If you would like to give your kids a quick lesson on Australian History (and I'm talking about a "live" lesson, not one you can get by looking at Google) then I suggest you hop into your hot rod and have a wee hoon out to Wilberforce on the fringe of Sydney and visit The Australiana Pioneer Village. This quaint little village has been recreated so that we and our children may have an appreciation of how life was back when our magnificent country was first colonised.
The Village is run by an amazing group of VOLUNTEERS! They work tirelessly to maintain this time capsule of Australian history. Most of the buildings and dwellings that make up the Village have been relocated from their original sites from around the Hawkesbury Valley. You and your brood can see what it was like to live in a slab hut, to go to the loo outdoors, to do the washing in a pre historic looking contraption, to grow all of your own food and then to see what Village (not town or city) life was like. You can visit the local Church, Police Station, Bank, Pharmacy, Blacksmiths, General Store, Pub and see what a child friendly cafe was like back in the 1800's!
This really is a great day out for the whole family - even Nan and Pop would enjoy it - oh and it is CHEAP! Adults are $5.00 each, Kids are $3.00 (or if they are under 5 they are free) and a family is $15.00. You arrive and pay the lovely gentlemen on the front gate. You can park outside of the Village or there is also ample parking inside. Once you have paid you receive a pamphlet with a map of the Village as well as detailed explanations of all the buildings.
Take a wander along the main street and visit all of the old buildings. The volunteers who work at the Village are kitted out in pioneer clothing so they are easy to spot! If you have any questions, they are more than happy for you to partake in some of their invaluable knowledge, they are passionate about the Village and its longevity. There are various activities throughout the day such as egg and spoon races for the kids, guided tours, Ned Kelly re-enactments and floggin's! So if your kiddliwinks are giving you grief, you can always send them down to the man with the cat o nine tails!
Now along your wander, you will smell the amazing aroma of freshly baked scones and damper so you MUST head into the Damper Camp for a devonshire tea. This quaint cafe of yesteryear is so cheap, so delicious and so friendly ( they could actually teach a thing or two to modern day cafes!). For 5 bucks you get a delicious pot of tea, 2 scones and lashings of jam and cream. Or you may prefer some damper with cocky's joy (that is golden syrup to you city folk). If the kids are being good you can spoil them with an Ice Cream Sundae for $2.50 or an old fashioned Ice Cream Spider for $3.00. It is quite pram friendly and there are even a couple of ride on horseys for the kids to play on. There are toilets located just behind the Damper Camp, but sadly no baby change table.
There is also a lolly shop that I'm sure your kids will spot as soon as they set foot on the main street and be warned there is a bit of highway robbery going on with their prices! Maybe let the kids put on a little puppet show in the street and ask passers by to cough up a spare bob or two so that the kids can pay for their own sweeties!
You can easily spend and hour or more wandering down the street and when you come to the end you will find the animal enclosure where you can all get up close and personal with a hairy coo (a highlander cow). There is a big bag of carrots where for some spare change you and the kids can feed these amazing bovines. Chickens and handsome roosters will also be prancing around trying to look important. If you keep on towards your right you will also find a yard of donkeys who also are in need of some Vitamin D apparently, as there is another big bag of carrots and a donation box asking for a 50 cent donation so that you can feed these funny looking asses.
If you are needing some lunch you can either bring along your own picnic and enjoy a lovely lunch by the duck lagoon (wood BBQs are also provided free of charge) or you can mosey on into the Oxboro Inn up near the entrance of the Village and enjoy some hearty yet simple pioneer fare - note this is the pub with no beer cause the Inn isn't licensed.
Now for another couple of interesting tid bits, the TV series Wild Boys with the handsome Daniel McPherson was filmed here a few years ago; you can do a Ghost Tour, of an evening (obviously), bookings essential and children are not permitted; and Captain Thunderbolt, a real live bush ranger grew up in Wilberforce - history lesson finished!
Only opened on Sundays from 10.00am - 4.00pm, a visit to the Australiana Pioneer Village is a perfect excuse to have a Little Explore of the whole Hawkesbury Region. On the way back home you can stop in at Macquarie Park just before the bridge into Windsor for the kids to have a play at a fantastic playground and if you are in need of a "modern" cafe experience the best cafes in Windsor according to Little Munch are Cafe Red and Lime & Coconut Cafe.
Rose Street, Wilberforce NSW 2756
02 4575 1777