Cattai Homestead and historic farm buildings
Cattai National Park
Cattai Homestead and historic farm buildings near Windsor, just north of Sydney, are an important part of Australian history and a must-see for history buffs.
- Historic buildings/places
- Entry fees
- Park entry fees apply
- Opening times
- Cattai Homestead interior is currently closed for restoration work, but you can still walk around this historic site.
- Please note
- The two historic sites are best visited together. You can do this by car or on foot. They’re 1.5km apart.
Cattai National Park is made up of land originally granted to First Fleet assistant surgeon Thomas Arndell. Today, the park contains a number of historic colonial buildings associated with generations of the Arndell family who farmed along the Hawkesbury.
There are two clusters of interesting historic sites within the park to explore. There’s an early colonial dwelling, the 1820's National Trust-listed Cattai Homestead that features convict-built dry stone walls. There’s also a dairy and grain silo complex built in the 1930’s, just prior to the area becoming a recreation ground.
Roam around to explore the area’s fascinating farming heritage. You’ll find signage to fill you in on the history, along with machinery similar to that used by the Arndells displayed in neighbouring fields.
There’s plenty of other activities at Cattai National Park while you’re here – take a walk from the silos to the Hawkesbury River lookout, or enjoy a barbecue lunch at one of the picnic areas.
For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/historic-buildings-places/cattai-homestead-and-historic-farm-buildings/local-alerts
- National Parks Contact Centre
- 7am to 7pm daily
- 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS) for the cost of a local call within Australia excluding mobiles
- in Cattai National Park in the Sydney and surrounds region
Cattai National Park is open 8am to 6pm from May to August and 8am to 8pm from September to April. The park may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
Park entry fees:
$8 per vehicle per day (including motorbikes). Day passes are available from on-park pay machines that accept coins and credit cards, and you can also pay for your visit via the Park’nPay app.Buy annual pass.
All the practical information you need to know about Cattai Homestead and historic farm buildings.
Getting there and parking
The historic farm buildings, including the dairy and silo complex, are in the Cattai Farm section of Cattai National Park.
To get there, take Cattai Road or Wisemans Ferry Road to the park entry. The historic farm buildings will be on your right a short distance from the park's entrance. Continue along the road for Cattai Homestead, it's on the right just before Cattai Farm picnic area.
- Sealed roads
- 2WD vehicles
- All weather
Parking is available a short walk from each of the historic sites
Best times to visit
Cattai National Park is a great place to visit all year round. Head to the park for a winter picnic in the sun or a family camping holiday during spring. Walking and bike riding are popular autumn activities in the park and summer is perfect for boating and paddling along the river.
Weather, temperature and rainfall
16°C and 30°C
3°C and 18°C
The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day
Maps and downloads
Disability access level - medium
Assistance may be required to access this area
- The distance from parking to historic buildings is about 50m to 100m
- Both sites are on relatively level ground
Cattai Homestead and historic farm buildings is in Cattai National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:
A birder's bounty
The park's riverside location, close to Longneck Lagoon, makes it popular with birdwatchers. Spot vulnerable black bitterns, powerful owls or rufous night herons. Visit the park's major wetland areas to observe several bird species otherwise scarce within Sydney.
- Mitchell Park walking tracks Mitchell Park walking tracks offer several linked walks through remnant rainforest, diverse woodland and wetlands, in Cattai National Park, near Windsor.
Cattai National Park is the traditional Country of the Darug people. The park's landscape, including the river provided a rich source of food, medicine, shelter and tools for the Aboriginal people who travelled through the area. The park protects a number of ancient Aboriginal sites that are evidence of the Darug people's ancient connection to the land, you may find axe grinding grooves on rocks as well as rock engravings and art.
An important landscape
Cattai National Park lies within the Cumberland Plain, an important land system near Sydney that has been impacted by agricultural processes and urban development. Mitchell Park is significant because it contains much of its original vegetation, including paper bark, red gum, stringy bark, grey gum and cabbage gums. The best way to see the changing vegetation is along the Mitchell Park track, you'll notice that each part of the walk is named to describe the type of vegetation along that part of the walk.
Cattai National Park is significant because it includes a parcel of land granted to First Fleet assistant surgeon Thomas Arndell. Cattai Farm and the surrounding area was home to seven generations of Arndell's, with the land remaining with descendents of Thomas Arndell for about 180 years. Today, several historic sites invite observation and journeying into the past; Arndell's 1821 homestead, convict-built walls and roads, grain silos and ruins of a windmill believed to be Australia's oldest industrial building.
- Cattai Homestead and historic farm buildings Cattai Homestead and historic farm buildings near Windsor, just north of Sydney, are an important part of Australian history and a must-see for history buffs.
Plants and animals protected in this park
Common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus)
Commonly found in forests, woodlands and leafy gardens across eastern NSW, the Australian ringtail possum is a tree-dwelling marsupial. With a powerful tail perfectly adapted to grasp objects, it forages in trees for eucalypt leaves, flowers and fruit.
Sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps)
The sugar glider is a tree-dwelling Australian native marsupial, found in tall eucalypt forests and woodlands along eastern NSW. The nocturnal sugar glider feeds on insects and birds, and satisfies its sweet tooth with nectar and pollens.
Common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)
One of the most widespread of Australian tree-dwelling marsupials, the common brushtail possum is found across most of NSW in woodlands, rainforests and urban areas. With strong claws, a prehensile tail and opposable digits, these native Australian animals are well-adapted for life amongst the trees.
Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)
Of the 2 species of kookaburra found in Australia, the laughing kookaburra is the best-known and the largest of the native kingfishers. With its distinctive riotous call, the laughing kookaburra is commonly heard in open woodlands and forests throughout NSW national parks, making these ideal spots for bird watching.
Brown-striped frog (Lymnastes peronii)
One of the most common frogs found in Australia, the ground-dwelling brown-striped frog lives in ponds, dams and swamps along the east coast. Also known as the striped marsh frog, this amphibian grows to 6.5cm across and has a distinctive ‘tok’ call that can be heard all year round.
Cumberland Plain land snail (Meridolum corneovirens)
The endangered Cumberland Plain land snail is only found on the Cumberland Plain, west of Sydney. During drought it digs deep into the soil to escape harsh conditions. Its brown shell is thin and fragile.