You can stroll from Parramatta all the way to the Blue Mountains. It’ll just take a few days to get there.
A 65-kilometre walking trail, called the Great West Walk, opened in 2019. It’s a community-led initiative spearheaded by the Walking Volunteers, a group of Sydneysiders mapping out walking trails around the city and nearby areas.
The trail – the longest continuous walking route through Sydney’s west – begins at Parramatta Park and passes through Blacktown, Western Sydney Parklands, Rooty Hill and Wianamatta Regional Park, before ending at Penrith at the foot of the Blue Mountains. It traverses protected Cumberland Plain woodlands, bushland corridors, local river systems, regional parks and urban landscapes.
Highlights along the walk include the 19th-century Old Government House and the 18th-century Old Dairy Cottage in Parramatta, Wisteria Gardens in Westmead, Blacktown Showground and Blacktown International Sports Park, Nurragingy Reserve and Chang Lai Yuan Chinese Gardens in the Western Sydney Parklands, the 19th-century Neoblie Historic Cottage in Rooty Hill, and the Nepean River in Penrith.
As part of the project, the City of Parramatta opened a new 1.2-kilometre walking track running along Toongabbie Creek. That part of the track cost $850,000 and was jointly funded by the City of Parramatta Council and the NSW Government’s Metropolitan Greenspace program. The government also provided nearly $500,000 to plan and deliver the entire route.
Other bodies involved in the creation of the path include Blacktown City Council, Penrith City Council, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Western Sydney Parklands Trust.
To properly map out the entire walk for GPS, members of the Walking Volunteers completed the entire trail over five days.
This article was updated on December 10, 2021.