Ebenezer

Situated on the banks of the Hawkesbury River, Ebenezer was settled by the British in 1803 and is home to Australia’s oldest church (1809) and school house (1810). Ebenezer was settled by a number of free settler families who sailed to Australia on the Coromandel in 1802.  The church, a popular place to visit, serves Devonshire tea and sells homemade jams. Explore the cemetery and the schoolmaster's house. One of the important families in the area was the Grono family, early boat builders who built boats up to 200 tons on the Hawkesbury River. Captain John Grono and his wife Elizabeth played a pivotal role in the development and construction of the church. Many of the Grono family are buried here.

Adjacent to the church is a reserve offering the perfect opportunity to reflect on the tranquility of the location plus a short bushwalk (Swallow Rock Reach Walking Trail) that shadows the river. An historic beach is situated near the start of the bushwalk where boats in earlier times brought the coffins and mourners over the river to the church for services and burials. The bushwalk has interpretive signs and some breathtaking views of the river. Come to the Visitor Information Centre for a Best Bushwalks of the Hawkesbury booklet ($6) if you wish to do more bushwalking in the Hawkesbury.

The rich soils and ample water which attracted early settlers is also perfect for growing grapes.Tizzana Winery, established in 1887, has a magnificent sandstone building offering visions of Tuscany. It sits on the banks of the Hawkesbury River overlooking the ripening vines and a picturesque waterlily lake. Two nearby vineyards to include on your itinerary are Jubilee Vineyard Estate, originally a horse-powered mill, and newly established Bull Ridge Estate Winery. All vineyards produce award winning wines and are open weekends and other times by appointment.

If you continue on Tizzana Road, at Sackville Reach, you will find the eerie site of the St Thomas Church of England that was washed away in the great flood of 1867. The first church was built in 1833. There is an old cemetery that remains and it contains a plaque commemorating the first fleeters that sailed with Captain Arthur Phillip in 1788 that are buried nearby: Owen Cavanough arrived in Australia on-board the Sirius and his wife Margaret Dowling arrived on-board the Prince of Wales.

Turning right at the end of Tizzana Road you will see the Sackville Ferry working to take travellers across the river both day and night. It is a cable ferry and connects the communities of Sackville and Sackville North. It is free. The Sackville ferry is the farthest upstream of four cable ferry crossings of the Hawkesbury River.

Try some recreational cycling in the Hawkesbury around the Ebenezer area taking in the rural sights and sounds.

Ebenezer means 'The Lord has helped us all the way' or 'Stone of Help'. 1 Samuel: Chapter 7 Verse 12