The Hills District

Backroads, leafy rural streets and local produce stands are features of The Hills if you look beyond shopping centres, business centres and congested M2 and M7.

Protected by The Hills Shire Council, historic and heritage farms, houses and parks in Bella Vista, Castle Hill and Dural intermingle with rural spaces in nearby Hawkesbury Shire. Rouse Hill House & Farm, Dural’s Roughley House (The Pines), Cobbam Hall Museum in Wisemans Ferry and the World Heritage Walk ‘Convict Trail’ on the Great North Road of Wisemans Ferry are all part of Australian colonial history.

We suggest you escape the daily traffic and nearby congestion. Fire up the GPS. Make your way to Dural, Glenorie, Oakville, Cattai and Wisemans Ferry. Garden centres, charming cafeĢs, dense stands of Eucalypt, winding backroads and sheer cliffs of sandstone still exist.

Steal away mid-week from your predictable routine and the roads may be yours!

For more details on The Hills heritage sites, refer to our website.

Bella Vista Farm

Address: Elizabeth Macarthur Drive, Bella Vista
Hours: Open first Sunday of each month

Bella Vista, surrounded by immense Moreton Bay Fig and Bunya Pines, is typical of a farm house of that period – unassuming in style and modest in decor. Look for the staircase to nowhere.

The Pines and Roughley House

Address: 656a Old Northern Road, Dural
(gold coin donation)

Father and son Joseph and James Roughley were transported as convicts to the colony in 1817. Spending their seven-year sentence in Parramatta and The Hills as labourers, they learned valuable skills. Five generations of the Roughley family lived and farmed in this house 126 years.

Castle Hill Heritage Park

Address: Heritage Park Drive, Castle Hill
Hours: Open daily

Heritage Park is beautiful and picturesque. With 20 hectares of rolling landscaped hills and remnant Blue Gum forest, this must be the site for family gatherings, reunions and weddings. The park setting itself is photogenic.

Balcombe Heights Estate

Address: Jasper Road, Baulkham Hills
Hours: Open first and third Sat 12pm–4pm (Fee applies)

The school and garden for children who had been orphaned or left in poor circumstances following World War 1, opened in1 922. At its peak 364 children made this their home.
Several of the old buildings still exist: classrooms, dormitory buildings, gymnasium, staff cottages and the Georgian Revival style administration building.

The Sydney Hills Visitor Information Centre

Did you know?

Tour Guides at Bella Vista know the history of this historic house.
It is a study in economics – industries falling out of favour, rising or failing global economies – and how owners attempted to ride the tides of change.

Address: 656a Old Northern Road, Dural
Phone: 02 9651 4411
Hours: Open 10am – 3pm

The Sydney Hills Visitor Interpretation Centre is located at ‘The Pines’ Roughley House in Dural providing visitor services – maps, brochures and friendly volunteers. An historical interpretation of the Great North Road and Roughley House is on display.