Nestled in the heartland of the Hawkesbury River is the distinctive river settlement of Wisemans Ferry, about 60km north-west of Sydney’s CBD.
Encircled by noteworthy national parks - Dharug to the north and east, Yengo to the north-west, Cattai to the west, and Marramarra to the south - Wisemans Ferry is a rustic village on one of the country's most famous waterways.
Although it is a favourite retreat for Sydneysiders, its popularity has neither eroded its rural charm nor disturbed the hotel's famous ghost.
The sandstone escarpments that ring the village are typically Australian, providing a unique view of authentic country life less than 40 minutes north-west of Hornsby.
The area abounds in Aboriginal and European history. The 4850ha Dharug National Park contains 16km of the convict-built Old Great North Road that once connected Sydney and Newcastle. Visitors can walk the first 1.6km section of the old road, or stroll along the 1.6km Grass Tree Circuit - a good walk for families - or picnic at Mill Creek or Hazel Dell.
The park is also a popular destination for mountain biking (bikes must be walked up Devines Hill), while car-based and small-caravan camping is available at Mill Creek. Backpack camping is permitted at Ten Mile Hollow.