Saturday 22 February 2020
Davistown Illoura Reserve Walk

Date: Saturday, 22 February 2020 (NB 1 week earlier than usual)
Time: 10.15 a.m. to catch the 10.45 a.m. ferry.
ocation: To meet at the Fisherman?s Wharf at Woy Woy (a short walk from the train station) to catch the Central Coast Ferry M.V Saratoga.
Cost: Ferry fare is $8.20 adult/$4.10 senior/child each way. Must be cash. Plus $5.00 donation to the Society for maps etc.
Lunch: We suggest the Davistown RSL where we will enjoy a delicious lunch (own expense).

Catching the ferry from Woy Woy wharf we will alight from the Lintern Street wharf to begin the Illoura Reserve Walk. Illoura is an Aboriginal word meaning ?a pleasant place? or ?a good camping ground with plenty of food?.

This is an easy walk along the foreshore taking in the 9 historic points to Pine Avenue wharf. The walk encompasses remains of indigenous middens, views of Rileys Island, site of the old horse racing track, site of Burramun which became Brisbane Water shipbuilding, the Cockle Channel and Fienberg?s General store from the 1920s.

For those who wish, we will adjourn to the Davistown RSL for lunch. Ferry departures back to Woy Woy are at 1.20, 2.30 and 4.15 p.m.

Bookings are essential as the Central Coast Ferry M.V. Saratoga needs to be informed and contact details in case of rain. Please phone 0405 321 478 (leave a message) by Tuesday, 18 February 2020.

The RSL provides a courtesy bus back down to the wharf in order to catch the 2.30 p.m. ferry back to Woy Woy. An added bonus: at Woy Woy should be the feeding of the pelicans at the end of the day.

Bring along snacks, water, sunhat & sunscreen. Sturdy shoes are suggested.

For further information please contact us on or 0405 321 478.

Background: Formed in 1983 the Dharug and Lower Hawkesbury Historical Society's premises are located on Wisemans Ferry Road, Gunderman, between Wisemans Ferry and Spencer.The premises include a State heritage listed, historic, stone chapel completed in 1855 where meetings and functions of the Society take place. For further details about the NSW Heritage listing Click Here.

The major aim of the Society is the research, collection, presentation and preservation of the history of Wiseman's Ferry and surrounding areas following initial settlement and the on-going involvement and support of the local community in such tasks. A secondary undertaking of the society is the preservation of the former Wesleyan Chapel at Gunderman to ensure its availability to members of the public and for historic research for future generations.

Membership: Annual membership is available for $25 per household (max 2 adults). Please contact for a membership form.

Venue: The Chapel is an ideal venue for small weddings, naming ceremonies, memorial services and other occasions. For more details please email


Boutique B&B accommodation is available next door at The Missions 1937 -


Meetings: The Society meets on the last Saturday of every second month (March, May, July, September, November). Past speakers have included Kate Grenville, author of The Secret River, on her research on Solomon Wiseman for her book; Keith Vincent Smith, biographer of Bungaree and author of Mari Nawi: Aboriginal Odysseys which reveals and celebrates the significant role that Aborigines played in Australia's early maritime history, Elizabeth Roberts, Historian, on the history of the Great North Road; Jeremy Steele who has made an extensive study of Aboriginal languages; Dr Geoff Ford, Local Historian, on the Hawkesbury's forgotten tribes; Les Dollin on the history of the mills on the Hawkesbury and their importance to the survival of the early Colony; and Jean Purtell, author of Hawkesbury River Boats and People. Most recently cultural historian, Warren Fahey, helped the Society celebrate the 160th anniversary of the Chapel.

Excursions are arranged on alternate months and have included the now world heritage-listed Convict Trail, Finch's Line, the original crossing location of Wisemans Ferry, Half Moon Farm, Cockatoo Island and visits to the sites of local aboriginal rock art and engravings. 

If you would like to host a tour or speak at a meeting please email

Research: The Society maintains a small archive and library which is available for researching the history of the area as well as local family history. If you would like to contact our archivist, please email


Mangrove Creek Walking Tracks: To receive your free copy of Mangrove Creek Walking Tracks with maps and notes on the history of the area please email

Visiting Groups Welcome: We can host groups at the Chapel. A talk about the history and/or an excursion to the nearby historic sites are options for visitors. To book a tour please contact us at


How to Find Us: From Wisemans Ferry cross the Hawkesbury and turn right. The Chapel is on the right approximately 8 kilometres.

From Gosford to through Mangrove Mountain and Spencer. The Chapel is approximately 18 kilometres from Spencer on the left.


Last Updated:

  Site Map