Colo River in Wollemi National Park © Discover the Hawkesbury
Plane tree lined street © Discover the Hawkesbury
Cycling past Ebenezer Church © Discover the Hawkesbury
Part of Greater Sydney, The Hawkesbury area features natural bush, lush farmland, meandering rivers, deep valleys, rural villages and cosmopolitan centres, as well as exceptional Indigenous and Australian heritage. As close as one hour from Sydney’s CBD, it is home to a tantalizing mix of contrasts and experiences, with the 165 kilometre long Hawkesbury River as the main drawcard. With four free vehicular ferries to connect local communities along the river, visitors are encouraged to traverse the waterway in search of the region’s hidden gems. The Hawkesbury region invites exploration of some of the earliest settlements in Australia’s history. The sandstone Ebenezer Church is Australia’s oldest existing church and the townships of Windsor and Richmond are home to many historic buildings, specialty stores, art galleries and eateries. The Hawkesbury Regional Museum in Baker Street Windsor offers both permanent and ever-changing displays focusing on the Hawkesbury region’s people, places and events; open Wednesday to Monday10am to 4pm and entry is free.
* Ask at Visitor Centres for a free Cartoscope map of the Great North Road and Hawkesbury Regions
More national parks than any other part of Sydney are within the Hawkesbury region. Scheyville National Park has a small freshwater wetland and an easy walking trail, as well as many restored buildings from the Scheyville Camp Precinct used during the 1920s and 1950s. Cattai National Park protects significant historic sites and offers camping, canoeing, bike riding, fishing and picnicking. Yengo, Dharug, Wollemi and the World Heritage Listed Greater Blue Mountains national parks provide many opportunities for outdoor activities, country drives and sightseeing. Visit the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden at Mount Tomah where propagated plants of the rare Wollemi Pine are on display. With a region offering such magnificent natural beauty, it’s no wonder there is a thriving arts community willing to share their knowledge and wares. The Hawkesbury Regional Gallery in Windsor has exhibitions and events for all ages. It is open every day except Tuesday and entry is free. Exclusive galleries showcasing the talents of regional, national and international artists are also dotted within the country villages; pick up a copy of the Hawkesbury Artist and Artisans Trail from the visitor information centre and start exploring.
Arts or history not your thing? Hire a boat, cruise the
river and cast a fishing line, play a round of golf, be entertained with live music at a country pub or club, see live theatre, follow mountain bike trails, try your hand at waterskiing and dine waterside on freshly caught seafood and delicious regional fare. For a true country experience, follow the farm gate trail and stop to purchase fresh produce or pick your own during the harvest seasons. There are special events, festivals and country markets to attend throughout the year. Art, music, writing, horse, hobby and agricultural shows and water events encourage visitors to become involved with the local community.
Hawkesbury Visitor Information Centre Ham Common, 328 Hawkesbury Valley Way, Richmond Ph. 1300 362 874
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