Our other visitors guides
Calendar of Events
Sydney Polo League
12–13, 19–20 March 2016
Sydney Polo Club, 100 Ridge Ridges Lane, Richmond
02 4588 5000
This is the first tournament of the polo season.
Ferry Artists Gallery Exhibition
19 March, 2016, 4–6pm
2 Old Northern Road, Wisemans Ferry
02 4566 4385
Exhibition Florrabundance opens. Enjoy a glass of wine and conversations with artists.
The Hawkesbury Show
15–17 April 2016
Hawkesbury Showground, Clarendon
02 4577 3591
(Free parking on site)
Showjumping, polocrosse, Isuzu Max Precision driving, FMX Honda Freestyle Team, Horse and Pony Riders: the list goes on for the main arena. For those who love to eat, it is the produce displays and mouth-watering cooking exhibitions that keep us coming back to the 130th annual show.
Hawkesbury Artists & Artisan Trail
23–24 April 2016, 10am–4pm
The Hawkesbury and Macdonald Valley artist and artisans open their galleries and studios for two days. View their work and visit them in their studios all across the districts.
St Albans Folk Festival
22–25 April 2016
Overnight facilities are limited so book accommodation now for three days and nights of splendid music. The line-up of performers is amazing. Historic St Albans is the place to be!
7–8, 14–15 May 2016
Old Great North Road, Wisemans Ferry
This theatre company continues to expand its repertoire of stories and re-enactment of our convict heritage. First person stories of the men who laboured to build the road and of their soldier-keepers. It was an amazing engineering feat.
Bridge to Bridge
Book your accommodation now! Every resort, motel and B&B around Windsor, Vineyard and Richmond will be occupied. The course is 68 kilometres, from bridge to bridge. Check with the club as some boats are on display.
Hawkesbury Artists & Artisan Trail
10–11 Sept 2016, 10am–4pm
The Hawkesbury and Macdonald Valley artist and artisans open their galleries and studios for the weekend.
Annual Sydney Blues & Roots Festival 2016
Dates to be confirmed – please call 0409 905 884
A celebration of Australian Blues in multiple venues. Headline artists. Three days of glorious music. A festival that will have you up and dancing. Check out the website for venues and times.
Sydney Polo Gold Cup
16 Oct 2016
100 Ridges Lane, Richmond
02 4588 5000
This tournament is the most important match of the season. It’s Carnival time – think Rio.
Hawkesbury Canoe Classic
29 October 2016
Entries: 02 4976 3802
The event just keeps on paddling. The race starts at Windsor and it’s an overnighter – 111 kilometres down the Hawkesbury. In its long history, the paddlers have raised ‘loads of dollars’ for medical research.
Bridge to Bridge
Water Ski Classic
26–27 November 2016
Classic begins at Dangar Island in Broken Bay and ends at Governor Philip Park in Windsor.
WHAT'S ON IN THE HAWKESBURY AND THE HILLS
HAWKESBURY & HILLS BULLETIN BOARD
ST ALBANS WRITERS' FESTIVAL, TICKETS ARE GOING QUICKLY, DON'T WAIT! This event is on 16-18 September and will feature Stan Grant, Wendy Whiteley, Hugh Mackay, Judy Nunn, Sarah Ferguson, Jane Caro and many others. Crime & thrillers. Novelists & memoirs. Economists, cooks & travel writers -- what a cast of writers. Catering will be by Simmone Logue and her Festival dinner features food from her latest book -- obviously a cook book! Bookings are essential as the venue seating is limited. www.stalbanswritersfestival.com.au
HAWKESBURY REGIONAL GALLERY EXHIBITION: THROUGH 4 SEPTEMBER. Evocative or Provocative, it's your call. Either choice, this is an exhibition that you do not want to miss! A lion at repose in a queen bed; penguins, a zebra, fawn, fish or fox - each addresses issues from climate change to big game hunting. The exhibition: "Wunderkammer -- The Cabinet of Wonders". Check it out at: http://www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/services/places-and-facilities/cultural/hawkesbury-regional-gallery/exhibitions
HAWKESBURY REGIONAL LIBRARY (WINDSOR) BOOK WEEK! 23 Aug - 25 Aug, At the main library (Windsor) 23 Aug; at the Richmond Branch 25 Aug.10:30 - 12 noon, party games and food (Free, no need to book). Come dressed in your favourite costume or your favourite book character -- The Mad Hatter? The Queen of Hearts? Harry Potter? Sounds like fun!
HAWKESBURY REGIONAL GALLERY: ART AFTER SCHOOL. THURSDAYS, 4-5:30PM for school age children, 4 August, 11 August, 18 August. Make, Sculpt, Paint! Bookings essential 4560 4441. (fee)
CAREY&CO WINTER SALE 50% off all clothing and shoes! Just in time for the really cold temperatures! You won't want to miss this as Carey & Co have truly fabulous selections. 70 Old Bells Line of Road, Kurrajong Village. 02 4573 1920.
