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, 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 in this thriving region.
Parramatta River Cycle Way
Take in the scope of Parramatta’s natural beauty on wheels or by foot. The Parramatta River Cycleway joins Sydney Olympic Peninsula and Bicentennial Park with its riverfront pathway – perfect for a leisurely stroll or easy cycle.
From Parramatta Park, Pitt and Macquarie Streets Parramatta 2150; Visit City of Parramatta for more information on the Parramatta River cycleway.
Prince Alfred Square
Once the site of Parramatta’s second jail, 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
Parramatta’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed park is the heart of the region. Situated on Burramatta territory, this green park is the place where visitors can explore Old Government House, the Dairy Precinct, gardens and the adventure playground. Join a traditional custodian on the Warami Mittigar Aboriginal cultural walk to learn how local clans survived and thrived in the region.
Lake Parramatta Reserve
Just outside the city, a series of tracks provide walkers with 73 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 canoe if you’d rather stay dry.
Entry from Lackey Street via Bourke Street North Parramatta 2150; Visit Five Reasons to Visit Lake Parramatta Reserve for more information
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 and 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 Bicentennial Park for more information.
Owing to its flat topography, designated cycleways, great expanse of bike lanes and secure bike storage facilities, Parramatta is a cyclist-friendly city. Those who are eager to go for a spin and push those pedals for the first time in a while may find Parramatta Park’s pathways a great place to start.
Visit City of Parramatta's cycling page for more information on cycle tracks.
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 treehouse and giant nets to climb.
Jamieson Street Sydney Olympic Park 2127; Visit Blaxland Riverside Park for more information.
As well as 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 City of Parramatta for more information on cycling and walking tracks.