Old North Road Drive NSW
When travelling from Sydney to the Hunter Valley, it's so easy to put the brain on auto pilot and take the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway (F3). There is a longer (an additional 32 kms), slower, but far more interesting way it follows the pathway of the pioneer settlers through the Hawkesbury and Macdonald River valleys to Bucketty, then Wollombi and on to Cessnock in the Hunter Valley.
Length: 182.4 km
Suggested return journey: via Sydney-Newcastle Freeway (F3)
Minimum duration (one way): 3 hours
Sydney Wisemans Ferry: 70.1 km
Wisemans Ferry Bucketty: 60.1 km
Bucketty Cessnock: 52.3 km
When the pioneer Europeans settlers forged their way north from the town of Sydney in the early 19th century, they followed the Hawkesbury River to a sweeping bend on the Hawkesbury River where in 1817, Solomon Wiseman had settled and established a punt ferry across the river. From there they climbed Devines Hill and continued north to Newcastle. Stone culverts and buttresses built by convicts in the 1830s along this historic pathway have long been abandoned by the majority of northbound travellers, but they remain to delight those who take this less travelled road.
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