Information about the beautiful Pittwater

Salt Pan Cove

General Info

This pretty cove was the site of an iron tank used to condense salt from the water. The salt would have been used for preserving (salting) meat and fish and curing hides. Not so long ago there was a netted swimming area adjacent to the jetty, but now only the posts remain. Sadly this area appears regularly on the pollution lists published by the EPA, probably due to the two storm water drains that empty into it.

Florence Park looks out on the cove - best to visit at high tide when the mud flats are covered.

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Thirty acres of the land around around Salt Pan and to the top of the escarpment was a grant to James MacDonald. John Farrell was granted 60 acres to the west of the Village Reserve. John Farrell was an Irish convict transported in 1813 after having been found guilty of possessing an illegal bank note. Farrell prospered in the colony and owned land in Macquarie Street and a farm at Pittwater. It was Farrell's servant Tumey who alerted the authorities to the smuggling episode involving the Fair Barbarian. Farrell died in 1851 and his Pittwater lands were inherited by his son, also John Farrell. Pittwater was a wild territory last century and the settlers were not always good neighbours. Farrell was involved in a case of disappearing cattle. Ten cows owned by James Therry, a nephew of the pioneer priest went missing and the remains of one was discovered on Farrell's property. Farrell was committed for trial and more of Therry's cattle vanished while Farrell was on bail. An employee of Farrell informed to the police and Farrell was subsequently convicted and sentenced to seven years hard labour in 1864. Farrell apparently never served the sentence for in 1869 he was resident at Manly Lagoon and the licensee of the new North Steyne Hotel in 1871. His Pittwater farms passed to his son, Johnny Farrell. From convict origins the Farrell family became respected citizens. In 1925 he purchased a further 45 acres for £3000. They had a butchery on Manly's Corso and were proprietors of Manly's Colonnade Hotel, offering 'FirstClass Accommodation'. Johnny Farrell died in 1933.

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Total Moorings: 268 Average wait: 3-6 months

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Dingy Storage

AKA Regatta Reserve. Northern Beaches Council Dingy Storage Facility. Room for 130 small dinghies. A few are currently available (as at 16/01/2022).

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Public Warf

Water Available

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Salt Pan & Refuge Coves Co-Op Limited

The Co-op is a Member of the NSW Maritime Pittwater User Group and has been involved in its work with boat toilet pump-outs, no-wash zones, etc. The recent upgrading of the Saltpan jetty is among the issues where our voice has been influential. When Marine Neighbourhood Watch was formed in the late 1980s the Co-op gave its full support and our voluntary roster system turned Salt Pan and Refuge Coves from one of the worst areas of marine theft to the safest in the first year of Marine Watch operation.

The Co-op is a non-profit community activity, owned by its members. As a member you help to protect our common boating interest from interference from political pressure groups, commercial interests and undue increases in boating costs. We invite all boat owners in our two bays to join us Salt Pan & Refuge Coves Co-Op Limited By joining our group your wishes for a boating life as free as possible of unwanted intrusions from authorities and other interest groups are strengthened. You get the use of the Co-Op's three moorings, in Morning Bay, Coaster's Retreat and Refuge Bay, and the satisfaction that your voice is better heard when boating matters are dealt with at institutions like the NSW Maritime Authority, Northern Beaches Council, National Parks and Wildlife, etc.

Click here to download a PDF with more information and an application form.

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Satellite Image of Salt Pan Cove

Salt Pan Cove

Orbiting Oakington