FERRY AT WISEMANS FERRY (Old Northern Road)
This ferry is one of two cable ferry crossings in the community of Wisemans Ferry, the other being Webbs Creek Ferry, which crosses the Hawkesbury River to a point upstream of the confluence with the Macdonald River.
The Wisemans ferry crosses the Hawkesbury River just east of the junction of the Macdonald River at the village of Wisemans Ferry. Bushwalkers wanting to trek up Devine’s Hill and the Great North Road should use this crossing.
The crossing is 366 metres (1,201 ft) in length and takes approximately 4 minutes. The ferry operates on demand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
There is a second ferry available, which is used in high traffic situations particularly on weekends and when the other ferry is being serviced. The main ferry is capable of carrying 24 cars each trip and has a 120 tonne load limit.
Operating time: 24 hours, seven days a week.
Trip duration: four minutes (please allow up to 15 minutes waiting time). Cost: FREE
FERRY AT WEBBS CREEK (River Road)
This ferry also operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and ceases for scheduled maintenance on the first Tuesday of every month between 9.00am to 11.00am.
The Webbs Creek Ferry at Wiseman Ferry crosses the Hawkesbury River just south of the junction of Macdonald River. The regular ferry at Webbs Creek crossing with a safe load limit of 120 tonnes and 24 cars capacity
Trip duration: five minutes (please allow up to 15 minutes waiting time).
Traveling across the Hawkesbury River is all part of the adventure and it’s a fun and pleasant mode of transport – use the time to enjoy the natural beauty of theHawkesbury River while you travel across the River.
These vehicular ferries are operated by a private sector operator under contract to New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services and is free of tolls.
The Sackville ferry crosses the Hawkesbury River, north of Sackville on the Sackville Road and connects the roads linking Windsor and Wisemans Ferry. The ferry at Sackville has a safe load limit of 70 tonnes and capable of carrying 15 cars every trip across the river.
Operating time: 24 hours, seven days a week.
Service day: ferry services will not operate on the first Wednesday of every month between 12.45pm and 3.00pm.
Trip duration: three minutes (please allow up to 10 minutes waiting time). Cost: FREE
Lower Portland Ferry
The Lower Portland ferry is closed from 9:00AM to 11:00AM on the 1st Wednesday of the month.
The ferry is also closed from Midnight to 5:00AM nightly. As it is a much smaller ferry, no Coaches or Buses are permitted.
Other Ferries Nearby
Berowra Waters Ferry
The Berowra ferry crosses Berowra Creek at Berowra Waters from Bay Road (Tourist Drive 11) to Berowra Waters Road. This ferry is capable of carrying 15 cars with a safe load limit of 90 tonnes.
Note: trucks longer than seven metres are not able to approach the ferry due to road restrictions.
Operating time: 24 hours, seven days a week. Cost: FREE
Service day: ferry services will not operate on the second Tuesday of each month between 12 noon and 2.30pm.
Four Ferries Drive – Suggested Itinerary
Wisemans to Cattai National Park
Wander through the Hawkesbury Region crossing four car ferries along the Hawkesbury River.
Start your drive from Wisemans Ferry Park on the Hawkesbury River. Cross on the vehicular ferry and turn west (left) onto Settlers Road and head to St Albans. This road is unsealed for most of the way to and from St Albans but is usually in good condition.
Break your journey and stop at the gate to the Convict Heritage Trail (approx 1km from the ferry crossing). You can walk up Devines Hill and depending on your fitness and available time, you can make this walk as long or as short as you like and still see the convict’s handiwork in the retaining walls and excavations.
Continue westward up the Macdonald Valley towards St Albans and you will note an old cemetery adjacent to the road on the left side as you near St Albans.
This is a pioneer cemetery and the scripts on the headstones are worth viewing as this was one ofthe earliest settled areas in colonial times. Continue to St Albans for lunch or coffee. At St Albans, go over the Macdonald River, turn south (left) onto St Albans Road and follow the road along the other side of the Macdonald Valley.
Cross over the Hawkesbury River on the Webbs Creek Ferry to Wisemans Ferry, turn south (right) and head down River Road. The road is very scenic. At Lower Portland turn right and take the ferry across the Hawkesbury River again.
Turn south (left) into West Portland Road and follow it until you reach a ‘T’ intersection onto Sackville Road. Turn south (right) onto Sackville Road, follow for approx 3km then turn east (left) onto Tizzana Road. After about 1km, turn right into Coromandel Road. Follow this for a few hundred metres and Ebenezer Church is on your right at a turn in the road.
Ebenezer Church is the oldest church in Australia and is surrounded by a pioneer cemetery with graves dating back to the early 1800s. Plus, there is a schoolmaster’s house which is now a museum. Devonshire tea can beenjoyed at picnic tables under the shady trees.
Retrace your steps back to Sackville Road to traverse the Hawkesbury River on the Sackville Ferry and continue along Sackville Road; note the beautiful juxtaposition of the orange orchard and the sandstone cliffs on your left. When you reach River Road, keep on Sackville Road and turn south (right) when you reach Wisemans Ferry Road.
This road leads to Cattai National Park which has picnic facilities and if you have the kids on board there are large grassy fields for them to have a game of cricket or football.
History of the Ferries at Wisemans
The ferry is named after its founder, Solomon Wiseman, a former convict (1778–1838), who received a land grant in the area from Governor Macquarie in 1817.
Wiseman established the ferry service in 1827 for the transport of produce and provisions to the convicts building the Great North Road to link Sydney with the fertile Hunter Valley.
Initially located 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) downstream of its present location, the crossing was moved to its present location in 1829 when the Great North Road was repositioned and reconstructed. In 1832, the Wisemans ferry service was purchased by the government.
Until the opening of the Peats Ferry Bridge across the Hawkesbury at Brooklyn, Wisemans Ferry was on one of the main road routes north out of Sydney.
However, when that bridge opened in 1945, vehicular traffic along the Great North Road through Wisemans Ferry was reduced, and the crossing at Wisemans Ferry could no longer be considered to be on the main route north to Newcastle.
Information from Wikipedia.
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