Our Story

Dangar Island Bowling Club is a water access only establishment situated on a picturesque bush covered rock in the late stages of the Hawkesbury River.

Dangar has had a long history of community going back many thousands of years, with evidence of aboriginal art and middens on the Island suggesting that it was a regular stop for extended groups who would feast on the abundance of oysters and mullet in the surrounding waters.

After the arrival of the Colonists, it wasn't too long before groups of ex-convict pirates and smugglers started using the island as base for their activities.

For three years in the late 1800's, the Island hosted a community of around 400 American bridge builders and their families. They were contractors for the Union Bridge Company of New York contracted to build the Railway Bridge and at the time the island boasted a large social hall, school, library and its own newspaper.

When the island was eventually subdivided in 1921 and permanent residents started to settle, being surrounded by water has further fostered the strong community spirit on the island. In 1944 the first RFS Brigade was founded, the Dangar Island League was formed in 1953, with our beloved Bowling Club arriving in 1957. The island now boasts a Bushcare Group, Community First Responders, a Historical Society and a very vibrant and productive community garden called DIG - adjacent to the Bowlo. It's estimated that around 100 of the 300 full time residents volunteer in some community activity on the Island.

The Bowling Club is managed by a generous group of volunteer Directors, a volunteer groundsman, and a very small, hard working team of bar and kitchen staff.

The club has gone through many transitions in the decades it has been serving the community, and has struggled to survive at times in the past. The current group of motivated directors and staff are dedicated to serving local residents and visitors with great wholesome food and a range of refreshing drinks, keeping local bowling traditions alive and acting as a hub through our range of annual events and monthly program of high quality live music presentations.

The Bowling Green is used every Sunday by a contingent of keen island bowlers, and we sometimes see visiting teams from surrounding clubs making the journey across the water to play. The green is maintained by volunteer Matt Johnson, who works wonders with extremely limited resources to keep the surface playable.

Barefoot bowls is popular with visitors to the island and is available any time by appointment – apart from Sundays, when our local bowlers fill the green to capacity.

Since joining us in June 2018, our wonderful Chef - Sharon Watson - has revitalized the club's menu to offer a range of gourmet pub meals and delicious weekly specials. Sharon is passionate about serving home-made and locally sourced produce.

Our partnership with DIG means that the garden next to club provides the kitchen with significant amounts of organic herbs and seasonal vegetables every week of the year.

Wherever possible, every plate of food that leaves the kitchen includes something picked from the garden.

Live Music has always been an important part of the Bowling Club and for over 10 years, our Open Mic night has been operating monthly on the 1st Friday. All are welcome and over the years our tiny club has seen some truly stellar performances.

We also run monthly Sunday afternoon - and occasional night time - music events and have been lucky enough to host some extraordinary artists - The Garifuna Collective (Belize), Rory McLeod (UK), Jeff Lang, Dave Graney & Clare Moore, King Tide, FourPlay String Quartet, Queen Porter Stomp, The Royal River Rats, Continental Blues Party, William Crighton, Dom Turner, Tété (France), Mic Conway and many others.
In addition, the Club has an annual program of signature events such as Roots On The Rock, Dangardigras and Oktoberfest that bring large amounts of visitors to the island.