A 3-day itinerary in the Hawkesbury for foodies

The Hawkesbury region isn’t known as Sydney’s food bowl for nothing. This fertile pocket is a patchwork of orchards and vegetable gardens, which means bountiful farmers markets, forward-thinking vintners and delicious eateries.

Destination NSW

Destination NSW

Apr 2024 -
min read

DAY ONE: Wineries & local brews


Jubilee Vineyard Estate is located at:

  • 519 Tizzana Rd, Ebenezer, NSW 2756
  • A 35-minute (32km) drive from Spicers Sangoma Retreat 


Sip on your morning coffee while gazing out over the bush canopy from your Spicer suite, before making tracks for Harvest Farms, the main supplier of last night’s dinner, where you can take a tour of the grounds and learn about community agriculture. Next, the Secret Garden & Nursery is a not-for-profit community hub hosting beehives, a lush plant nursery and a cafe, where everything on the menu comes from the surrounding district. 


There’s something about the crisp, clean air of the country that makes you thirsty. Thankfully, the Hawkesbury has a handful of wineries to refresh your palate with a sip or two. Tizzana WineryBull Ridge Estate Wines and Jubilee Vineyard Estate are all within a couple of kilometres of each other around the delightful town of Sackville, on a bend of the Hawkesbury River. Various vintages of sauvignon blanc, rosé and verdelho are available at the wineries. 

Jubilee Vineyard Estate, The Hawkesbury

Jubilee Vineyard Estate, The Hawkesbury


The historic town of Windsor is home to one of Australia’s oldest pubs, the Macquarie Arms Hotel. Built in 1815, on orders from then-Governor Lachlan Macquarie, it's the oldest building in Thompson Square, named after wealthy emancipist Andrew Thompson, a policeman, farmer and businessman. Drop in for a hearty pub feed or – if craft beer is more to your taste – drive 15 minutes west to the town of Richmond. Here you will find Gypsy Fox Brewing Co, open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, pouring pilsner, red ale and pale ale alongside casual eats from food trucks. 

DAY TWO: Fresh fruit & cider


Pine Crest Orchard is located at:

  • 2549 Bells Line of Road, Bilpin, NSW 2758  
  • A 30-minute (25km) drive from Spicers Sangoma Retreat 


Your morning fruit consumption depends on which month you’re visiting. Head to Bilpin’s Pine Crest Orchard and you could be picking pears (January), berries (February), golden delicious apples (March) or peaches (December). There’s no entrance fee to visit this sprawling farm – just pay for what you pick. 

Nearby is Bilpin Fruit Bowl. You’ve already stocked up on naturally sweet treats, so make a beeline for the vegetable gardens, where you can pick your fill. The establishment also has a store where you can purchase homemade pies and scones, plus local honeys and jams. Brilliant paired with a cup of tea back at your bush retreat. 


When the clock ticks over to noon, make your way to Bilpin Cider Co. This brand needs little introduction, with its fizzy ferments sold across the country. At the cellar door, you can try all 12 beverages in the portfolio (both boozy and non-alcoholic) and then take a stroll around the apple orchard, where friendly sheep and alpaca roam. Bring a picnic blanket, order a hamper from the provedore (one option: roast chicken with cheeses, salad and freshly baked bread rolls) and find a leafy lunchtime spot on the property. The Farm Kitchen also dishes up burgers, tacos, toasties, and meat and cheese boards on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Bilpin Cider Co

Bilpin Cider Co. Image Credit: Bilpin Cider Co

Add even more sparkle to your day down the road at Hillbilly Cider. Sample a tasting paddle of their award-winning apple and pear ciders made using local fruit and, if you’re still peckish, pick up a wood-fired pizza. In the cooler months, cosy up to a log fire overlooking the expansive grassy area (perfect for the kids to have a run around) and orchard, and be sure to take home a “growler” of your favourite pour. 

Couple enjoying tastings at Hillbilly Cider, Bilpin

Hillbilly Cider, Bilpin


After the day’s non-stop grazing, you’ll want a light dinner. Back at Spicers, book the wine, cheese and chocolate experience and have a sommelier visit your suite and discuss the drops you’re drinking, before leaving you to devour a selection of local fromage and delicious chocolate. Hot tip: there’s also a cocktail masterclass available. 

Relaxing by the fire at Spicers Sangoma Retreat in Bowen Mountain

Spicers Sangoma Retreat in Bowen Mountain

DAY THREE: Long lunches & local gin


Lochiel House is located at:

  • 1259 Bells Line of Rd, Kurrajong, NSW 2758
  • A 15-minute drive (11km) from Spicers Sangoma Retreat


It’s hard to say goodbye to Spicers Sangoma – if ever there was an antidote to the stress of modern-day life, this is it. Once you check out, delay your return to Sydney with a stop at The Village Kitchen in Kurrajong, where the coffee is strong, the breakfast staples are on point and the courtyard is pet-friendly – alpacas have been known to stop by with their owners. 

The Village Kitchen in Kurrajong - Credit: Jonathan Cami

The Village Kitchen in Kurrajong - Credit: Jonathan Cami


If you opt for a late check-out, stop in for lunch at Lochiel House for some fine dining in pristine surroundings. Whether you nestle in with a glass of wine by the fireplace or bask in the sunshine in the picturesque courtyard, the setting is as great as the menu: expect modern Australian dishes like pan-fried barramundi served with heirloom tomatoes, squash and capers from the veggie garden, and Kilcoy striploin sprinkled with carrot top chimichurri. 

Dish made from locally sourced ingredients at Lochiel House, Kurrajong Heights

Lochiel House, Kurrajong Heights

As you head home, take note that just a quick drive west, at the base of the Blue Mountains, lies Karu Distillery, which not only makes impressive gins infused with the likes of lemon myrtle, honeybush and citrus, but also crafts G&Tea cocktail infusion bags with flavours such as rosella and butterfly pea. Don’t detour just yet – the estate is in the process of building a cellar door to welcome visitors for tastings. Until then, pick up Karu bottles and bags from specialty stores and markets across the Hawkesbury region. 

House of Spirits bartender making a cocktail at Karu Distillery, Grose Vale

Karu Distillery, Grose Vale

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