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Surrounded by national parkland and rolling hills, Hornsby is a very green, bustling, and scenic neighbourhood. In the north of Greater Sydney, Hornsby is on the traditional land of the Dharug and Guringai people. It’s a vibrant destination throughout the entire week and is stunning during the day and into the evening to visit. There’s plenty to discover including mesmerising public artworks, thriving gardens, and to-die-for dining.

mural of hornsby butcherying co


An effortless rail trip to Hornsby Station, this is an accessible hub of culture to visit from Western Sydney. Start your day with a coffee and a tasty breakfast at Blu Eatery in the centre of the Florence Street pedestrian mall. This bright and welcoming cafe is a favourite among locals, with covered outdoor seating, a classic breakfast menu, and creative lunch list.

There’s also Firestone, which you won’t miss because of its bright turquoise facade and manicured gardens. This cafe and restaurant is very beautiful from the inside out. Serving pizzas, pasta, and incredible steaks, you might want to save this one to your must-visit list.

While you’re in this precinct outside the huge Westfield Hornsby, you won’t miss the giant Hornsby Water Clock. This impressive kinetic sculpture was unveiled in 1993, it’s made from bronze, stainless steel, and glass, and consists of a 4th-century BC Greek clepsydra, an 11th-century Chinese water wheel clock and a 17th-century Swiss pendulum clock. Great spot to sit and watch the world go by.

Next, make your way to the western side of the rail line - easy via the pedestrian bridge. Here you’ll find a village area with many more eclectic shops, cafes and businesses. The Odeon Cinema is an iconic art deco building overlooking Peats Ferry Road, it’s served the local community since the early 1900s and continues to show new releases, arthouse films and retro movies.

Peats Ferry Road is a unique street with colourful shopfronts and some very memorable murals. Be blown away by the intricate works along Dural Lane. This series of works by artist Hugues Sineux transports you back into early 20th-century Hornsby, with streetscapes including a small goods shop, bakery, butchery, and bookshop. We love how Dural Lane sets the scene of a busy and nostalgic local shopping centre, and this sets the tone for a walk around Hornsby’s west side. This is a GREAT spot for a selfie, the whole family will be mesmerised.

For the bookworms, The Bookplate is a plentiful second-hand bookstore with thousands of reads at hand. You’ll also find the motorcycle-themed cafe Brewhaha Cafe which again has a nostalgic feel, and some great coffee.

A little further down, there is the 1920s built Hornsby Court House which remains in use. Across the road is the huge Hornsby Aquatic and Leisure Centre which is the perfect place to have a dip. We also love the gardens here which are healthy and in bloom. The green landscape in and around Hornsby is something of a signature to the area.

But for a very impressive and hidden local garden, we suggest you don’t miss Lisgar Gardens. Spanning 6.5 acres of a steep hillside, this garden is filled with award-winning camellias of which there are over 90 different varieties. The garden was created by horticulturist Dr Max Cotton after he purchased it in 1917, it was later purchased by Hornsby Shire Council in 1967 and opened to the public ever since. Take the paths down into this verdant garden, and literally stop to smell the roses. There are rhododendrons, azaleas and gardenias, as well as native trees, ferns and fishponds, making for a shady but extremely colourful walk. You’ll certainly want to spend a while here, so the benches, picnic tables, and pavilions are all welcome additions.

Hornsby is also home to several great local pubs. We love The Hornsby Inn, on the east side. This updated and very spacious bistro is a trusty place to satisfy your parmy, steak, or burger cravings. We love their cosy wine bar, and their sunroom too. Worth checking out.

With so much to see and do, Hornsby has become an excellent destination for travel, food, and culture. We were wowed by their public art and perfectly landscaped gardens, and the dining options leave you wanting to come back. Hornsby is such an easy destination to visit, so get out and explore this weekend.


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