Butcher Boats and Colonial Rations
Explore the story of food on the banks of the Hawkesbury River with Max Burns-McRuvie. Native tea tasting and stories of the colonial menu; walk alongside heritage remains of Gov. Darling’s great routes from Sydney to the Hunter; visit Mill Creek tidal mill site, and Trollops reach.
Our tour starts at the Hawkesbury Duck museum in Spencer where we sip a colonial brew and hear about the convict and colonial menu – wonga pigeon pie, hominy porridge, wallaby tail soup anyone? We travel to Finch’s Line one of Governor Darling’s great routes from Sydney to the Hunter, abandoned in 1829 and now UNESCO World Heritage Listed. Hear about the rigours and rations of the no 3 chain iron gang hacking out the route north while exploring convict construction work and identifying the native figs, grapes and berries eaten by the local Aboriginal people. Our tour continues to Mill Creek so named after an 1830s tidal mill where wheat and maize were ground for the convict stores and shipped to Sydney. At Trollops Reach with magnificent views along the Hawkesbury River gain insights into the floating stores – the butcher and bread boats – delivering food to the communities of the lower Hawkesbury when the river was the highway.