasures this beautiful state has to offer!

Where should we explore next? Tag us on Instagram (@cedarspan) and we’ll add your favourite place to our #explorensw bucketlist! 

xx Team Cedarspan


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