??Journey or destination??

Exploring life experiences at home and beyond – Destination Happiness


Day Tripping -Hawkesbury Valley

With only a few days left of my holiday (Brian had these days off too) we decided to do some day tripping. Our first day’s trip was to SEE Wisemans Ferry. Later you will see why I cursed the choice of this word!
We headed off on Anzac Day morning. The weather was perfect. The sky was a canvas of blue without even a hint of a cloud wisp. We armed ourselves with our traditional driving treats…Mentos and water and hit the road.
The drive to Wisemans Ferry took us via Spencer, the home of my maternal grandfather before he was old enough to leave the nest and move to Sydney. It is a suburb of the Central Coast region where I live. It is located on the north bank of the Hawkesbury River. Mangroves line the river here. According to the signs it is known as “THE HUB OF THE UNIVERSE”. It had a general store and one section of its tables located on the river front are tagged as “Dunkirk Hotel”.



We drove on, taking the ferry / car punt to Wisemans Ferry. The traffic is obviously heavy at some time as there are two punts that run the river at this point. We parked at Wisemans Ferry on the southern side so I could take some photos. Wisemans Ferry is rich in both Aboriginal and European history and has a part of the convict-built Old Great North Road that once connected Sydney and Newcastle .It also has an old hotel rumoured to abound in ghostly activity. We hopped back in the car drove past the hotel and began the steep drive up the mountain. Brian’s comment was “Well we’ve seen Wisemans Ferry, where to next?” He was right. We had SEEN it albeit from a moving vehicle. He offered to turn around but the road was steep and there was really no place to do a big swing around so I accepted the fact I’d seen Wisemans Ferry.

Wisemans Ferry along the Hawkesbury River banks

Wisemans Ferry along the Hawkesbury River banks

The car punt across the river at Wisemans Ferry

The car punt across the river at Wisemans Ferry

From here we drove on to a town called Ebenezer where you will find the oldest standing church building in Australia and the oldest existing school building in Australia. The schoolmaster’s residence was built in 1817 and as luck would have it, is used to serve Devonshire teas. No way was I just going to SEE this place, ha ha ha. The scones were amazing…homemade by nimble fingers with a lot of baking experience no doubt. The milk jug had a material cover with crocheted edge, something I remember from my childhood. Morning / afternoon tea was a big thing in my home.






After tucking into these melt in the mouth delights, washed down with strong brew we wandered through the graveyard reading the headstones. I noticed one family (Grono) had a crypt and row of graves together, then one alone for Maria Grono. I decided I would google her when I got home. I was intrigued as to why she was apart from the others. I wanted to know her story. Turns out she was a wife of one of the sons and the linked graves were those of the parents and their 9 children. Seemed there was nothing untoward her grave being a little apart from the others. But being me, nothing finishes that easy. Turns out this lady shared the same maiden name with my maternal grandmother’s maiden name. I’m just so sure somehow I will find a family link 😉 INSERT SPOOKY MUSIC …

With full tummies and thoughts of six degrees of separation occupying my mind we drove on arriving at Sackville. We crossed the river on yet another car punt. Apparently my great grandfather Jesse Suttor was the Sackville punt man at one stage in his life so this ride is a little in kin style.


The shadows were starting to draw long and thin signaling it was time to begin journeying home .We took the scenic route through the Richmond area. The Hawkesbury River still featured in our journey… such a long river span.


Always thinking of meals, we ate at Pie in the Sky a pie store situated on (well not literally haha)the Old Pacific Highway and yes, it overlooks the Hawkesbury river as well as the main F3 freeway. I had meant to take a photo of my pie dinner which was by the way really tasty…but hunger, having eaten nothing since the scones at Ebenezer and around 6 hours having ticked by, made my mind to hazy to think about getting the camera out. But I did at the end !