UPPER RIVER AND NORTH-WEST SYDNEY
In the north-west, Greater Sydney is defined by the Blue Mountains (west), and the mighty
Hawkesbury River that meanders its way from Yarramundi (below the mountains) via Windsor, Wiseman Ferry, Brooklyn and Broken Bay to its mouth at Palm Beach/ Barrenjoey Head.
Hawkesbury City is the jewel of the Greater Sydney’s north-west, incorporating both the Blue Mountains (north) and the start and upper reaches of the Hawkesbury River. Towns and villages are dotted throughout the Blue Mountains’ foothills and along the river. Best known towns include Windsor, Richmond, Wilberforce, Pitt Town, North Richmond, Kurrajong, Bilpin and St Albans.
Hawkesbury City is one of the most historic areas in Greater Sydney, being the third area settled in the Colony of NSW (after Parramatta and Sydney-town). It has some of the oldest townships and buildings in Australia with buildings designed by architects of the Colony.
Windsor is the main town. Its location on the River was favourable for river boat access in the early days. Its access was also utilised by the Darug People. Windsor, Richmond, Wilberforce and Pitt Town were named on 6 December 1810 by Governor Lachlan Macquarie.
Hawkesbury City has a population of about 62, 000 people. The community enjoys urban, rural, river and mountain lifestyles on a variety of lot sizes. The River is the focus for water activities and sports, with “Bridge-to-Bridge” events (waterskiing, powerboats, kayaking) occurring annually. Land activities are varied and include equestrian pursuits.
Hawkesbury City is an agricultural production area utilising the upper river floodplain and the Blue Mountains foothills for crops and value-added products (vegetables, fruit and nut trees, cheese, wine). Farmers participate in ‘farm gate’ sales to allow people to buy local seasonal produce while visiting the area.
Hawkesbury City is home to 20% of all national parks and nature reserves in Sydney. They make up 71% of the area. Parks and reserves include Blue Mountains, Wollemi, Yengo, Cattai, Scheyville, Parr, Dharug and Windsor Downs. They are accessible for outdoor activities like bushwalking, bird watching and botanical pursuits. The Great River Walk with Penrith is being developed to provide locals, visitors and tourists with walking and cycling experiences along the Nepean and Hawkesbury rivers.
Bell Bird Hill, Hawkesbury Heights and Streeton Lookouts provide excellent views of Greater Sydney across Hawkesbury River and its floodplain. Sydney can be seen in the distance. Bell birds can be heard around Bell Bird Hill Lookout.
The Hawkesbury River is Greater Sydney’s jewel and has indoor and outdoor experiences waiting to be discovered. The natural beauty is to be experienced by walking and driving around the area. Yarramundi Reserve (78 ha) is popular for outdoor activities in a natural setting. The Greater Blue Mountains Drive map and guide has more information about Hawkesbury River environs. Hawkesbury Regional Museum and Hawkesbury Regional Gallery have permanent and rotational exhibitions. Hawkesbury Agricultural Show is held annually around April.
Hawkesbury City is within 1 hours’ travel time from Sydney. Motorways and roads combine to provide easy access. Windsor and Richmond are interchange points for travel between Sydney and the Blue Mountains, Central West and Hunter Region.
Hawkesbury Visitor Information Centre is conveniently located between Windsor and Richmond. Trains (Richmond Railway Line) and buses provide public transport options.
Hawkesbury Visitor Information Centre is open 7 days a week and can help with enquiries for Hawkesbury River and City and surrounding areas. The centre has information on things to do and places to see and can assist with accommodation bookings, maps and mementos.
Governor Lachlan Macquarie was the Governor of NSW from 1810 to 1821.
In 2010 we will celebrate 200 years since his governorship commenced.
He had a profound impact on the colony and is recognised for transforming NSW from a penal colony into a dynamic and humane civil society and economy. He and his wife, Elizabeth Campbell Macquarie, oversaw the overhaul and development of Sydney-town and the establishment of 10 towns with civic and government buildings. Seven towns were proclaimed by Governor Macquarie in 1810.
Five of those, Windsor, Richmond, Wilberforce and Pitt Town in Hawkesbury City and Castlereagh in Penrith, were proclaimed on 6 December 1810.
He had earlier founded Liverpool and the District of Airds (Campbelltown).
In 2010 Hawkesbury City will help celebrate the Bicentenary of Governor Macquarie’s governorship and the proclamation of his Macquarie Towns with local events during the year. For more information contact Hawkesbury Visitor Information Centre.
For information about
(upper) Hawkesbury River
and the Blue Mountains, contact Hawkesbury Visitor Information Centre, Clarendon (opposite Richmond RAAF Base)
Hawkesbury Valley Way
Phone: 61-2-4578-0233; 1300 362-874.