With the Australia Day long weekend coming up, I was searching for literally anywhere to camp, but predictably, everything was completely booked out. That was until we came across Youcamp – the Airbnb of the camping world.
It led us to the NSW Ski Gardens, located on the banks of the Hawkesbury River in the rustic village of Wisemans Ferry.
This site is predominantly filled with cabins, but there is a beautiful shady strip along the river, which is reserved just for campers. Although the camp warden scoffed over the phone that it was unlikely we would get a peaceful river spot… we got exactly that, so happy days!
Day one was filled with reading, fishing, BBQ burgers and marshmallows, punctured by the two bull ant bites I got in two hours. TWO! For those of you who have never been bitten by one, they are extremely painful – a 3/4 on the Schmidt sting pain index. Luckily I had an ice box on hand, which acted as the perfect numbing agent.
On day two we ventured to The Convict Trail, a 3.6km return walk up Devine’s Hill. To get to Devine’s Hill, you have to cross the Hawkesbury River on a cable ferry and these run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for free. Why not just build a bridge? 🤔
This convict built road is a brilliant walk with beautiful scenery and plenty of history. There are interesting informative signs along the trail, as well as visible remnants of the Old Great North Road, including rock cuttings, stone retaining walls, an old quarry site and Hangmans Rock. Being the middle of summer, it was bloody hot and the sun was beating down, but it was also very peaceful and there were no other walkers to compete with.
That evening we went to a traditional country pub – The Wisemans Inn Hotel – for a couple of drinks and I loved the outdoor courtyard area, it reminded me of the UK. 😥
After another evening of BBQ hot dogs and watching the sun set, it was time to pack up and go home, but not before stopping at Busby’s Cafe Restaurant for lunch. Labelled as ‘the hidden gem on the secret river‘, there was friendly service and a relaxed atmosphere with a great view. I got the chicken burger with pineapple and I would definitely recommend!
Now that I’ve visited Wisemans Ferry, I’m not sure that I’d go out of my way to come again, but I’m glad we came and it’s crossed of my travel list.