If you fancy a Sunday drive to a picturesque location where you can have lunch at a beautiful old pub where the kidlets will be well and truly entertained, then my dear dear Little Munchers I have found the place for you. Jump in the car, buckle up and hoon out to Wiseman's Ferry tomorrow!
This beautiful old Wisemans Ferry Inn was built in 1827 and it's about an hour's drive from the heart of Sydney. When you first pull up do not be put off by the throngs of bikies that you will see out the front - they're harmless! This is just one of the favourite pit stops for the weekend road warriors and I guarantee if you get talking to anyone of them they will no doubt be doctors and lawyers in their day jobs. Unfortunately parking can be at a bit of a premium on weekends, so if you can't find anything outside then drive down the street and you should be able to score a spot.
You can choose to enter the pub through the front door or you can use the outdoor side entrance - the latter being the pram friendly option. If you go through the main entrance you will see the heritage style front bar, the cosy fire and the olde world charm of the inn. But keep heading out the back as this is where all the action is. The busy bistro has seating inside and out, we always sit outside as that is where most of the seating is and you have a decent view of the awesome kids play area and the beautiful Hawkesbury River.
Your kids will want to scamper into the outdoor play area as soon as they see how fabulous it is. From the colourful life size tractor, to the Do Duck Inn (which has real live ducks in it), to the play equipment on the lawn, they will have a wonderful time exploring this huge space. On Sundays and during school holidays they have a jumping castle, face painting and animal nursery for absolutely free.
You can sit down here as there are quite a few green & gold picnic tables (I should mention that the owner is a former Wallaby) or if your kids are a bit older you can sit upstairs on the deck and just keep an eye on them. The play area is reasonably secure, it is fenced, but wandering kids can still climb through it. I suggest that you slip slop slap your kids and yourself when you arrive as there isn't must shade down here, and it gets bloody hot in Wisemans Ferry during the summer months!
When everyone starts to get a bit hungry you line up at the bistro to place your order. The friendly staff will give you a buzzer after you have paid, and you help your self to cutlery etc. The kitchen pumps out meals very quickly which is amazing considering how busy they can get on weekends. There are high chairs for little bottoms to sit in and the toilets are just at the back of the bistro. The bistro is also open from 11am every day of the year (except for 25/12), so if you are after an early lunch (or dinner) you can avoid the crowds and eat early.
The menu is made up of typical pub fare, loads of deep fried items, loads of hot chips and steaks. Depending on what you choose the menu costs from between $14 - $30. Vegetarian options are limited (only a fresh garden salad for you my dears), but do check the specials board in case a vegetarian quiche or something similar may be on it. There are two kids meals available - chicken schnitzel & chips or fish & chips. The menu states that they come with salad which actually is a piece of cucumber and a piece of tomato! Anyway the kids meals cost $10.00 and that includes a soft drink and bowl of ice cream, so it is very decent value. Depending on what size eaters you have, your kids may be able to share a meal as they are generous in size - my boys easily shared both the meal and the ice cream. The yummy ice cream comes out of a soft serve machine and kids can choose whether or not they want topping and sprinkles.
Whilst you are out here I recommend that you have a little wander around the village of Wiseman's Ferry. If you continue all the way to the end of Old Northern Rd you will find the Hawkesbury River. There is a great park here complete with a playground and you can catch the punt to other side, either on foot or in your car. There is spot for passengers to sit on the punt and you can cross the river and come back again for absolutely nothing - I guarantee your kids will love the experience! Another idea is to go over in your car and head back to Sydney via Wiseman's Ferry Rd. This is a very scenic trip that basically follows the water until you hit the M1 freeway. It will take you longer but the kids will probably need a decent nap after all the energy they just exerted at the Inn!
6 Old Northern Rd, Wisemans Ferry NSW
02 4566 4739
Open 7 days 11am - 8.30pm