Join CFT on a very special faith journey as we pay tribute to Australia’s early Christian leaders and the impact they had on our Nation. Learn about the people and events that shaped the fledgling colony of New South Wales as we visit historic churches, colonial houses, and great museums. Give thanks to God and marvel at his Creation as we enjoy glorious Spring Gardens and wonderful scenery.
Come and join like-minded people on a memorable holiday full of fun, faith, and fellowship.
Australia's Christian Heritage 2021
Australia's Christian Heritage 2021
A Christian Tour Leader through-out your holiday
Quality accommodation with private facilities
Sightseeing as outlined and all entry fees
Get ready for fun, faith and fellowship on our exploration and celebration of Australia’s Christian heritage. We start our “time travelling” journey in Sydney, the landing place of the First Fleet and the site of fledgling penal colony of New South Wales. We meet at our Sydney Hotel in readiness for an afternoon of discovery (lunch at own choice and cost at the hotel or nearby).
After meeting fellow passengers, we will drive to Circular Quay for a walking tour that will embrace our Nation’s Christian Heritage - view the site of the first church in Sydney where Rev Richard Johnson preached his first sermon on Australian soil, see the replica flag flying where the First Flag was raised and visit St Philip’s Church, a lovely Gothic style sandstone church in the centre of the oldest parish of Australia. At St Philip’s we can inspect Richard Johnson’s Bible and see the grave of Rev Kirkby, the founder of the Bush Church Aid Society – both these men, Johnson as the Colony’s first Chaplain and Kirkby, the founder of Bush Ministry, had an indelible impact on Christianity in Australia.
Tonight, we join together in fellowship and enjoy our first group dinner at our hotel. After dinner our Christian Tour Leader will set the scene for our historic journey with a short presentation.
The poor, sandy soils around Sydney Cove meant the early years of the penal colony were hard and the new, white settlement found itself on the brink of starvation. Lacking the indigenous knowledge to feed themselves, more fertile and arable land was sought out through expeditions by long boat up the Parramatta River. We pay tribute to the local Eora people when we visit the grave of Boorong, the third wife of Bennelong. An important figure in early colonial history in her own right Boorong was “received as an inmate, with great kindness, in the family of Mrs Johnson, the clergyman’s wife”. The son of Boorong & Bennelong, known as Dickey, converted to Christianity as a young man, received baptism, and became probably the first Indigenous Australian evangelist.
We drive past Experiment Farm Cottage, the site of the first land grant, where James Ruse proved self-sufficiency was possible and Elizabeth Farm Cottage, home to John & Elizabeth Macarthur, pioneers of the Australian wool trade. In Parramatta we tour the convict built Old Government House, UNESCO listed as the oldest surviving public building in Australia.
Travelling further west we are following in the footsteps of Blaxland, Wentworth, and Lawson, pausing at the site of Blaxland’s home near St Marys. The Blue Mountains represented a formidable barrier to white settlers in their quest for grazing lands but, by following the routes of the local Darug and Gundungurra people, these early explorers crossed it in 1813. A short detour at Wentworth Falls will give you some idea of the challenges the explorers confronted, and we also follow a small remnant of the original route of the first road constructed by William Cox and his convict gang in 1815.
We head to Katoomba, a hub of cafes, antique shops, and galleries. Our home for the next two nights is the beautiful and historic Carrington Hotel. Centrally located in Katoomba this “Grand Old Lady” was once the premier hotel in Australia and has hosted Heads of State and Royalty.
With its many European plantings Springtime in the Blue Mountains is a delight and we include a visit to the Campbell Rhododendron Gardens in Blackheath. Glory in stunning scenery and dramatic escarpments as we drive along the cliff tops to enjoy spectacular lookouts.
We travel to Mount Victoria and Mount York along the original Cox’s Road – at Cox’s Pass you can still see the convict pick marks of the road gangs who undertook this gruelling work to secure their ticket of leave.
Enjoy lunch nestled under the towering sandstone escarpments at the award winning Dryridge Estate winery in the beautiful Megalong Valley before we return to Katoomba for some free time to wander.
