Whether you’re looking to relax with that special someone, enjoy a glass of wine in front of a roaring fire, dine in style, visit a regional gallery, sample fresh produce from a roadside stall, shop for antiques or maybe head out on an adventure for two … romance awaits you in the Hawkesbury.
Escape to an intimate getaway far from the crowds, perhaps in a cottage set within peaceful bushland, or linger in the luxury of four-star accommodation. For couples seeking their own cosy love nest, the Hawkesbury has it all. Here are our top picks…
Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley
The upscale Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley at historic Windsor is an easy hour’s drive from Sydney. Set in eight hectares of manicured gardens, the elegant hotel is the only 4.5 star hotel in the region. The resort incorporates a superb array of recreational facilities, including the magnificent Villa Thalgo Day Spa, the largest day spa in Sydney, which specialises in treatments for couples. Work out in the fully equipped gymnasium or enjoy the heated pool, sauna and spa. Choose from 105 stylishly appointed rooms and suites.
Hermitage Cottage Bed & Breakfast
A unique romantic retreat just one hour from Sydney, the Hermitage Cottage Bed & Breakfast is set on 80 acres at the end of a quiet country lane. Roam hand-in-hand, relax and unwind in your own private peaceful valley. Enjoy tranquil bushland and rainforest walks.
Two-bedroom cottages offer modern kitchens, lounges and comfortable living areas. The cottage is appointed with quality linens, fluffy king-sized towels, bathrobes and toiletries for your comfort.Relax in the sunny courtyard and dine al fresco. Enjoy freshly brewed coffee before taking a stroll in the gardens.
Ossian Hall Valley Retreat
Offering a romantic escape to the serenity of the Colo River, Ossian Hall Valley Retreat’s luxury cottages are nestled in natural bushland overlooking the valley. Melt into privacy and seclusion in your own fully self-contained cottage. Awake to a sumptuous breakfast basket complete with fresh home-baked bread. In the evening enjoy a fresh seafood platter in the privacy of your own cottage or in the gazebo overlooking the river.
Relax in the swimming pool or hot tub spa and sauna. Massages are arranged on request. Ossian Hall Valley Retreat specialises in romantic packages to suit all occasions.
Bingle Tree Retreat
Leave care behind and listen to the chime of bellbirds as you breathe in fresh air ... you have arrived at Bingle Tree Retreat. Offering the ultimate in intimate accommodation, the retreat is set on 10 acres of lush native bush bursting with birdlife.
Inside your cabin recline on the sofa while you enjoy a blazing log fire or tumble into your comfortable queen-sized bed with crisp white linen. Each cabin offers a generous bathroom with fluffy towels, air conditioner and fully equipped kitchen.
Double your fun — take your partner canoeing, bush walking, bird watching or just relax in a hammock by the water.
From fine dining to yummy casual food, the Hawkesbury offers a plethora of romantic dining options sure to please every palate. Here are our top three …
Step back in time
Nestled in the tiny village of St Albans, the Settlers Arms Inn is a beautifully restored sandstone pub built circa 1836. This is Australian country-style cuisine at its best — tuck into a hearty cooked breakfast, succulent steak or ploughman’s lunch. Try the homemade pies, tarts, cakes and scones or on Sundays, the tasty homemade pizza fresh from an old woodfired oven.
Accommodation at Settlers Arms Inn consists of four double rooms, each with ensuite, overlooking the charming courtyard at the rear. Look for the peacocks strolling in the spacious grounds, which also feature a swimming pool.
Set in a beautiful, 1900s heritage listed cottage overlooking spectacular views across the Hawkesbury River, Bungool Restaurant is the perfect location. Stylishly presented Australian cuisine pays homage to locality and seasonal change.
Classic High Tea indulgence
Savour delectable, mouth-watering delicacies prepared by the award winning chef at the Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley. Sip sparkling wine, delight in the sun-drenched gardens and feel yourself melt into the moment. A perfect way for you and your loved one to share a little indulgence.
Sunday to Thursday, 1pm-4pm.
Things to see and do
Your Hawkesbury must-do list includes visits to historic Windsor village, Blue Mountains tours, golfing, scenic flights, Hawkesbury River cruises, Hawkesbury Harvest Farm Gate Trail, horse riding, white water rafting and wine tasting, to name just a few.
Love is in the air
Cloud 9 Balloon Flights get you and your partner aloft on the ultimate romantic adventure with a bird’s eye view. Hover in style over the Hawkesbury — lying at the foot of the Greater Blue Mountains wilderness area the evergreen fields of the Hawkesbury farmlands paint a stunning patchwork quilt next to the Hawkesbury River and surrounding townships.
Pick of the crop
Wander through a bountiful orchard and pick your own fresh fruit and vegetables. TCP Farmgate Tours operates tours that travel through the valleys and farming communities of the Hawkesbury area, visiting passionate farmers who love to share their experience and produce with you. Aside from offering a wonderful experience, TCP Farmgate Tours also helps support farming communities on the fringe of Sydney.
TCP Farmgate Tours run every Friday and can be booked online. Gift certificates are available. For more information call Nyla on 0424 188 779.
For couples who love fun on the water, Hawkesbury River Kayaks offers a small fleet of single and double kayaks, perfectly suited to exploring the waters and inlets of the Hawkesbury River or beautiful Jerusalem Bay.
Art with heart
Art lovers won’t want to miss Hawkesbury Regional Gallery. A regularly changing program of exhibitions and events reflects the area’s unique heritage via contemporary and traditional art. Free entry.
Hawkesbury Regional Gallery at the Deerubbin Centre,
300 George Street, Windsor 2756.
A trip to the Hawkesbury would not be complete without a wine tasting. Tizzana Winery has its own vineyard and olive grove, rewarding the discerning traveller with a blend of locally produced wine, food and luxurious five-star bed and breakfast accommodation. National Trust listed Tizzana Winery is one of the Windsor district’s outstanding buildings.
Tizzana Winery boasts a range of fine wines available for tasting at the cellar door.