Thursday, 23 February 2012

Wisemans Ferry via Settlers Road

The bike - Honda Vtr250
Back on the 8th of January I was bored one Sunday afternoon. I thought about going for a ride and remembered a road I drove past now and then with a turn off to Wisemans Ferry. I decided to have a quick look on Google maps and Street view to see what the road was like and where it went. Google maps noted it as the Settlers / Wollombi Road and a decent proportion of it was dirt. I was intrigued so I grabbed a drink, some lunch to go and jumped on the bike and headed off up the old Pacific Highway. The ride to Bucketty took roughly an hour and 30 taking the old windy roads of the Old Pacific Highway(Old Pac) and George Downes Drive. For people who don’t know the ‘Old Pac’ it is a well known motorbike weekend ride route or track as some use it, close to Sydney with a nice pie shop which is regularly frequented by riders. The road is also regularly frequented by the police as a result. :(

Settlers Road
A left turn takes you onto Settlers / Wollombi Road and it soon transitions to dirt. Signage along the way describes the route as an old convict trail and is heritage protected, for approximately 5km. The route is windy and scenic as the road makes its way from the sandstone ridges down into the valleys. The road in places narrows down to driveway widths along the dirt section. It eventually opens up along one of the tributaries lakes to the Hawkesbury river. The road returns to tar close to St Albans, the valley landscape widens out and pastoral land covers the floors of the valley with a mix of farms and farm-lets. Its picturesque and with the regular rain in Sydney lately, its very green with dams filled to over flowing.
The Widening Valley Floor Landscape and Hawkesbury Tributaries

The farm-lets give way to what I call a country / bush suburbia as Wisemans Ferry approaches. Wisemans Ferry is not a large town but the northern side of the Hawkesbury feels quite built up compared to the south side where the historic town is located. A free car ferry takes you across the Hawkesbury where large parks with picnic areas and little river side beaches provide a great space to have lunch and stretch the legs. The town itself is sited slightly further up the hill I suppose to keep it out of the flood plain. It is a historic town with the old stone of the early 1800’s buildings and early Australian / English heritage.

Pastoral Land and tar road just out side St Albans

From Wisemans Ferry it was off home via the Galston Gorge, a very windy road with very tight bends and usually too much traffic. The bends are too tight and really aren’t they entertaining but its a rather scenic ride.

Down at Wisemans Ferry having lunch under these interesting trees

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