Reach for your overalls and akubra, this is rural Australia at its best… The Hawkesbury region starts at the mouth of the Hawkesbury Riverin Sydney’s north, wraps around Brooklyn and back to the Highlands at the foot of the Blue Mountains. Which makes for some great daytrips, wherever you choose to stay.
If you’re on a diet, we don’t recommend the Hawkesbury as there are sooo many tempting bakeries, beautiful restaurants and top wineries to enjoy. On the other hand, you only live once, so release that top button and go for gold! So flit your way through the streets with a glass of red in one hand and a map of the eats in the other. For homegrown delights, the Hawkesbury really can’t be beaten.
HAWKESBURY’S TOP 10
10. Hawkesbury River Have a good look it from all angles. It really is quite underrated.
5. Hawkesbury Regional Gallery A constant turnaround of displays means you can visit each year and be surprised.
9. Jubilee Vineyard Estate A beautiful 1960s house with an amazing rural backdrop. Just try to visit without saying, ‘I could live here!’
4. Hawkesbury Regional Museum Relics, art and a history lesson all rolled into one deceptively large building.
8. Kasarina Vineyard You’ll need to book an appointment if you want to get behind the doors of this famous winery.
3. Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens Rare flora to appreciate and read about, plus nice walks to keep you moving.
7. Tizzana Winery Take a tour and sample the local produce. Slowly now! Don’t peak too early, there’s a lot to get through…
2. Muru Mittigar Aboriginal Cultural and Educational Centre There are art displays, history lessons and even the odd lecture on offer here.
6. The Deerubbin Centre This houses the gallery as well as the Hawkesbury Regional Library.
1. Featherdale Wildlife Park Has everything from reptiles to ghost bats. If you stick around, you may just get to see them at feeding time.
St Albans Folk Festival is three big days and nights of music, fun and frivolity, presented by some of Australia’s best folk musicians. It comes around each Easter.
Who doesn’t love a good fiddle? The Hawkesbury National Fiddle Festival in April draws fiddlers from all across the globe.
One week after Sydney’s Royal Easter Show, Hawkesbury stages its own with the aptly named Hawkesbury Show. This agricultural delight sees shows with dogs, horses, cattle, sheep, alpacas and poultry.
The Bridge to Bridge Water Ski Classic races past in November and is one of the world’s major water ski races. Competitors reach speeds of up to 200km/h (124mi/h)!
The Hawkesbury Canoe Classic is a little slower and brings November’s skin back onto its cheeks with a weekend of canoe races that draw hefty crowds.
WHEN TO GO
- The Hawkesbury region is large, so the climate can vary from one area to another.
- Summer highs in excess of 40°C (104°F) are not uncommon.
- In winter, temperatures will likely drop below 5°C (41°F), especially in July.
- If you’re planning on doing a lot of exploring, you’ll need a car.
- There’ll be plenty of taxisaround, which are ideal for getting you to and from wine-heavy dinner reservations.
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