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Busby's Cafe Restaurant

Home > Sydney > Family | Escape the City | Day Trips | Cafes | Walks
by Faye (subscribe)
I love travelling and writing, meeting people and experiencing foodie places.
Published June 22nd 2015
Food, ferry and walk in a winter paradise
The thick mist was magical as it lay delicately over the treetops as we drove round the bends towards Wisemans Ferry at 6.30 this chilly winter morning. My teen son was kitted out for a two day bush hike, sleeping bag pushed far down into his pack, small cooking pans and camp food pressed against each other, and thermals stuffed around any spare crevices in the bag.

"Have a great time", I fondly said, as I waved him and his mates goodbye as they gathered with their teachers for this short winter sojourn. "Now, where's the steaming hot chocolate with a side of marshmallows?", I muttered to myself as husband and I climbed back into our warm vehicle.

hot chocolate
Steaming Hot Chocolate

First, though, a visit to Hangman's Rock on the Old Great North Road Walk. We drove a few minutes from the Mill Park Camping Ground at Wisemans Ferry, past the car and pedestrian ferry which brought us over the Hawkesbury River. Not too far along was the entrance to this Walk. The large gate was closed allowing only a narrow entranceway for pedestrians. Cars must park off the side of the road.

Great north road
Entranceway to a section of the Great North Road

Hangman's Rock is a two kilometre return walk but it is not strenuous. The path is wide and we were the only ones at this time experiencing the mist lifting and the glow of the sun sparking off the white path.

path on great north road
The wide path leading to Hangman's Rock

The bellbirds and whipbirds chorused from the bush, welcoming us strangers into their glorious land. Along this track are many fascinating stone monuments detailing the stories of the convict labour that created the Great North Road.

stone monuments
Stone Monuments


There are figures sculptured from iron showing a visual depiction of convicts or their overseers.

iron sculptures
Figures sculptured from iron



Along the route, we were surprised to find a visitors book wrapped in a linen bag deposited in a tin box. The book entries were made by visitors from Ireland, USA, Scotland, Western Australia, North Queensland and far beyond. One overseas visitor wrote that this walk "was one of the best things of his holiday."

visitors book
Visitors book

We finally made it to the Rock and admired the hole in its gritty roof which exposed the gorgeous sky revealing hints of blue.

Hangman's Rock
Hangman's Rock

A sculptured figure seated at the top of the Rock appeared to enjoy the view over the bush towards the great Hawkesbury River.

sculpture of man
He appears to enjoy the view

We strolled back to the car and drove to the ferry. Our car was the only one on board. Though it's a short trip across the Hawkesbury, there is some excitement sitting in a car floating across a river (mmm, I need to get out more). The ferry at Wisemans Ferry operates seven days a week, 24 hours a day and the best part is that the ferry trips are free. Next on my agenda, that dreamy steamy hot chocolate.

ferry at Wisemans Ferry
Ferry Crossing

Once on the other side, we drove a short distance to a small set of shops which includes Busby's Café Restaurant. This café has a fabulous outlook over the picturesque Wisemans Ferry. With the chill factor lessened, we sat outside on the patio.

Busbys
Picturesque Wisemans Ferry

At 9 am, we were their first customers. Others arrived soon after. First order of the day was, guess what, a steaming hot chocolate (ohh, have I mentioned this already?). It arrived in a tall glass with the marshmallow I had been yearning for. I plonked the spongy sweet into the hot chocolate and watched it bob up and down as I stirred the thick swirls of this steaming drink. Deliciously chocolate, this drink warmed my insides.

hot chocolate at Busbys
Deliciously chocolate

Next were our breakfast orders. Mr. Faye ordered the fruit toast and he commented that they were good and thick and tasty.

fruit toast at cafe
Thick and tasty fruit toast

I ordered pancakes with whipped butter, maple syrup and berries. The pancakes were surprisingly thick and fluffy. I spread the butter and maple syrup on together which gave it an interesting and wonderful taste. The berries were full of flavour and added colour to the dish.

pancakes at Busbys
Fluffy pancakes

My only gripe is that, given the option, I would have enjoyed icecream on the pancakes. Yes, it's breakfast, and one should abstain from such excess so early in the day. But, hey, I spent an hour strolling in picturesque bushland. I deserve a reward.

Hawkesbury
Gorgeous bushland

The morning was fabulous at Wisemans Ferry. I recommend getting there early and see the colour of the landscape change, have a thrill on a short ferry trip, then replenish at Busby's Café. If overseas and interstate visitors see merit in venturing outside the main hub of Sydney and suburbia to see our wonderful rural oasis, then some of us who reside permanently in Sydney can take this magnificent trip to escape the commotion of city life.

Monument to the Great North Road
Monument to the Great North Road
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Why? Great food in a picturesque setting
When: Mon - Fri 9.00 am - 4.00 pm; Sat - Sun 8.00 am - 4.00 pm; Fri & Sat 6.00 pm - 9.00 pm
Phone: 4566 4787
Where: 12/5557 Old Northern Rd, Wisemans Ferry NSW
Cost: Hot Chocolate - $5.00; Fruit Toast - $5.50; Pancakes - $11.50
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