Just a 60-minute drive from Sydney, Hawkesbury Valley is home to stunning scenery, cellar doors, vineyards and wineries, family-friendly attractions and much more. While popular with families throughout the summer, the region is an absolute joy to visit during the shorter, cooler winter months.
Greater Sydney inland suburbs, including Windsor and Richmond, typically enjoy mildly cool winters, with July being the coldest. Decreased rainfall and cool temperatures lend themselves perfectly to more comfortable adventures in the region.
Whether you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Sydney for the weekend or simply enjoy some time surrounded by stunning natural beauty, Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley offers luxuriously cosy accommodation that is perfect for a winter escape to the country.
To help you enjoy a winter long weekend in Hawkesbury Valley, here are just a few reasons to visit.
Enjoy Local Sips
Home to some of Greater Sydney’s best vineyards, wineries and cellar doors, the Hawkesbury Valley has plenty of local sips well worth adding to your list of things to do this winter.
Home to its own vineyard and olive grove, Tizzana Winery brings a touch of Tuscany to the Hawkesbury. Enjoy a mix of locally produced food and wine at the cellar door, open from 12pm to 5pm on Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays, and by appointment during the week.
Showcasing the very best of the Karu Distillery, House of Spirits is the perfect place to enjoy award-winning spirits, mixed drinks, and cocktails on a tasting flight. There is also a range of craft beer, wine and spirits, along with delectable locally sourced produce platters. Open from 5pm to 9pm. on Thursday and Friday, from 12 to 9pm on Saturday and from 12 to 6pm on Sunday; it’s one to add to your itinerary.
Hawkesbury Valley Wine Tours
Why limit yourself to one when you can visit 5 of the best local distilleries in the region on board a Hawkesbury Valley Wine Tour? Set off for the day and enjoy a variety of tasting paddles at Karu Distillery, then head back on the bus for a short drive down to Tizzana Winery and discover the incredible history of their delicious wine. Next Stop, Jubilee Vineyard. Look out over grapevines and the stunning Hawkesbury Creek as you indulge in a smooth, velvety red.
Once you’ve wrapped up here, take a trip over to Bilpin Cider Co, and experience the freshness of their ciders and stroll through their luscious green gardens, before heading to the last stop, Hillbilly Cider Shed.
Weekend tours are available Saturday & Sunday with sessions running from 10am – 5:30pm. There is also the option of a shuttle service to the Bilpin Orchids and Hillbilly Cider during the school holidays. All guests will be picked up and dropped off at the Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley. Bookings must be made directly with Hawkesbury Valley Wine Tours.
Indulge in a Hawkesbury Valley High Tea
No visit to the Hawkesbury would be complete without a Hawkesbury Valley High Tea. Indulge with a selection of gourmet finger sandwiches, hot canapes, petit fours, and freshly baked scones with cream and jam. Top this off with a choice selection of fine tea and coffee and a glass of sparkling wine on arrival – with views of the beautiful gardens. Available Friday to Sunday, bookings are essential.
Discover Beautiful Winter Walks
The Hawkesbury Valley is blessed with some of the finest national parks, wildlife reserves and natural beauty in NSW. No visit to the region would be complete without at least one nature trail or winter walk in the Blue Mountains, Wollemi or Yarramundi. To help you decide between the three, here’s an overview of each.
Wollemi National Park
When it comes to scenic walks, canoeing, wildlife spotting and alfresco picnics, Wollemi National Park is among the best in the region. One of the main draws to the park is the Glow Worm Tunnel walking track, which takes you 2km through a world of ancient trees, lush forests and tree ferns to the glow worm cave.
Blue Mountains National Park
Another hugely popular National Park located less than 40 minutes from Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley is the ever beautiful Blue Mountains National Park. Be sure to include the Red Hands Cave walking track and the Jellybean Track on your list. Just 45-minutes from the resort, Clarinda Falls is also a must-see for those who appreciate the beauty of forest waterfalls.
Just a short 15-minute drive from Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley, the Yarramundi Reserve, one of the region’s most popular parks, awaits. Enjoy 78-hectares of shallow waterways, lush forests and bushland, perfect for swimming, canoeing, hiking and biking. The ideal place to cool off from the heat of the day, this riparian paradise is an absolute must.
Source: NSW National Parks
Things to Do in Hawkesbury Valley
Whilst weekends of wineries and winter walks are popular for visitors to the Hawkesbury Valley; there are also plenty of other fun activities, attractions and museums that the whole family can enjoy. From stepping back in time with nearby museums to speeding around a go-kart track, there’s literally something for everyone.
- The Australian Pioneer Village. Located just a 10-minute drive from Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley, the Australian Pioneer Village takes you back in time 100 years for an authentic experience that is as educational as it is entertaining.
- Wild Cat Conservation Centre. Enjoy a private tour with wildcats, including clouded leopards, serval, caracal and cheetahs, along with giant tortoises and primates too. Tours last for 60-minutes and bookings are essential. The wildcat conservation centre is located just 15 minutes from Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley.
- Butterfly Farms, Ski Garden and Go Kart. Just a 7-minutes drive from Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley, the Butterfly Farm and Ski Garden makes for an amazing afternoon out. Make the most of the 800m long go-kart track, featuring S-bends, sweeping corners and the occasional hairpin. The butterfly museum holds a huge collection of southeast Asian beetles, spiders, insects, moths and scorpions. You’ll also find ski beaches and picnic grounds with BBQ facilities.
- Hawkesbury Regional Museum. Located less than 5 minutes drive from Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley, the Hawkesbury Regional Museum is home to ever-changing exhibitions, collections and exhibits that highlight the history, culture and present of the Hawkesbury region. Open 6 days a week from 10 am to 4 pm. The Museum is a great way to spend a morning learning more about the beauty of the Hawkesbury.
Source: Wild Cat Conservation Centre
Get Cosy at Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley
Located in the heart of the Hawkesbury Valley, Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley is the perfect place to take advantage of the best the region has to offer throughout the year. Choose from more than 100 newly refurbished rooms and contemporary suites, including family-friendly configurations, apartment rooms and deluxe rooms, each coming with plush, comfortable beds, modern amenities and stylish design.
Get comfortable in front of the cosy open fireplace with a glass or two of wine, plates of soul-soothing bar food and views of the lakeside garden at Barrack’s Bar. For those who appreciate modern Australian cuisine in a refined dining environment, our signature restaurant, Harvest Restaurant, serves up sophisticated seasonal flavours using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients that are guaranteed to please.
Soothe away your aches and pains with a fantastic selection of spa treatments at Villa Thalgo, or relax in our heated indoor pool. With a children’s play area, a well-equipped fitness centre, tennis courts, lavish restaurants, bars and dining facilities, and impeccable levels of service from the moment you arrive, Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley is THE place to stay.