Discover historic towns and national parks along the banks of the Hawkesbury River.
Looping around Sydney, the Hawkesbury River winds its way from the Blue Mountains in the west to the estuaries of Broken Bay along the Pacific Coast. Set sail along the river on a boat cruise, ride the historic cable ferry at Wisemans Ferry, or stop at colonial towns such as Pitt Reach, Ebenezer, and Windsor. National parks flank the riverbanks, affording campers plenty of choices, and the region’s mild temperatures mean that outdoor activities are enjoyable year-round. Cruise around coastal estuaries, hike through rainforest gorges, discover glow-worm caves, or enjoy wine tasting at a Hawkesbury Valley winery.
Hawkesbury North of Sydney, Wisemans Ferry sits at the meeting point of the Hawkesbury and Macdonald rivers. Hiking, mountain biking, and canoeing are the main activities on offer in the neighbouring Dharug National Park, and to the north, Yengo National Park has thrilling 4WD tracks and remote bush campgrounds. Wisemans Ferry is also the starting point of the Old Great North Road, an important site in Australia’s convict history. Broken Bay The Hawkesbury River meets the ocean at Broken Bay, flanked by two coastal national parks. Cruise the waterways, fish along the coast, or trek between Aboriginal heritage sites in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. On the north shore, Brisbane Waters National Park bursts with colour during spring wildflower season—explore by bike, kayak, or boat, then camp at Pindar Cave. Blue Mountains The rainforest-clad peaks of the Blue Mountains rise on the horizon along the western section of the Hawkesbury River. Head into the Blue Mountains National Park to hike and mountain bike through the rainforest, ride the Scenic Railway to the Three Sisters lookout, and discover gorges, waterfalls, and natural swimming holes. Camping comes with views, too—pitch your tent by the creek or in tranquil forest valleys. Sydney Australia’s largest city might not seem like an obvious choice for camping, but there are lots of ways to get outdoors in and around the Sydney. Swim and surf along the North Shore, cruise around Sydney Harbour, or even attempt a daring Sydney Harbour Bridge climb.