Convict Trail & St. Albans (Part 2)

This is kind of a Part 2 to the Wisemans Ferry/Convict Trail post (for that one click here…). Crossing the Hawkesbury and heading in a slightly different direction takes you to the small old colonial village of St. Albans.

Wisemans Ferry to St. Albans

There are two ferry crossings at Wisemans Ferry. The first is the twin (bi-directional) ferry service from the north side of the town over to the area of the Devines Hill part of the Convict Trail. The second ferry crossing is a single ferry operation that also takes you over the Hawkesbury but to the other side of a major tributary – the McDonald River – and onto a road leading to the small village of St. Albans.

During the early colonial days the Macdonald Valley was an important agricultural area due of its accessibility by water. The village of St. Albans is surrounded by mountains and sits alongside the Macdonald River. However with the building of the railways and extensive agricultural development further west, the Macdonald Valley’s importance declined. For that reason the valley is often referred to by the locals as “The Forgotten Valley”.

Dani down by the McDonald river on the edge of the village of St. Albans

 The Settlers Arms Inn – Original Village Pub

The fantastic Settlers Arms Inn was built in 1836 from sandstone blocks excavated and cut by convicts. It remains a pub to this day and is a great example of Georgian simplicity.

The Settlers Arms Inn at St. Albans

Even the inside of the Inn still looks original

Around the Inn there are some great examples of classic abandoned vehicles.

An old VW ‘Kombi’
Another of several abandoned classic vehicles in St. Albans
An early Toyota Land Cruiser

Another interesting place is the Pickled Wombat café. Although the sign above the door suggests another name (The Fickle Wombat).

The Pickled Wombat sign
The café, which says ‘Fickle Wombat’ above the door.

The round trip back down the opposite side of the McDonald river brings you back to the double ferry crossing. Part of that road is unsealed but it is easily driveable in a 2-wheel drive car. It’s a great half day trip from/to Wisemans Ferry and you can have lunch or a snack in St. Albans

Classic original architecture in the village
Ferry crossing for the St. Albans road

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