In the beautiful Hawkesbury explore historic towns and a World Heritage-listed convict road, taste delicious fresh produce, and cruise the magnificent Hawkesbury River. Outdoor adventures include bushwalking, mountain biking and horseriding, and discover Aboriginal rock engravings on a tour.
At the heart of the Hawkesbury is Windsor, a historic riverside town 50 minutes’ drive northwest from the Sydney Harbour Bridge and an hour by train from Central Station. Originally named Green Hills, Governor Lachlan Macquarie renamed the town in 1810 after riverside Windsor in England.
Other historic towns are Kurrajong, Richmond, Pitt Town, Ebenezer, Wilberforce, Wisemans Ferry and St Albans. Visit historic Ebenezer Church and browse memorabilia at the School Master's House. You can also explore the towns’ heritage on scenic drives, crossing the river on free car ferries.
The Hawkesbury is cradled by four gigantic national parks. Blue Mountains National Park to the west, Yengo and Dharug National Parks to the north and the mighty Wollemi National Park to the north-west. The Wollemi National Park is the second biggest national park in NSW.
The parks provide many opportunities for bushwalking, mountain biking, water sports and camping. Fishing is a relaxing pastime and with over 160km of navigable water the Hawkesbury is extremely diverse, with freshwater fish and tidal species. In Yarramundi you can also go on a treetop adventure.
Since early colonial times rich alluvial soil supported settler farmers. Today savour bountiful produce and go fruit picking on food and wine trails, such as the Hawkesbury Harvest Farm Gate Trail. For that special occasion, reserve your seats on a Sydney Harbour seaplane and fly to award-winning riverside restaurants.
You’ll discover fascinating heritage around the winding river and its tributaries, from the edge of the Blue Mountains in the west to the estuary in the east. The World Heritage walk on the Old Great North Road is in Dharug National Park near Wisemans Ferry, a lovely drive northeast of Windsor.
In the Hawkesbury wilderness you can go mountain biking, horseriding and 4WD touring. Other fun things to do are fishing, boating and guided kayaking tours. Houseboats are available for hire, too. There are plenty of riverside places to stay, from tourist parks to the luxury Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley.