Wisemans Ferry

Post office, Nick Rains / Explore Australia Publishing

Wisemans Ferry is a sleepy town built around what was once an important crossing on the Hawkesbury River. The mainland route from Sydney to Newcastle had always gone via this region, but when people started using the Castle Hill route, Solomon Wiseman, who had been granted a parcel of land and opened an inn, built a ferry to take people and cargo across the river. Today car ferries still cross at this point.

Visitor Information

Hawkesbury River Tourist Information Centre; 5 Bridge St, Brooklyn; (02) 9985 7064;


Nearby national parks

  • Dharug National Park

    Dharug National Park, north of Sydney, is of cultural significance to the Dharug people, but it is also outstanding for the convict-built Old...more

  • Yengo National Park

    Steep-sided valleys, sandstone ridges and a web of creeks and rivers are contained within the wilderness of Yengo National Park. Part of the...more

  • Popran National Park

    Popran National Park, 65 kilometres north of Sydney, has five sections, providing a corridor for wildlife between Brisbane Water and Dharug...more

Nearby towns

  • Windsor NSW

    Windsor, located on a high bank of the Hawkesbury River, is the third oldest European settlement on mainland Australia, after Sydney Cove...more

  • Richmond NSW

    Richmond provides a peaceful country atmosphere on the Hawkesbury River, but is close enough to Sydney to enjoy the best of both worlds....more

  • Woy Woy

    Woy Woy is the largest of the numerous holiday villages clustered around Brisbane Water, a shallow but enormous inlet. Along with nearby...more

In Town

Wisemans Ferry Inn Before it was an inn, this was the home of Solomon Wiseman; he called it Cobham Hall. Wiseman later opened a section of the building as an inn and it is said to be haunted by his wife, whom he allegedly pushed down the front steps to her death. The inn provides food and accommodation. Old Northern Rd; (02) 4566 4301.

Cemetery: early settlers' graves include that of Peter Hibbs, who travelled on the HMS Sirius with Captain Phillip in 1788; Settlers Rd.


Dharug National Park The multicoloured sandstone provides striking scenery on this historic land. The convict-built Old Great North Road is a great example of early 19th-century roadbuilding. Convicts quarried, dressed and shifted large sandstone blocks to build walls and bridges, but the road was abandoned before it was finished because of poor planning. Signposted walking tracks lead through beautiful bushland and to Aboriginal rock engravings. The clear-water tributaries are popular for swimming, fishing and canoeing. North side of the river.

Yengo National Park and Parr State Conservation Area: rugged land of gorges, cliffs and rocky outcrops. Discovery walks, talks and 4WD tours are conducted by the National Parks & Wildlife Service; north-east side of the river (accessible by ferry); bookings (02) 4784 7301.

Marramarra National Park

: undeveloped park with wetlands and mangroves for canoeing, camping, bushwalking (experienced only) and birdwatching; 28 km S.

Fishing spots near town

Hawkesbury-Nepean River 33 km

The Hawkesbury River is regarded as one of the most consistent waters for big mulloway, or jewfish as they are called. It was with mulloway in mind that I went to the river to fish with Colin Tannahill. The river flows... Find out more

Botany Bay 70 km

Recently I fished a hot-water outlet alongside the Kurnell refinery pier in Botany Bay, a few hundred metres from a monument dedicated to Captain James Cook’s landing in Australia in April 1770. A year before,... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

The Great North Walk 27 km

Although it links two of Australia’s most populated cities, Sydney and Newcastle, and passes through some beautiful bushland, the Great North Walk does not get the foot traffic you might expect. A 250-kilometre,... Find out more

Bushwalking in and around Sydney 35 km

Surprisingly, Sydney does offer some superb bushwalking through secluded bushland. Aboriginal engraving and art sites are quite common, and many are not publicised, simply leaving you to discover them, appreciate them,... Find out more

Kayaking in Sydney 54 km

Surprisingly, this activity has only taken off in Sydney in the past few years. With a city centred on such great waterways, there is plenty to explore, whether just for an hour or two, or a whole week. Sydney Harbour... Find out more

Picnicking in the Blue Mountains 55 km

Take a picnic up to the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden in Mount Tomah at any time of year and you will not be disappointed. At 1000 metres above sea level, it is usually cool in summer, brimming with flowers in spring,... Find out more

Taronga Zoo 56 km

One of the world’s best zoos, Taronga is involved in a wide variety of threatened species recovery operations, wildlife rehabilitation and animal research work. As well as having a great day by Sydney Harbour,... Find out more

Golf courses around town

Terrey Hills Golf & Country Club 37 km

A golf course, by its very nature, is a living and constantly changing thing. A fine example of the way a course can grow and the effect this can have on its original design lies at Terrey Hills, about 40 minutes... Find out more

Castle Hill Country Club 38 km

Back in 1821, Irishman George Acres received a land grant and is understood to have planted Australia’s first citrus trees. He planted them on the land where the fairways of Castle Hill Country Club now weave... Find out more

Pymble Golf Club 41 km

Pymble Golf Club has a rich history of nurturing some of the finest ball-strikers Australia has seen. The great Kel Nagle was the club’s resident professional for five years, and it was on the Pymble practice... Find out more

Monash Country Club 42 km

The first few years after World War II were boom years for golf course construction in Sydney, particularly north of the harbour. The founding members of Monash Country Club – which is today located high in the... Find out more

Avondale GOLF CLUB 42 km

When 19th-hole conversation turns to discussing the best places to play golf in Sydney, one course often slips under the radar. Avondale Golf Club quite rightly ranks among the harbour city’s finest courses. Yet... Find out more

Kooindah Waters Golf & Spa Resort 43 km

Throughout his playing career, Craig Parry has won tournaments around the world thanks to a mix of sound strategy, good ball-striking and a first-class short game. He brought those same key elements – golfing... Find out more

Long Reef Golf Club 49 km

Occupying the Long Reef headland on Sydney’s northern beaches – ‘one of the best sites of any golf course in Sydney’, according to five-time British Open champion Peter Thomson – this... Find out more

Magenta Shores Golf & Country Club 51 km

There is something truly inspiring about a golf course – whatever the quality of its playing surfaces – that offers the smells and sounds of the ocean. This is perhaps what first persuaded the Scots to use... Find out more

Concord Golf Club 53 km

From the very first days that golf was played in New South Wales, the name Concord has been part of the landscape. Established in 1899, golf began on the current site – on a layout designed by Dan Soutar, who... Find out more

Twin Creeks Golf & Country Club 54 km

As a globetrotting professional golfer of the 1970s and ’80s, Graham Marsh won more than 60 titles across five continents. The key to his success was his approach to the game. Every shot was thoughtfully... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town

Riverbend Restaurant

Riverbend Restaurant is part of the award-winning Australis Retreat at Wisemans, located in the heart of Wisemans Ferry. The retreat itself is sprawled across landscaped grounds on the banks of the Hawkesbury River, with... Find out more

Wiseman’s Steakhouse Bistro

For the best Angus steak around, pop into Wiseman’s Steakhouse Bistro, in the rustic stone 1826 Wiseman’s Inn Hotel. Make sure to arrive early to get a table on the deck overlooking the river. The steaks are... Find out more

Nearby eco-friendly places to eat

Billy Kwong 59 km

This up-market restaurant in Surry Hills claims to have been the first restaurant in New South Wales that chose to become carbon neutral. Owned and run by passionate advocate of sustainability and ethical eating Kylie... Find out more

Green Gourmet 59 km

These totally vegan restaurants have fascinating dishes including mock fish, made from taro, mushroom steaks and desserts such as green tea moon cake.... Find out more

Nearby breweries

Tooheys Brewery 52 km

Tooheys remains the last of Sydney’s long-running mainstream breweries still currently operating. Founders James and John Toohey were cattle farmers before they entered the beer game, buying the Darling Brewery (it... Find out more

Paddy's Brewery 53 km

There may be more unlikely venues for a craft brewery but, offhand, I can’t think of one. The Markets Hotel is a 24-hour pub opposite Sydney’s Flemington fresh produce market, where you’re more likely... Find out more

4 Pines Brewing Company 54 km

What do Margaret River and Manly have in common? Well, they both have popular surfing spots and craft breweries or, at least, they do now. The Mitchell family had seen the burgeoning Margaret River microbrewing scene... Find out more

Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel 56 km

Sydney’s longest-running brew-pub is many things rolled into one fine watering hole – an institution for ale lovers, a tourist magnet and a haven for homesick Poms. The historic sandstone pub is as comfy as a... Find out more

Redoak Brewery 57 km

Redoak burst onto the craft-beer scene by winning a swag of medals at the 2004 Australian International Beer Awards before they had sold even a single drop. And they have continued to collect an impressive array of... Find out more

Malt Shovel Brewery 58 km

US-born Dr Charles ‘Chuck’ Hahn has enjoyed two separate craft-beer careers over two decades, operating out of the same Camperdown brewery. In the late ’80s he opened it as the independent Hahn Brewery,... Find out more

Schwartz Brewery 58 km

Tucked away in the basement of the heritage-listed Macquarie Hotel in Surry Hills, this 8-hectolitre microbrewery is the hub of a burgeoning craft-beer empire run by owner Dr Jerry Schwartz. Apart from supplying the pub,... Find out more

St Peters Brewery 61 km

Matt Donelan is someone who marches to a different drum from most other craftbrewers. He doesn’t have a website or own a mobile phone and doesn’t believe in cardboard packaging. He matches his keg prices... Find out more

Campsites around town

Mill Creek camping area 6 km

One of the great drawcards of this camping ground is its wombat community. Sit quietly at dusk or dawn by one of the many freshly dug tunnels in the area, and you should be rewarded with a view of this enigmatic,... Find out more

Ten Mile Hollow camping area (walk-in camping) 12 km

This is a walk-in site and you’ll only find wood fireplaces here, so you need to be self-sufficient with a gas/fuel stove and drinking water. You can reach the campground via the 2-day Great North Walk between... Find out more

Heartbreak Hill camping area (walk-in camping) 16 km

Heartbreak Hill is walk-in only, but don’t let the name put you off. It’s a stopover point for hikers on the Womera Range Track, which also passes through adjacent Yengo National Park (see p. 16). This is for... Find out more

Marramarra Creek camping area (walk-in camping) 18 km

It’s a 4 km walk from the locked gate at Canoelands Rd, off Old Northern Rd, to this basic bush site. As with Gentlemans Halt, you’ll need to carry your drinking water with you, and preferably a gas/fuel... Find out more

Gentlemans Halt camping area (walk-in camping) 18 km

Perched on the banks of the Hawkesbury River, opposite Spencer, Gentlemans Halt is a 10 km walk from Canoelands Ridge Trail. Alternatively, you can paddle in by canoe as there are landing facilities here. Spare a few... Find out more

Cattai camping area 20 km

You’ll need to book 2 weeks in advance to bag a spot at this camping ground on the Hawkesbury River, off Cattai–Wisemans Ferry Rd, 13 km north of Windsor. Part of the park was a First Fleet land grant to... Find out more

The Hawkesbury Track 26 km

The Hawkesbury Track takes you 78 km from Berowra Waters to Somersby, supplying 7 camping areas along the way. It’s centred around the beautiful Hawkesbury River and includes several magnificent vantage points of... Find out more

Wheeny Creek camping area 26 km

Wheeny Creek, in the southern section of the park, has 30 camping sites available. It’s a spacious, picturesque medley of grassy terraces by the creek, which is a tributary of the Colo River. It’s on Comleroy... Find out more

The Benowie Walking Track 27 km

This 25 km slice of the trail leads from Thornleigh to Berowra, through Berowra Valley Regional Park. Stop off for a tasty meal with a view in one of the Berowra Waters cafes. There are 8 camping sites on this track.... Find out more

Colo Meroo camping area (walk-in camping) 27 km

Access to this camping site in the southern section of the park is by foot on the 24 km Mountain Lagoon Loop, which starts and finishes on Sam’s Way in the town of Mountain Lagoon. A far less taxing method of... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Park 34 km

