A breath of fresh air and a tranquil scene of natural beauty are never far away in this part of the world. Sparkling waters, rolling green parklands and tidy gardens flourish in Parramatta and its neighbourhoods, which has become known for its natural diversity – including saltwater estuaries, blue gum forests, rainforest gullies and freshwater river flats. Here are some of the best wide-open spaces to enjoy this Summer. 

Parramatta River Cycle Way

Take in the scope of Parramatta’s natural beauty, on wheels or by foot. The Parramatta River Cycle Way joins Parramatta Park to Sydney Olympic Park, with its riverfront pathway – perfect for a leisurely stroll or easy cycle. 

From Parramatta Park, Pitt and Macquarie Streets Parramatta 2150; Visit The City of Parramatta for more information on the Parramatta River cycleway.

Parramatta Park

Parramatta’s 160-year-old UNESCO World Heritage-listed ‘People’s Park’ is the historically significant heart of the region. Situated on Burramatta territory, this green park is the place where visitors can explore Old Government House, The Dairy Precinct, perfectly manicured gardens and adventure playground that will delight both young and old.

Pitt and Macquarie Streets Parramatta 2150; Visit the Parramatta Park website for more information.

Overlooking Parramatta Park

Parramatta Park. Image: Supplied.

Prince Alfred Square

Once the location of Australia’s first prison, this green square is now a palm-tree-lined park honouring one of Queen Victoria’s sons, Prince Alfred. Neighbouring the Riverside Theatres and Parramatta’s Visitor Information Centre, the square is home to a 1920s-built war memorial, the Gollan Memorial Clock Tower and a striking Victorian bandstand.

353D Church Street Parramatta 2150.

Lake Parramatta Reserve

Just outside the city, a series of tracks provides walkers with 75 hectares of blossoming bushland to explore – right on Parramatta’s doorstep. Picturesque Lake Parramatta is a popular swimming spot for those reaching the end of the She-Oak Track, the Banksia Track and the full Lake Circuit – or hire a rowboat, peddle boat or aqua trike if you’d rather stay dry. 

Entry from Lackay St via Bourke Street North Parramatta 2150; Visit Five Reasons to Visit Lake Parramatta Reserve for more information 

Boat rowing in Lake Parramatta

Lake Parramatta. Image: Carla Dibbs

Bicentennial Park Sydney Olympic Park

With 40 hectares of idyllic picnic spots on offer, it’s a matter of choosing between the shade of towering trees, the green banks of Lake Belvedere, one of many purpose-built picnic shelters, or a lush green knoll for a view over Bicentennial Park. Its adventure playground is a dream for the restless child (at any age) or a zoom around the park on a hired bike might wear them out – featuring a stop at one of the cafés for a treat. 

Australia Avenue, Sydney Olympic Park 2127; Visit the Bicentennial Park website for more information.

Cycle Tracks

Owing to its relatively flat topography, designated cycleways, a great number of bike lanes and secure bike storage facilities, Parramatta is a known cyclist-friendly city. Those who are eager to test the adage ‘it’s just like riding a bike’, and push those pedals for the first time in a while, may find Parramatta Park’s pathways a great place to start.

Visit The City of Parramatta Cycling page for more information on cycle tracks.

Cycling across Subiaco Creek.

Subiaco Creek Cycle and Walkway

Blaxland Riverside Park

Come school holidays, the rubber-clad playground and water features of this park become filled with little adventurers. A popular choice among the parents of Parramatta, Blaxland Riverside Park features a large flying fox, climbing walls, a 12-metre tree house and giant nets to climb.

Jamieson Street Sydney Olympic Park 2127; Visit Blaxland Riverside Park for more information.

Walking Tracks

Alongside Lake Parramatta Reserve and the Subiaco Creek Link, there are copious places to enjoy a stroll while getting a wholesome dose of nature in Parramatta. In fact, the City of Parramatta lists 15 mapped bush walks, ranging from those that take an hour and a half to those that will keep you busy for more than six hours.

Visit The City of Parramatta website for more information on walking tracks.