Situated at the north of the Hills District, Wisemans Ferry is a small but beautiful town that sits along the Hawkesbury River, surrounded by vibrant tree covered mountains- the perfect place for a healing getaway day trip.
I visited the town of Wisemans Ferry on a sunny but cool autumn weekday, but even before reaching the destination, the trip began with a stopover at Hawkins Lookout. Located on Old Northern Road, the lookout is just a 5 minute drive before Wisemans Ferry. But be careful- it’s quite easy to miss as it’s almost hidden behind trees. Google Maps will be your best friend.
The lookout presents a refreshing view the town from above, revealing the Hawkesbury River and the Webbs Creek cable ferry that provides rides for both passengers and vehicles from one side of the Hawkesbury River to the other.
But for best results, visit during golden hour, when the sun sets behind the mountains, revealing the most breathtaking colours in the evening sky, as the mixture of warm colours of the sky contrasting against the cool greens of the mountains, and the reflection of the burning evening sun and clouds on the Hawkesbury river will remain marvelously memorable.
At Wisemans Ferry
In this town, you will find that all the shops huddled together on Old Northern Road- ‘Wisemans Ferry Central’ being the closest you will find to a centre. I purchased a coffee at the café here, where the workers were extremely friendly and catering to our needs and questions. The prices of the cafe’s food and drinks were also friendly, making the experience all the more worthwhile.
As the town’s name suggests, the town is home to a ferry-, two actually, that cross the Hawkesbury River to connect the communities across either side. Although there isn’t much to do on the other side of the river, the experience of crossing the river on something other than your usual bridge is one to remember. As you cross the river, you are able to see the riverbed and mountains from a new perspective, as well as appreciate the town for its unique simplicity.
The first ferry is the ‘Webbs Creek Ferry’, that comes off River Road, connecting to St. Albans Road on the other side of the Hawkesbury River. This ferry is the newer of the two ferries and runs every day of the week for 24 hours, with only regular closures for maintenance on the first Tuesday from 9:30am to 12pm of each month.
Beside the port for this ferry, is a little park that overlooks the river, and in the fall, you are able to see the river and watch the Webbs Creek Ferry under two magnificent maple trees.
The second of the two cable ferries is, as you may have guessed, ‘Wisemans Ferry’. This ferry was founded by Solomon Wiseman in 1829 and has been running since, making it the oldest ferry crossing in NSW still in operation. The Wisemans Ferry port is located at the end of Old Northern Road, and operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week- no regular maintenance closures.
Next to the port, is the Wisemans Ferry Park- larger than the one beside the Webbs Creek Ferry port, with toilets, a beach, kiosk, playground, picnic areas, benches, as well as a BBQ area.
But the most stunning part about this park in autumn, is the parking lot- Surrounded by the beautiful hues of vibrant yellows, saturated reds, to fresh greens and deep purples of deciduous maple trees, it is here that you will find yourself truly mesmerised by nature’s beauty.
Pros and Cons
As this place is quite far from the general Sydney area, you may experience a few data connectivity issues- but the peaceful community and scenery will be something you will remember and will take away from the constant need to keep to your phone. Also, there are a few cafes and stores that close on Tuesdays, so if you want to be able to experience the entire community, it would be best to visit on other days.
My trip to Wisemans Ferry was a fresh breath from my typical day in the midst of a busy 21st century lifestyle- I would definitely return again to see the beauty of the autumn leaves as well as the serenity of the mountains, river, and community.
The Ferries at Wisemans Ferry and Webbs Creek