Along the Hawkesbury River

Explore the beautiful Hawkesbury River, near Sydney, with Australia's Last River Boat Postman, or sample fresh oysters at a casual riverside cafe. Start your Hawkesbury adventure with a seaplane flight from Sydney to an award-winning restaurant, such as Cottage Point or Berowra Waters Inn, by the river. For an outback experience close to Sydney, visit Tobruk Sydney for an enthralling show.

  • House boat on Cowan Creek
  • Sunset on Hawkesbury River

About the Hawkesbury

The winding estuary of the Hawkesbury River feels a world away, even though it’s only 55 km north of Sydney. Surrounded by steep, forested slopes, the serene bays and inlets along the Hawkesbury River provided an enclave for early settlers.

The region is dotted with sandstone ruins, historic cottages and convict trails including the World Heritage-listed Old Great North Road, built by convicts between 1826 and 1836. Kate Grenville’s acclaimed historical novel, The Secret River, is set in the Hawkesbury.

Today, the area offers a bounty of areas to escape to, relax in and explore. It is the ideal location for a riverside holiday or weekend escape. The best way to enjoy the river is, naturally, on the tranquil waterway. You'll also find bushwalking, picnic spots and even canoeing and mountain bike trails in the region's national parks and reserves.

As one of the earliest colonial settlements in Australia, many original buildings survive from that era and you can easily uncover a time capsule of Australian colonial history in small villages from Kurrajong and Richmond, to Windsor, Wisemans Ferry and St Albans. 

Stretching from Windsor to Brooklyn, the Hawkesbury and Hills area offers plenty of good dining options amid the stunning natural and historic attractions. Take a scenic seaplane trip from Sydney Harbour to Cottage Point Inn or Berowra Waters Inn - two acclaimed restaurants on the sparkling Hawkesbury River. More casual options include Blu Water Grill and Twenty Two Cafe Bar & Grill.

Cruising the Hawkesbury

Houseboat on Hawkesbury River

On the edge of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and surrounded by six national parks, the Hawkesbury is paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. And the rivers that flow through its boundaries – the Hawkesbury, the Grose, the Nepean – provide plenty of opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.

Just take your pick. Hire a canoe for a quiet paddle, go fishing or hit the adrenaline switch and try water skiing or wakeboarding. The Colo River is a quieter spot with a sandy riverbed that makes it ideal for family groups. 

Cruising along the Hawkesbury is always popular so book ahead for a houseboat holiday or a ride on the Hawkesbury Paddlewheeler, departing from Windsor wharf on Sundays for cruises that include lunch and jazz. Hire a houseboat and anchor overnight in a tranquil shelter, where you can wine and dine as sunset colours the peaceful lull of surrounding bush ranges. There are no dams or locks on the river and it is navigable from Windsor to Pittwater Heads. Other activities to be found along the river include kayaking, fishing and water skiing.

The Burralow Rainforest Walk in Blue Mountains National Park is an easy 3km return walk that takes you past convict ruins and leads to a small waterfall and glow‐worm grottos in the rock face. The Finch’s Line section of the Great North Walk in Dharug National Park is more challenging. For spectacular views of the Hawkesbury Valley and the Sydney skyline, visit Wollemi National Park’s Bellbird Lookout.

The area is also rich in Aboriginal history, home to the Darkinjung, Darug, Eora, and Kurringai (also spelt Guringai) people, which you can trace as you can explore the rock art and walking tracks.

  • Riverboat, Hawkesbury RIver


    Explore the iconic Hawkesbury River on The Riverboat Postman - a quaint-yet-scenic catamaran cruise that serves food and drinks while the postmaster hops off to deliver the area’s mail and other essentials. Speed boat cruises, houseboats and private charters are also available for hire.

  • Stone Jetty Bar, Hawkesbury


    The Hawkesbury River is a rich and consistent source of mulloway, sand whiting, squid, bream, and dusky flathead. The landscape is conducive to all-weather fishing, with the bays and inlets providing shelter when needed. Hire a boat or launch your own vessel from Berowra Waters Marina.

  • Sydney Seaplanes, Hawkesbury River


    See the sparkling river from above with a Sydney Seaplane experience. Packages can include flights, gourmet lunches and overnight stays, and are designed to take in sights of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and Hawkesbury area.


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