Cattai Homestead and historic farm buildings

Cattai National Park

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Overview

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.

Type
Historic buildings/places
Where
245 Arndells Trail, Cattai, NSW, 2756 - in Cattai National Park
Accessibility
Medium
Price
Free
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 directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

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

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

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. 

Road quality

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

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

Summer temperature

Average

16°C and 30°C

Highest recorded

42.5°C

Winter temperature

Average

3°C and 18°C

Lowest recorded

-7.2°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

January

Driest month

September

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

309.4mm

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

Accessibility

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

Prohibited

Pets

Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Nearby towns

Parramatta (28 km)

Parramatta offers a fascinating insight into early colonial life in Australia. Don't miss a visit to Old Government House, now one of 11 Australian Convict Sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

www.sydney.com

Sydney City Centre (44 km)

No trip to Sydney is complete without spending some time in the city’s beautiful parks. Whether it’s in central areas like Hyde Park or the Royal Botanic Gardens or further out in Centennial Parklands, there’s plenty of green space to go out and enjoy.

www.sydney.com

Windsor (9 km)

Explore Windsor's historic buildings, including St Matthew's Anglican Church (1817), Windsor Court House (1822), and the Macquarie Arms Hotel (1815). Bring a picnic or your boat and enjoy the beautiful riverside parks in Windsor including Howe Park and Governor Phillip Park.

www.sydney.com

Learn more

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

Cattai National Park. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

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.
  • What is a national park? This excursion experience has been updated and is now being delivered in line with the new NSW Department of Education Curriculum. We will be revising this excursion's name and information online soon. Contact your local national parks office for more information about the updated excursion.

Aboriginal culture

Cattai River lookout, Cattai National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

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

Mitchell Park, Cattai National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

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.

Colonial history

Cattai Homestead and historic farm buildings, Cattai National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

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.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Eastern common ringtail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    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. Photo: Jeff Betteridge

    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.

  • Brush tail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    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.

  • Closeup of a laughing kookaburra's head and body. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

    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. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

    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.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

School excursions (1)