PURPLE NOON GALLERY, 606 TERRACE ROAD, FREEMANS REACH EXHIBITS 'MEMORIES OF SEASONS PAST' works of two experimental artists, Madeleine Szymanski and Tony Meskauskas. -- July 16 through the end of August. -- Wool throws and textured scarves are hand woven by Tony. Madeline works in watercolours and print making using miniature techniques.Both artists work with the forms found in natural materials.
STOCK BAR & GRILL IN RICHMOND CAN MAKE A 'HARDWOOD MENU' for 10 to 100 of your best friends. For those of us with short arms, this is a great way to dine -- a 'long reach' isn't necessary. Steak, prawns, ribs, salmon, 'couthern fried chicken' and lamb cutlets along with onion rings, coleslaw and chips.Sound fantastic? 78 March Street, Richmond. Bookings: 02 4578 7640.
CRAZIES CAFE 334 WINDSOR ST. RICHMOND cooks up a hearty winter menu -- perfect takeaway for dinner when no one wants to cook. Crazies opens early and closes late (7pm) to make life easy for you! 02 4578 3660.
HAWKESBURY VISITOR CENTRE, CLARENDON (02 4560 4620) Staff are a wealth of knowledge. Drop by for all Hawkesbury information. Books, maps, brochures and guides. 9-5pm Monday - Friday; Saturday & Sunday 9 - 4pm.
get up, get out & go...
We wish words could convey the beauty and delight of a place as captured in our 'mind's eye'. Luckily, photographs transport us to those enchanting places we retain in memory. Why else would we subject our friends and family to never-ending Instagram or Facebook updates of our wonderful trips?
Throughout the Guide and on our website we share our trips around the Hawkesbury and Hills districts with photos from many sources. If, with words, we haven't convinced you to travel in to your backyard playground, these photos should do the trick.
As we prepare for this edition, change is in the air and change will impact the way we live in this broad, sweeping area. Discussions and plans of amalgamation - merger - of The Hawkesbury and The Hills are underway. Traffic, public transport and construction daily alter the landscape and citizens are uneasy about the transformation. Yet, small villages across the shires - Kurrajong Village, Bells Line of Road, Dural, Glenorie, Wisemans Ferry, Windsor, and Richmond - remain, to a great extent, unchanged.
We come across nature's dramatic scenes in our travels:
- Rivers - Hawkesbury, Grose and Colo - swollen and fierce after heavy rains.
- Sandstone slopes and deep dark canyons of the Blue Mountains. Untamed dense ancient forests.
- Breathtaking Bells Line of Road.
- Diverse 'cool climate' gardens at Mount Tomah. Waratahs, bright and red.
- Flat lowlands bedded with turf.
- Dark lagoons home to lily pads and surrounded by Ebenezer grape vines.
- Steep sharp curves of sandstone and gum trees standing tall overhead - a country road drops precipitously into Wisemans Ferry.
And the human activity is most often present: Off the busy thoroughfares, back roads are leafy and less travelled. Farms, orchards and produce stands dot the roads on the way to Glenorie, to Grose Vale or Bells Line of Road. And river fishing? According to locals, "fishing is probably the second biggest recreational use of waterways - of course, after picnicking."
Our European heritage beckons at Rouse Hill House and Farm. The house, somewhat elegant stables, and farm animals along with the old school house, returns us to our colonial days.
Our most recent discovery: Yarramundi Reserve, a fantastic family spot adjacent to the lower Hawkesbury end of Springwood Road. Here the Grose and Hawkesbury Rivers converge; water is clean and rather cold. Little ones, from toddlers to school kids, build sandcastles on the beach or skip stones across the water. "These stones are 'the best'," our little experts tell us. Kids feed the ducks, fish with grandparents and run around and scream with joy. You'll see teens and adults in kayaks and canoes, or fishing from the big rocks. There is a carpark, but be forewarned - in the summer months best arrive early, the Reserve is a popular destination.
Here a short list of new 'finds' with a few of our established favourites:
- 'Convict Footprints', May 2016 performances are now in the fifth year on the Old Great North Road (Wisemans Ferry), and performances in the summer months at Bella Vista Farm (Baulkham Hills). 'Convict Footprints' follows life on the farm for our convict ancestors
- Fine spirits in the Hawkesbury at Ironbark Distillery - award-winning and industrious entrepreneurs
- Purple Noon Gallery in Freemans Reach opens six exhibitions in 2016. Charming gallery in beautiful rural location
- The Sydney Polo Club is host to a number of thrilling horse-riding events throughout the year
- Tree Top Adventure on Springwood Road in Yarramundi is a towering activity in the tree tops near the Yarramundi Reserve. Your biceps and triceps will complain for several days, but it's well worth it
- Rouse Hill Organic Markets, Saturday 8am-1pm through October 29.
- Richmond Good Food Markets, Saturdays 8am-1pm
- Australiana Pioneer Village - Wilberforce. Living history each Sunday
- Kayaking on the river - terrific for triceps and, oh so beautiful in the early hours
So, for another year, these are merely a few reasons you should find your way to the Villages of Hawkesbury & Hills.