The town was originally called Lower Portland Headland, but the name was eventually changed to Wisemans Ferry, named after Solomon Wiseman, a former convict (1778–1838), who received a land grant in the area from Governor Macquarie in 1817. Wiseman established a ferry service on the Hawkesbury River in 1827 for the transport of produce and provisions to the convicts building the Great North Road and was known to many as King of the Hawkesbury.
Wisemans Ferry Post Office opened on 1 January 1857.
Today, two ferry services cross the Hawkesbury River from the town of Wisemans Ferry. The eponymous Wisemans Ferry crosses the river to a point down-stream of its confluence with the Macdonald River, connecting with the old Great North Road. Webbs Creek Ferry crosses to a point upstream of the confluence, connecting with the St Albans Road that follows the west bank of the Macdonald River.