St Albans

Just north of Wisemans Ferry you will come to the village of St Albans in the heart of the Macdonald Valley, known by the locals as “The Forgotten Valley”. The 'Village of Macdonald' was surveyed in 1837 but renamed St Albans on 26 January 1841 after the city of St Albans in England. In the early part of the colonial settlement of New South Wales the Macdonald Valley was an important agricultural area because of its accessibility by water. Surrounded by wilderness it certainly gives you the feeling that nothing much has changed over the years; the sense of history and the natural beauty of the region makes St Albans an idyllic destination. Take a meandering drive beside the Macdonald River to the village of St Albans.

Nestled alongside the Macdonald River, within the tiny village of St Albans, you will find the Settlers Inn. Established in 1836, the inn is built from convict hewn sandstone in the simple colonial Georgian style. In the 19th Century the inn became a stopover for Cobb and Co. stagecoaches travelling between Sydney and Newcastle. The St Albans Anglican Church (St Alban the Martyr), near the top of Wharf Road, is the only church still in use. The funerals of those close to town usually progressed by boat to the old St Albans burial ground, a few kilometres south of the village beside the river, founded in 1826. Historic buildings: The Court House and Police Lockup built in 1890. The Court House is perched on wooded slopes of Hawkesbury sandstone, high above the beautiful Macdonald River and St Albans. The building, originally consisting of a courtroom, police station and lock-up, now offers overnight and holiday accommodation; The Settlers Arms Inn (1836) originally known as Travellers Rest and Price Morris Cottage (1837) a newly restored cottage that has vertical timber slab, wattle and daub construction with its calico ceilings under a shingle roof.

St Albans hosts various horse riding events as well the famous St Albans Folk Festival held during April, and the St Albans Writers' Festival during spring each year - the Writers' Festival has been postponed for this year: 2018. Started in 2015 the focus of the St Albans Writers' Festival is to bring Australian writers and writing to their tiny village so that residents and visitors can enjoy an intimate weekend of words. In the 2017 program the writing genres included fiction, crime, history, art, social commentary, politics, food and travel writing. The festival includes book launches, book signings, author talks and writing workshops plus much more. The Convict Mountain Bike Ride takes place on Saturday 5th May 2018. The Convict 100 is one of Australia's most challenging MTB marathon races following the historic Convict Trail through the Dharug and Yengo National Parks.

Recreational cycling: Best Cycle Rides Around the Hawkesbury recommends the Wisemans Ferry - St Albans loop. This ride is a great loop from Wisemans Ferry up the valley to St Albans. It includes two ferry crossings, a couple of historic pubs and lovely rural scenery. This cycling guide is sold at the Hawkesbury Visitor Information Centre, 328 Hawkesbury Valley Way, Richmond 2753 for $6 and it includes 12 rides in the district plus all the information needed, including maps, when setting off on a ride to keep you as safe as possible. For the fishing enthusiasts, St Albans has a fishing competition in November.