Parramatta lake

Parramatta lake is one of the great urban parks that Sydney is lucky to have.

The entrance spot is at the end of Illawong Drive accessed from Lackey St. off Bourke St. Illawong Drive goes underneath James Ruse Drive, but there is no access from there. Parking is really tight, with few and very narrow spots at the lake’s cafe and picnic area where you can also swim. During busy times there are lifeguards. And I can imagine it can get very busy here.

The heritage-listed dam on the south side of the lake is the reason for the lake’s existence. Water from the dam was used to augment Sydney’s water supply. The area also has a significant indigenous history. You can read more about it here.

The walk around Parramatta Lake takes about an hour and a half. The path is decent, well-signposted, but it’s a bush path. Wear decent shoes.

It’s amazing how well-preserved this bushland is in the middle of the city. There are some waterlilies in the lake and taro on the banks, but most of the bush is free of weeds. There were plenty of water dragons, and we even saw a bush turkey. They’re everywhere these days.

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