When Sydney’s early European settlement at Botany Bay ran short of food Captain Arthur Phillip sailed north in search of land to support agriculture. He sighted the mouth of a river, which he named the Hawkesbury River and explored upstream towards the current day town of Windsor. Seeing arable land he noted that it would be a good area for growing fruit and vegetables and for grazing livestock.
By 1794 there were 22 families farming the area, with more regularly arriving. In 1810 Governor Lachlan Macquarie arrived in Sydney and gave instructions to establish townships in various parts of the district.
Today you can visit the towns of Wilberforce, Ebenezer, Pitt Town and Wisemans Ferry and enjoy the many old fine buildings that still stand to provide insight into early colonisation. The historic charm of the Hawkesbury’s river towns can be fully explored on this self-guided tour. Visit 13 of the best preserved and interesting historic locations in the area.
You can pick up your free Heritage Highlights booklet from either the Hawkesbury Regional Museum in Baker Street Windsor or from the Hawkesbury Visitor Information Centre on Hawkesbury Valley Way, Richmond.