Exploring the Past
- Discover the ‘Cathedral of the Hawkesbury’, St Mathews Anglican Church, which has just celebrated its bicentenary. It was designed by convict architect Francis Greenway. Free self-guided heritage highlights brochures are available at the Visitor Information Centre, 328 Hawkesbury Valley Way, Richmond or at the Hawkesbury Regional Museum.
- Cross the river at Windsor and head to Wilberforce then onto Ebenezer Church, Australia’s oldest church, built in 1809. Delicious Devonshire teas are available here. Next to the sandstone church is the historic schoolhouse and a little further away towards the river is the historic beach where boats once pulled in with parishioners, coffins & mourners from communities across the river. Take a short walk along the Swallow Rock Reach Walking Trail which offers lovely river vistas.
- Fancy tasting a local wine? Historic Tizzana Winery and Jubilee Vineyard (open on weekends) are just around the corner in Ebenezer and produce award winning wines. Tizzana Winery is a striking sandstone building with productive grape vines growing on its trellises. There are glimpses of the river and ski parks on Tizzana Road and an historic cemetery that lost its church during a natural disaster. There is a plaque in the cemetery on the site of the original St Thomas's church (1833-1867) that was washed away in the great flood of 1867. There are First Fleeter burials here – Owen Cavanough ex HMS Sirius is just one. HMS Sirius – the flag ship of the First Fleet, was later wrecked, in 1790, off the coast of Norfolk Island NSW. This area where the cemetery remains is called Sackville Reach. It's close to the Sackville ferry – the river ferries are free and carry the vehicles and passengers across the river day and night.
- Back onto Sackville Road visit the café Tractor 828 to try delicious meals, homemade cakes, and snacks, great coffee and an assortment of hot teas. Kids are welcome as are dogs.
- Visit the Australiana Pioneer Village and historic Rose Cottage in Wilberforce (open on Sundays). It’s a working village and focuses upon family fun and interaction. Rose Cottage is recognised as Australia’s oldest known timber slab house still situated on its original site. You will get a fascinating glimpse of how people lived and worked over 100 years ago in the pioneer village.
- Also at Wilberforce, near the Butterfly Farm, is the Indy 800 Kart track. Hire and drive a cart on one of the most exciting yet demanding tracks in Sydney. The Butterfly Farm has an impressive static display of butterflies, moths, beetles, spiders and is open for camping and river users like water skiers and boat enthusiasts. Ghost tours can be organised from the Australiana Pioneer Village and through Windsor Ghost Tours.
25km/30 minutes one way without stops