One of NSW's original colonial settlements, Windsor is home to beautifully preserved historical buildings, including St Matthew's Anglican Church, Windsor Court House and the Macquarie Arms Hotel. It is easy to step back in time as you enjoy the beautiful riverside parks and heritage-era surrounds of this charming town.
Situated in the heart of the fertile Hawkesbury region, overlooking the Hawkesbury River, Windsor is only a short drive or train ride northwest of Sydney City. Although considered an outer suburb of greater Sydney, the picturesque Windsor is still a country town at heart.
Originally named ‘Green Hills’ before Governor Macquarie renamed it in 1810 after Windsor-on-the-Thames in England, Windsor is the first of the five colonial-era ‘Macquarie towns’ established in the area; the other four being Richmond, Wilberforce, Pitt Town and Castlereagh.
Today, however, Windsor is a modern township. But its heritage charm is ever present, with many colonial buildings still being used for their original purposes. The early 19th-century architecture of Windsor, such as St Matthew's Anglican Church, can be fully explored on the famed heritage walk of the town.
The Hawkesbury Harvest Farm Trail links together the farms and producers of this vibrant region in a series of ‘farm's gate trails’, giving visitors a self-guided day out on the farm; a chance to pick your own fruit, try a freshly-made cider, buy fresh eggs and even meet an alpaca. It’s a great way to see what the wider Hawkesbury has to offer and to taste fresh, Australian produce.
The Hawkesbury Regional Museum, made up of a new, purpose-built museum and the heritage Howe House, is a unique cultural facility which preserves and tells the stories of this historic town. Hawkesbury Regional Gallery is another cultural highlight, showcasing local artists and designers.
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Rouse Hill House & Farm. Photograph (c) Paolo Busato. Courtesy Historic Houses Trust
Windsor Rodeo, Hawkesbury Valley. Image Phillip Quirk