On 25th April 1815 Governor Lachlan Macquarie set out from Sydney to inspect the newly constructed road over the Blue Mountains. His party also sought a suitable place to become the administrative centre for government officials, soldiers and convicts stationed on the Western Plains (Wiradjuri country). They named the chosen site Bathurst, and it would become a service centre for the colony's growing pastoral enterprises before booming in the 1850s with the discovery of gold. As we travel today to Bathurst, we will pause by the Cox’s River for a time of worship at the site of the first Divine Service held west of the mountains.
The legacy of the region’s wealth can be seen in Bathurst’s historic buildings including the nearby Abercrombie House. Enjoy lunch and a tour through this grand residence, now a private home. We will also visit several heritage buildings which house the internationally renowned collection of the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum.
This evening we welcome our Guest Presenter, Mr Graham McLennan; an Australian historian with a great passion for our early Christian Heritage. Graham will share a presentation titled “From Columbus to Sturt.”
This morning we will worship in the first church to be built on the western side of the Blue Mountains, the Holy Trinity at Kelso. Enjoy fellowship with local Christians in a heritage listed church once served by Rev Samuel Marsden.
We are travelling through “Gold Country” to the site where the explorer William Charles Wentworth purchased property in 1838. This estate became the site of Australia's second gold discovery in May 1851 and a year later was sold to the “Wentworth Gold Field Company”, the first gold mining company to be formed in Australia. By the 1860’s the area had boomed and in 1863 the village was formally named Lucknow.
We stop for lunch at the delightful “Beekeeper’s Inn”; this restored Cobb and Coach stop now houses a museum, café, and brewery as well as a farm shop for local produce. From here we visit the historic village of Millthorpe where you will have time to wander – relax with a coffee, browse the boutique shops, do a wine tasting at one of the three cellar doors or visit the fabulous “Golden Memories Museum”.
We travel back towards Sydney along the Bell’s Line of Road, detouring via the tiny township of Mount Wilson to admire the “English style” gardens. We stop for lunch and a chance to wander the cold climate Botanic Gardens at Mount Tomah before driving down into the Hawkesbury Valley.
Enjoy a visit to Australia’s oldest existing church; built in 1809 Ebenezer Church is also Australia’s oldest school building. Buried within the church’s historic graveyard are members of the pioneer families who made major contributions to the development of the infant colony as well as Christian ministry and education in Australia.
The area around Windsor, or “Green Hills” as it once was known, was farmed by white settlers from 1794 to prevent the starvation within the fledgling colony. In 1810 it became one of the “Five Macquarie Towns” and today it is known for its many heritage buildings including St Matthews Anglican Church, and The Windsor Courthouse, both designed by the convict architect Sir Francis Greenway.
Designed in 1816 and built from 1817 by convict labour, St Matthew’s Church was consecrated by Rev Samuel Marsden in 1822. We will tour the church interior and take time to explore the historic Cemetery to find the graves of notable Hawkesbury citizens including William Cox (Explorer & Road builder), John Tebbutt (Astronomer), Dr Thomas Arndell (First Fleet Surgeon & Magistrate) and Captain John Babryn (Soldier and Magistrate) and Andrew Thompson (Enterprising ex-convict and friend to Macquarie)
Learn more about the geography and local people of the area at the Hawkesbury Regional Museum; gain insights into the rich Indigenous cultural heritage of the Darug people as well as the European settlers, dating back to the earliest days of the colony. We will also visit the heritage building of Howe House, located on one of the oldest land grants in Australia.
From Windsor we return to Sydney feeling blessed; our “time-travelling” journey may be at an end but wonderful memories of fun and fellowship shared with new friends remains.
29 September 2021
22 October 2021
Subject to vehicle access
Subject to vehicle access
29 September 2021
22 October 2021
Lightning Ridge and Regional NSW 2021
Myall Lakes 2021
Norfolk Island 2021
Fraser Island 2021
Icons of Australia 2021
Egypt, Jordan & Israel - September 2021
Egypt & Jordan - September 2021
Jordan & Israel - September 2021
Riverina by Train - October 2021
Land of the Bible - October 2021
Tasmania in the Springtime 2021
O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat 2021
Steps of Paul Holiday 2021