A lot of people think Visitor Centres are just for interstate and international tourists but it may come as a surprise that many of the people who use the Hawkesbury Visitor Centre at Richmond each week are from the Hills and Hawkesbury area.
The Centre has an amazing amount of information on local attractions, events, markets, heritage sites, bushwalks and farmgate produce. All the staff live locally and love to share their favourite day trips and river spots. The Hawkesbury River runs for 120km and is surrounded by five gigantic national parks – no wonder there are so many places to discover.
The Centre, located opposite the RAAF base at Richmond, has been running for over 20 years. One thing that surprises people when they drop into the centre is the amount of free holiday, camping and caravanning guides covering New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. And it’s the only spot in the local area that has all of the free Cartoscope maps available. “Not everyone wants to plan a trip solely using the internet and looking at maps on mobile screens” centre manager Mary Harris explains.
Not only is there lots of free information about the Hawkesbury at the centre it also stocks locally made souvenirs, books and produce for sale. And the RAAF souvenirs are always popular with the kids who come out to watch the airforce planes take off.
The centre recently began to stock Snake Bite Kits. Mary explains “We originally got these kits for overseas travellers wanting to bushwalk and camp in the warmer months. What we found though was that locals bought the kits for the home or to put in the garden shed. It’s a sensible thing to have on hand particularly for people backing onto bushland or living on acreage”.
So next time you are heading out Richmond way drop in to the Hawkesbury Visitor Centre at 328 Hawkesbury Valley Way, Richmond – it’s open 7 days a week. Tel (02) 4560 4620, www.discoverthehawkesbury.com.au