Hawkesbury outdoor adventure

From bushwalking and camping to horseriding and mountain biking, the beautiful Hawkesbury is perfect for great outdoor adventures. Explore a World Heritage walking track and discover spectacular panoramic lookouts. And the tranquil river is a shimmering jewel for fishing and boating.

The young and young at heart will be thrilled soaring on zip-lines at the Trees Adventure Grose River Park, in the upper Hawkesbury at Yarramundi, where the meandering Hawkesbury River begins at the confluence of the Nepean and Grose rivers. Kids as young as four can be daring on flying foxes.

The natural beauty of the region is perfect for horseriding. The Hawkesbury Valley Equestrian Centre in Yarramundi offers guided bush trail rides as well as private and group riding lessons. Or if you have your own horse, the Scheyville National Park near historic Windsor has 12km of horse trails.

Family horseriding by the river, Hawkesbury area.

The Vale of Avoca lookout is near Yarramundi. Here, you’ll marvel at the Grose River wilderness which colonial botanist George Caley called in 1804 the Devil’s Wilderness. Today this beautifully rugged area is part of the stunning UNESCO World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park.

For vistas of the Hawkesbury River and the sylvan Dharug National Park, Hawkins lookout is near Wisemans Ferry. After gazing at the natural splendour, cross the river on the free car ferry for the short drive to the national park where you’ll find the UNESCO Old Great North Road walking trail.

Convicts built the Great North Road to link Sydney and Newcastle. Surveyed in 1825, the road was finished in 1836. About 720 convicts – some chained – laboured on the road in the bush. It was heralded at the time as the colony’s ‘grandest improvement’ only to be eclipsed by steamships.

Hikers admiring the Grose River Gorge from the Vale of Avoca, Hawkesbury

The year the road opened steamships began operating along the coast between Sydney and Newcastle. Today the old road’s remnants are one of 11 Australian convict sites with UNESCO status. The 9km loop walk winds past incredible stonework - giant buttresses, culverts and a curved wall.

Mountain biking on the heritage road is popular - the whole track is 43km one-way. You’ll find plenty more mountain bike trails and road cycling routes, such as in the Richmond Lowlands. You can buy a cycling guide from the Visitor Information Centre in Richmond or the regional museum in Windsor.

North of Windsor is the pristine Colo River where you’ll find a range of camping options including the Colo Riverside Park and the Upper Colo Reserve. There are also tourist parks by the Hawkesbury River with camping sites, and the Dharug, Yengo and Cattai national parks all have campgrounds.

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