Just 2 km from the centre of Umina and set in a fabulous beachfront position, this quality park is a favourite of ours. There is a wide range of facilities, and children’s activities are held most weekends and... Find out more

Sydney Hills Holiday Park 35 km

This is a quality park in the north-western suburbs and can be easily accessed from the M7 through Sydney’s west. The well-designed park has a very good shop and is in a nice area. It is ideal for a holiday base in... Find out more

BIG4 Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park 46 km

This is our pick of Sydney’s caravan parks. It is a large, grassy park on the banks of Narrabeen Lake and just a short stroll from the beach. It is located in a quiet area on the north shore, away from the city... Find out more

Blue Lagoon Beach Resort 47 km

Tucked away at the water’s edge, this beachfront park has a pool, spa and an entertainment complex. It is an ideal place for a quiet break, although it is busy at the height of the Christmas and Easter holidays,... Find out more

Lane Cove River Tourist Park 47 km

Despite being the closest caravan park to Sydney (just 10 km away), this place has a bush setting. Adjoining the Lane Cove River, the park has lovely treed areas and good facilities. A regular bus service operates to the... Find out more

Toowoon Bay Holiday Park 48 km

This is a large council-operated park on the waterfront. Some of the attractions in the area include pelican feeding and fishing. Pets are allowed but are restricted to one per site.... Find out more

Dunleith Tourist Park 49 km

This park has a picture-postcard location on the waterfront where Tuggerah Lake meets the sea. It has good tourist facilities and is within walking distance of town. Pets are allowed but not in holidays. Bookings are... Find out more

Two Shores Holiday Village 49 km

A small lakeside park is easily accessible from the main road and has relatively easy access for big rigs. A feature of the park is the coffee shop adjoining the office. Pets are allowed outside peak periods (small dogs... Find out more

Canton Beach Holiday Park 54 km

On the shores of Tuggerah Lake, this is a large council-operated park with good facilities. It is a great spot for a family holiday on the protected waterway and ideal for watersports enthusiasts. The park offers the... Find out more

Norah Head Holiday Park 55 km

This large, council-operated beachside park is a popular holiday destination. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Retreat at Wisemans

Perched on the banks of the mighty Hawkesbury River, the Retreat at Wisemans is a majestic country manor surrounded by 20 hectares of gardens and bushland. Every need is catered for here, with an excellent on-site beauty... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Australia Walkabout Park, Calga 22 km

You can camp out with the 180 species of wild animal in this 32-hectare feral-proofed wildlife park that has a solid history of conservation and caring for injured and orphaned wildlife. The overnight camping experience... Find out more

Wollemi Wilderness Retreat, Bilpin 52 km

These unusual self-contained cabins of various sizes feature passive solar design and are mainly constructed from recycled and salvaged materials. Although not high-class, they all have a spa and are in isolated bush... Find out more

Somewhere Unique, Wollombi 52 km

The two stand-alone, couples-only cottages here are stylish, contemporary and have passive solar design. They are eco-accredited, on an 8-hectare bushland reserve, and use only renewable energy and Greenfleet vehicles.... Find out more

Bunjaree Cottages, Wentworth Falls 66 km

Great for families, Bunjaree Cottages have been designed to make a small environmental footprint, with full solar power and earth-brick insulation. One is built with recycled car tyres and mud, providing even better... Find out more

Jemby-Rinjah Eco Lodge, Blackheath 68 km

One of the first working examples of large-scale sustainable tourism to exist in Australia, Jemby-Rinjah has advanced eco-accreditation, and one of the most extensive systems of composting toilets in the country. Ten... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Hawkesbury River rest area 26 km

49km N of Sydney (L)

Well off the highway on the banks of the river. For northbound only.

Ourimbah Exit rest area 36 km

80km N of Sydney (L) or 85km S of Raymond Terrace (R)

Well off the freeway via the exit.

Service Centre 42 km

93 km N of Sydney (L) or 74 km S of Raymond Terrace (R)

Highway Service Centre just off the highway.

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