The City of Hawkesbury is a large semi-rural area to the northwest of Sydney. Some of Australia's oldest colonial settlements are to be found here, and have remained underdeveloped in the years since. The outward development of Sydney's suburbs has reached the area, and it could now be considered part of Sydney proper.
The Windsor area represents the third-oldest area of European settlement in New South Wales (after Sydney and Parramatta). Settlers arrived here in 1791 and called it "Green Hills". The town was inaugurated in a drive by Governor Macquarie to build cities worthy of the thriving new colony - it was named after Windsor in England, site of a royal castle.
Windsor can make an interesting trip into Sydney's history, well off the beaten path for most visitors. You can find graveyards and sandstone among the car-yards and supermarkets.
The town of Richmond was settled by Europeans in 1794 to set up farms and feed the new colony of Sydney.
Kurrajong is further to the north in the area, a very rural town that acts as an entrance to the Blue Mountains.
If travelling from the Sydney Orbital network, Get yourself onto the M7, then take the Richmond Road exit. Then follow Richmond Rd north until it turns to Blacktown Rd and continue following it until you get into Richmond. Or, turn off to George St to head to Windsor. From Penrith, follow Richmond Road (A9) up north. If you want to avoid tolls, follow Old Windsor Road (A40) from Parramatta, heading north.
Heading to Kurrajong and Bilpin means following Bells of Line Road, while heading to Hawkesbury means following Castlereagh Rd and Springwood Rd.
Windsor and Richmond has the regular T1 Western Line and T5 Cumberland Line trains has train services from central Sydney to Windsor and Richmond every 30 minutes.
Although one of the earliest settled parts of Sydney, the area is largely rural with limited public transport. Getting your own car is going to be your best option.
There is one bus that serves the suburb of Richmond up to Bilpin. The bus runs only twice in the afternoon. There are busses which run around Windsor, Richmond and Kurrajong.
- 1 Peninsula House, Tebbutt's Observatory, Palmer Street, Windsor.
- Windsor Town. Many 19th-century buildings, including the Macquarie Arms Hotel, St Matthew's Church and Windsor Court House.
- 2 The Australiana Pioneer Village, 10 Rose St, Wilberforce, ☏ . 10AM-4PM (Sundays and Bank holiday Mondays only). Collection of historical buildings from the era. Run by volunteers on Sundays. Featuring rides on historical equipment, historical tours of the buildings and animals. $5 adults, $3 children.
- 3 Hawkesbury Regional Museum, 8 Baker St, Windsor NSW 2756. 10AM-4PM every day except Tuesdays. Small but high quality museum about the long history of this region of Sydney. Free.
- 1 Trees Adventure - Grose River Park, 200 Springwood Rd, Yarramundi (20 min from Penrith at the confluence of the Nepean and Grose River), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 9AM-5PM. Soar through the treetops at the foothills of The Blue Mountains on an array of flying foxes, tight ropes and tunnels. Arrive 30 minutes prior to the time you book so you have enough time to get ready. All of the treetop platforms are built on more than 70 Sydney Blue Gums (eucalyptus saligna), which borders both sides of the river. $48 adults, $43 concession, $38 child, $25 kids.
- 1 Tutti Fruit, 1917 Bells Line of Rd, Bilpin. A nice cafe on the way into the Blue Mountains that serves local apple pies and ice cream.
- 2 Barrels & Ashes, 122 Windsor St, Richmond, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. W Th 4-10PM, F-Su 11AM-late. Popular smokehouse with a popular cocktail & whiskey bar as well. $25-65.
- 3 Phoo Thai, Shop 3 251 -257 New Street, Windsor, ☏ . M-F 11AM-9PM, Sa Su 5-9PM.
- 4 Boots Bar & Restaurant, 35/37 Macquarie St, Windsor, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. W-M 11AM-9PM, Tu 5-9PM. Australian pub food. $20-35.
- 1 Windsor Terrace Motel, 47 George Street, Windsor, ☏ , fax: . A budget hotel offering comfortable accommodations in the heart of historic Windsor. From $90.
- 2 Hawkesbury Heights YHA, 836 Hawkesbury Rd, Hawkesbury Heights 2777, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. This shack offers basic accomodation and a place to rest your head. But bookings are essential, as there isn't a whole lot of turnover. From $32 for a shared room.
- 3 Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley, 61 Hawkesbury Valley Way, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Hawkesbury accommodation 45 minutes from Sydney and 50 minutes from Sydney airport. Windsor hotel offering contemporary accommodation and home to the day spa 'Villa Thalgo'. From $155.
- 4 Macquarie Arms Hotel, 99 George St, Windsor, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Heritage-listed hotel and pub on the banks of the Hawkesbury River.
The City of Hawkesbury is on the edges of most 4G networks, don't expect to be dropping bars. As you climb the blue mountains on Bells of Line Road, some sections are very patchy.
- The Blue Mountains to the east
- The Wollemi National Park to the northeast
- Wisemans Ferry to the northwest