Parks and Picnics

Hawkesbury Visitor Information Centre

Address: Ham Common, Hawkesbury Valley Way, Richmond
Phone: 1300 362 874 or 02 4560 4620
Address: 8 Baker Street, Windsor
Phone: 02 4560 4655 (Closed Tue)

There is so much to see and do in the Hawkesbury - national parks, smashing scenery, hot-air ballooning, historic townships and heritage buildings.

ecommendations rarely pose a problem for the tourism staff at Clarendon. Whatever your wish, the staff at Clarendon or at the Windsor museum (Hawkesbury Regional Museum) will most likely find it. They are a happy bunch and are armed with insider knowledge (and folklore) of the area. They can help if you are lost, looking for accommodation or simply longing to try an apple pie from a produce stand in Bilpin.

Exploring the back roads without a destination can often be the best holiday. Nature's lush wilderness and rural environment is still obvious in the Hawkesbury. Lunch at a charming café in Kurrajong or a small café in Richmond? Tasting the grape in Ebenezer or East Kurrajong? Perhaps a sizzling steak at the Wisemans historic pub? These are the little surprises for visitors to the area.

Howe Park

Address: The Terrace, Windsor
Car park at the corner of Kable/The Terrace Streets. Unlimited parking along The Terrace between Baker and Fitzgerald Streets.

When we head out to relax by the river - we make our way to Howe Park. To our delight, we found it on our first venture into Windsor. Howe Park is a favourite of locals and international visitors alike. When internationals want to escape winter weather in Europe or the US, they somehow find Howe Park. They enjoy a game of checkers at a picnic table overlooking the Hawkesbury River. Locals bring a picnic lunch mid-week, as the park is rarely crowded then. Lots of benches and tables are available. Walking in Howe Park is delightful. The footpath is an easy, two kilometre levelled walk. Perfect for wheelchairs or prams, and you get a lovely view of the river. Should you want a quiet moment to yourself, benches are on hand - even a nap in the green grass could be inviting!

Governor Phillip Park

Address: North George Street, Windsor
Swimming not advised

Governor Phillip Park is located on the northeast side of George Street in Windsor, beyond the Bridge Street roundabout and downhill, through a residential area. The street ends at Governor Phillip Park, a perfect playground and often a crowded scene of boats, jet skis, water skis and wakeboards. With picnic areas, gas barbecues and ample spots for fishing, it is no wonder families love to play along the river here. It is spacious, with shaded areas available. Major water events either begin or end at Phillip Park. Arrive early and enjoy the day.

Rouse Hill Regional Park

Address: Windsor Road & Worcester Road, Rouse Hill
Phone: 02 4572 3100

Sprawling Rouse Hill Regional Park is great for lots of different family activities. This is a fabulous park with pavilions, bike trails, and picnic and barbecue areas. Even doggies are welcome.

Castle Hill Heritage Park

Address: Heritage Park Drive (off Banks Road), Castle Hill

Heritage Park is beautiful and picturesque — we were amazed! With 20 hectares of rolling landscaped hills and remnant Blue Gum forest, this must be the site for family gatherings, reunions and weddings. Hidden within a residential area, the park setting itself is photogenic.

Heritage Park, heritage-listed site was an early Government Farm (c1801). Careful archaeological excavations have uncovered evidence to support the claim. Today, a stunning steel roof line — artistically representing what is thought to be the old barracks — reaches toward the sky. We are dwarfed by its size.

This is a bushland within a suburban setting yet we feel completely removed from hustle and bustle of daily life. Walking tracks, picnic areas and a terri c playground are all features.

In April, the Convict Footprints will perform 'Rebellion' a theatrical re-enactment of convict life of the period. Heritage is great for picnicking, walking and being out in nature.

North Richmond Heritage Park

Address: Beaumont Road (off Terrace Road), North Richmond)
Wheelchair accessible

Entrance to this park is hidden from the main road in to North Richmond. Yet it is worth the effort you may expend, and the GPS minimises the challenge. It is our favourite of all the town parks in the Hawkesbury, but keep in mind, we have yet to uncover all that are available. From North Richmond's business centre on Bells Line of Road, turn right at the traffic light (the only traffic light in North Richmond) onto Terrace Road. Once on Terrace Road, it is only metres to Beaumont Avenue. Turn right; continue past the Panthers Club and downhill into a residential area. At first appearance, the road seems to end, but continue on past the residences and the road again widens and rolls into the park - a wide green space full of surprises.

This riverside park is large, perfect for kids to run and roll around in the grass. There's even a small skate park for older kids. With paved footpaths, wheelchair access is made easy to the covered and shady picnic and barbecue areas.

We love the interesting combination of art and science in the form of an analematic sundial and in the shape of a gure of eight. A nearby description reveals the secret - if you don't know. The sundial is cast in a bed of river rock and sandstone, very symbolic of the Hawkesbury.

Wisemans Ferry Park

Address: Old Northern Road, Wisemans Ferry
Ramp Wheelchair accessible

Did you know?

The Great Depression of the 1930s shrank incomes and discretionary spending. Looking for an inexpensive form of recreation, people turned to bush walking. This was the beginning of conservation groups across New South Wales.

This beautifully kept public park is designed to please everyone and regardless the season, at least a few visitors are enjoying the grounds. With considerable green space for running and jumping and many trees for climbing, kids on school holidays entertain themselves leaving parents to relax and chat around the sizzle of the barbecue.

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Often, a Sunday afternoon finds large groups sharing the cooking facilities. Gazebos are available for a drizzly day and if you've arrived without a hamper, the Convict Road Kiosk is just steps away.

We are an easy target for their burger and chips. The Kiosk prices won't break the bank and unless the queue is long, service is speedy. The few picnic tables by the Kiosk fill quickly. If you are lucky and claim one, this is the perfect place for ferry watching, as the dock is just across the road.

Much of the green space abuts the river. It's truly a remarkable park with ample parking.