The Hawkesbury Valley is a treasure trove of natural beauty, history, and culture — making it a perfect destination for families looking for free things to do with kids and who want to have fun without spending a fortune. Renowned for its beautiful green spaces, winding waterways, and endless opportunities for outdoor activities, all set against the stunning backdrop of the Blue Mountains foothills, the region is the perfect place for a school holidays getaway.
Whether you’re planning to explore the nearby national parks, walk the historic trails or indulge in some of the best outdoor activities in NSW — Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley provides the perfect base for your time in the region. To help you make the most of your family vacation, here are some fun family things to do with no money that you can add to your itinerary.
1. Walk The Historic Convict Trail
Kickstart your stay in the Hawkesbury Valley with a walk along one of the region’s most historic routes. One of the best free things to do with kids is walking the beaten path once used by convicts in the 19th century to transport timber from the Blue Mountains to the Hawkesbury River. Stretching 44 km through stunning landscapes and natural beauty, the Convict Trail is a hiker’s paradise.
Some of the highlights of the Convict Trail include the historic town of Kurrajong, the stunning views from Bellbird Hill, and the convict-built road at Devine’s Hill. Families can also visit the St. Albans Convict Gaol and Museum, which offers a unique insight into the lives of convicts in the region.
Walking the Convict Trail is a great way for families to learn about the history of the Hawkesbury Valley and appreciate the natural beauty of the region. Families can take a leisurely walk, enjoy a picnic along the way, and create lasting memories while exploring this unique and fascinating trail.
2. Explore Hawkesbury Regional Museum
When it comes to free things to do with kids, the Hawkesbury Regional Museum never fails to deliver. The museum, located in Windsor, offers a range of free exhibitions, displays, and interactive activities that showcase the rich history and cultural heritage of the region.
Both educational and engaging, explore the early days of settlement in the Hawkesbury Valley, learn about the region’s Indigenous heritage, and discover the role of the river in the area’s development.
One of the highlights of the Hawkesbury Regional Museum is a visit to the historic Howe House, a beautiful building that dates back to the early 1800s. Families can explore the house and learn about its history and the lives of the people who lived there.
Offering a range of free activities for families, including educational programs, workshops, and events. Families can participate in hands-on activities, listen to storytelling sessions, or attend a guided tour of the museum.
- Entry: Free for all ages
- Opening Times: Wednesday to Monday from 10 am – 4 pm
- Location: 8 Baker St, Windsor NSW 2756, Australia
3. Get Historical at the Australiana Pioneer Village
At the Australiana Pioneer Village, families can step back in time and get a closer look at the daily life of early Australian settlers in the 1800s. Home to an old schoolhouse, a general store, a blacksmith’s shop, and a traditional bakery — each building is staffed by costumed volunteers who bring the village to life by demonstrating the skills and crafts of the early settlers.
Spend an afternoon learning more about blacksmithing, spinning and weaving, and traditional cooking techniques, among other things. Take a ride on a horse-drawn carriage, visit the farm animals, and watch a sheep-shearing demonstration (during the shearing season). There’s also a fantastic range of vintage machinery and antique vehicles on display, including tractors, steam engines, and vintage cars.
With more than 20 attractions to explore and more than 28 acres of grounds to enjoy a riverside picnic on, it’s the perfect Sunday activity for families. During the school holidays, the Australiana Pioneer Village is also open on Tuesday and Wednesday. While Adult tickets are $10, it’s well worth the cost for a day at one of the region’s best ‘living’ museums.
- Free entry for under 5’s
- 10 Rose Street, Wilberforce NSW 2756
4. Visit The Iconic 3 Sisters & Blue Mountains
When looking for free things to do with kids in the Hawkesbury Valley, visiting the Three Sisters is a must-do. Easily accessible by car and less than an hour’s drive from Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley, enjoy a short walk to the Echo Point lookout, which offers stunning panoramic views of the Three Sisters and the surrounding landscape.
Enjoy a variety of free family-friendly activities, including bushwalking, picnicking, and bird watching. There are several walking tracks in the area, ranging from easy strolls to more challenging hikes. Families with young children can take a leisurely walk to the nearby Katoomba Cascades or the Prince Henry Cliff Walk, while older kids and teenagers may want to tackle the more strenuous Giant Stairway or the Federal Pass.
Be sure to set aside some time to visit the Waradah Aboriginal Centre, which offers a range of educational and interactive experiences that showcase the cultural significance of the Three Sisters to the local Aboriginal community.
Whether you’re exploring the walking tracks, trying your hand at abseiling, or learning about the local culture, a visit to the Three Sisters is sure to be a highlight of your family trip to the Hawkesbury Valley.
5. Play at Governor Phillip Park Regional Playground
For families who enjoy the great outdoors, there are plenty of free parks and playgrounds scattered throughout the Hawkesbury Valley waiting to welcome energetic youngsters. Richmond Park, Governor Phillip Park, and the Pitt Town Bottoms Reserve are just a few of the many parks that offer open spaces, walking paths, and play areas for kids of all ages.
Of these, Governor Phillip Park has the biggest and best playground, which features a range of equipment suitable for kids of all ages. The playground includes swings, slides, climbing frames, and other interactive play equipment that will keep children entertained for hours. Grown-ups can relax on the nearby benches or manicured lawns while keeping an eye on their kids as they play.
Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the riverbank or take in the scenic views from the many vantage points in the park. Onsite BBQ and picnic facilities make it the ideal place for an impromptu alfresco lunch — or grab a bite to eat at one of the nearby cafes or restaurants.
Other nearby parks to explore include:
- Bowen Mountain Park – located in Bowen Mountain.
- Clarendon Oval – located in Clarendon.
- Grose River Park – located in North Richmond.
- Howe Park – located in South Windsor.
- Kemsley Park – located in North Richmond.
- Memorial Park – located in Windsor.
- Pitt Town Bottoms Reserve – located in Pitt Town.
- Richmond Park – located in Richmond.
- Yarramundi Reserve – located in Yarramundi.
6. Wildwood Gardens in Autumn
Wildwood Gardens is a stunning destination for families with kids to experience the beauty of the autumn season in the Hawkesbury Valley. Located in the Blue Mountains foothills, the garden is renowned for its magnificent display of autumn colours and is a perfect spot for families to enjoy a leisurely stroll or a picnic.
During the autumn season, the garden is transformed into a sea of warm, vibrant colours, with the leaves of the deciduous trees turning from green to shades of orange, red, and gold. Families can take a leisurely walk along the winding paths and enjoy the stunning views of the garden’s many trees, shrubs, and flowers.
Wildwood Gardens also has several open spaces and picnic areas, making it a great spot for families to enjoy a relaxing picnic while taking in the beauty of the autumn colours. The garden’s tranquil atmosphere and stunning vistas provide a perfect backdrop for a family day out. Plus, as under 16’s enter for free, it’s another day out to add to your itinerary for free activities for kids to enjoy.
- Free entry for under 16’s
- Open Friday to Monday from 10 am-4 pm
- Wildwood Gardens, 26 Powells Road, Bilpin NSW 2758
Book Your Family Weekend Away
Check into the ultimate family destination these school holidays at Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley. Check into stylish 4.5-star accommodation and take full advantage of our family-friendly heated indoor pool, modern leisure facilities, playground and onsite dining options — everything you need for an amazing stay.
Book your family’s weekend escape today and get ready to create unforgettable memories together in the Hawkesbury Valley.