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Voices from the Secret River

Cruising Upstream


Hawkesbury River Cruise | History Onboard | Two Unique Walking Tours | Grazing Lunch at a Private Historic House

Join eminent historian of the Hawkesbury River, Grace Karskens, on a journey upstream from Spencer in the company of expert tour guides and storytellers. Our first port of call is inspired by the colonial gothic at Greenmans to unearth the voices of the creek dwellers. Belinda Cook our history guide takes us on site to trace the origins of the first licensed inn on the Lower Hawkesbury. Across the river our historians delve into the fables, tales and archival evidence surrounding ‘Gentlemans Halt’. Travelling upstream hear readings from historical fiction evoking ex-convict, gentry and Aboriginal voices and perspectives alongside Grace’s reflections on the ebb and flow of people in this dynamic changing landscape.

Highlights include:

River Cruise and History Onboard

  • Award winning historian Grace Karskens, author of People of the River takes us on a journey into deep time and the braided histories of the waterways of Dyarubbin as we cruise upstream from Spencer

  • Hear how the people of the river used and understood the landscape of the sandstone country - evidenced in the landscape above us at flat rocks ridge and the galleries spread across the plateau

  • Historical fiction readings including Julie Janson's Benevolence - evoking the atmosphere and milieu of the early 1800s Hawkesbury River


Unique Walking Tours 

  • Visit the the site of the infamous Green Man Inn - frequented by free settlers, ticket-of-leave men, timber workers, ash burners and fishermen fuelled by ‘Hawkesbury Juice’

  • Hear about the female apparition vanishing through a doorway at the inn and the ghostly ships seen at sunset with blood red sails at the mouth of Marlow’s Creek and why the inn was haunted

  • Walk along ancient tracks to the government wharf, a shipping legacy which helped feed the colony - with expert guide Belinda Cook

  • Tour of 'the Halt' - jump out at 'the marshy spot' reputed to be the site of Governor Philip's overnight camp. Stories of infamous characters including the notorious banditti Branch Jack, most famous resistance fighter of the area.

Fresh platters and grazing lunch at a private historic house on the waterfront.

Tickets available for both Cruising Upstream and Downstream - Joint Tickets with 15% discount

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Heritage Ventures pays tribute to the First Peoples, their heritage and contribution to our contemporary society and acknowledges the First Peoples as the original custodians of the land and waterways.

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