Why Wisemans Ferry? The windless, hidden valley of Sydney.

Renowned in waterskiing and wakeboarding communities for its sheltered, glassy waterways, Wisemans Ferry is the perfect location to break windless waves all year round. But more than just for the waves, arriving at Wisemans is leaving the city behind. 

It’s a deep breath, a break from the grind, a holiday for the entire family, an afternoon sharing quality time with quality people – however you want to use it, just 60 minutes from the Harbour Bridge. Aside from breath-taking national park and country quiets, Wisemans Ferry is also home to an existing hotel, The Retreat at Wisemans, the subject of our adaptive-reuse project. The brief to our team of leading designers, builders and developers is simple: renovate to breathe new life into great structural bones, and deliver with excellence a unique, premium surfing experience that extends beyond the pool as well.


The Retreat at Wisemans, was built in the early-mid 1990s and quickly became a popular destination for Sydney’s corporate conference market, weekend getaways and weddings. But over time, without due upkeep, the property has lost the glimmer of its original shine. However, its integrity and foundations of a quality build still remain. Under early-engagement due-diligence, project builders Erylian – with over $900M work in hand – completed structural and site inspections, and have recognised the site as a great refurbishment and revival project.

Wisemans Ferry is a river-side town in north-west Sydney on the banks of the Hawkesbury River, approximately 70kms or an hour from the CBD, surrounded by Dharug National Park. It is situated within a valley, protected from predominant winds and is popular for boating and river water sports like water skiing and wakeboarding. The land surrounding the Hawkesbury River has historically been a major food producer for Sydney, utilising the river for transporting goods. Many locals use the Hawkesbury River to travel between towns and properties and make their living through river-based tourism and industries, including oyster farming and prawning.


Wisemans Ferry is surrounded by national parks that are well known for bushwalks, lookouts (including nearby Hawkins Lookout), and mountain bike riding. It is also a popular day-trip destination for Sydneysiders and a popular stop-off-point for motorcycle and car enthusiasts completing a scenic route along the Convict Trail, a picturesque 240km road running from Sydney to Newcastle via Wisemans Ferry. The property is part of Dharug nation, the region was home to over 15 First Nation clans who were known as fierce hunters across over 6,000 sq/km land. The area was a rich source of food, medicine, and shelter with such an abundance of wildlife, cliff lines and bushland. There are several historical Indigenous sites surrounding Wisemans Ferry in the Dharug and Ku-ring-gai Chase National Parks.

Why Wisemans Ferry? The windless, hidden valley of Sydney.