Wisemans Ferry and the Convict Trail

Wisemans Ferry and the Convict Trail

With so much to do, so close to Sydney, sitting at home over a weekend is a sin, no matter what the weather. So on a chilly, windy Saturday, we took to the roads and headed west to Wisemans Ferry.

We chose the slightly longer route, passing through Galston Gorge, where we stopped at Berowa Creek for a short walk and a little look see. From there we headed straight on to Wisemans Ferry, arriving spot on at lunch time.

We stopped at the Wisemans Inn Hotel for a quick bite, predominantly because they were supposed to have a great kids playground, complete with a jumping castle and ducks. Sadly, due to the wind, the jumping castle had been deflated, and left in a pile on the ground. With not much to do outside, we decided to sit inside, closer to the roaring fire. I enjoyed beer battered fish and chips, and Sharon had a chicken schnitty, both of which were great. The venue welcoming and warm, so it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in the area.

Since the kids were still itching to play, we stopped off at the local playground for a quick swing and slide. And then it was on to the Wisemans Ferry crossing.

The crossing is completely free, which was the first thing to amaze me. However, this was soon replaced by the astonishment at just have fast, and efficiently, the ferry ran. There was not just one, but two cable operated ferries, transporting cars and bikes across the Hawkesbury. The crossing is 366 meters long, and takes roughly 4 minutes in total.

The Wisemans Ferry Crossing
The Wisemans Ferry Crossing

Once we’d crossed the Hawkesbury, we made our way to the Convict Trail. It was already 3pm, so we didn’t have a lot of time left in the day, especially since we still needed to drive back to Sydney.

None the less, we set off up the Old Great North Road, heading towards Hangman’s Rock. I had no idea where the rock was, but had seen pictures at the Wisemans Inn, and was hoping we’d find it.

The trail was easy going, being an old road which had been closed in 1992 to prevent erosion. It was fantastic to see how well the history had been maintained and celebrated, with plaques every 100 meters featuring sculptures and facts, keeping both the kids and adults entertained.

Thankfully we found Hangman’s Rock 1.5kms up the trail, and what a site it was. The rock glowed under the setting sun, with the hole in the top bearing witness to the giant gumtrees above. Although never proved, the story is that convicts were hung from a branch towering above the hole.

We took a few photos before heading back down the hill to the main road. I’d highly recommend the Convict Trail, and will definitely be back for a longer walk along the historical road. In total this stretch is 43kms long, with a few campsites scattered along the way, which may one day get a visit from me.

Back in the car, we once again crossed the Hawkesbury using the Wisemans Ferry crossing, and then drove the hour back to Sydney, arriving home just before dark. It was a great day out, in an extremely beautiful area, that definitely warrants another visit to explore.