Six Epic Outdoor Adventures You Should Add to Your Greater Western Sydney Hit List
Forget the beach — head west to walk through wetlands and zipline through the trees.
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Summer may be over, but the cooler months offer an excellent opportunity to check out parts of Australia's great outdoors — beyond the plethora of beaches and beachside suburbs, that is. Whether you're a local or just visiting, greater western Sydney has an abundance of great outdoor activities certain to entertain the whole crew, including nature walks, river boats, historical tours and adventure parks.
If you're not sure where to start, we've teamed up with our friends over at Stockland to highlight six essential spots to check out next time you're up for a dose of outdoorsy fun.
TAKE AN INDIGENOUS CULTURAL WALK THROUGH PARRAMATTA
The history of Parramatta is filled with significant events involving Indigenous Australians and their earliest encounters with white colonialists. It was the site of the annual Native Feast, bringing many prominent Indigenous leaders to the region. It's also where the first diplomatic protests against dispossession took place. And, it's where the first institutional removal of Indigenous children occurred. Take a walk, led by an Indigenous guide, to discover more about this oft-confronting history. During First Contact — The Imbalance of Power (Aboriginal Cultural Walk), you'll learn about major historical events and frontier conflicts, plus occasional moments of cooperation as well.
WANDER AROUND A FARM WITHOUT LEAVING THE CITY
Keen on a real country farm experience, without having to go all the way out to the countryside? Located just off the M7, Calmsley Hill City Farm is an interactive farm complete with native and farmyard animals, beautiful grounds and all manner of shows and demonstrations about rural life. A great spot to take the kids, it has a strong focus on sustainability and education, as communicated through everything from milking cows and shearing sheep to a working dog show and a koala exhibition. Pop on down for a picnic lunch or make use of the onsite kiosk or barbecues, and then take in all that the Abbotsbury site has to offer.
ZIP, SWING, JUMP AND CLIMB THROUGH THE TREES
Ziplines, swings, ladders and all manner of contraptions decorate the tree line at Western Sydney's Tree Tops Adventure Park. Situated in the heart of the Western Sydney Parklands, this eco-friendly haven for thrill-seekers provides a variety of adventure options to suit children and adults alike. Different colour-coded courses, varying in difficulty and challenges, will take you on a fast-paced adventure — including swinging through the trees, obviously. It's also a great shout for a bucks or hens daytime activities, or for a family day out. No prior experience is necessary; just show up with your sense of adventure and off you go.
MOSEY AROUND THE CITY'S OTHER EXCEPTIONAL ZOO
Taronga Zoo might be Sydney's best-known place to peer at all manner of animals, but the city's west now houses a zoo to rival or even surpass it. Built between 2015–2019, the modern 16.5-hectare zoological park that is Sydney Zoo houses a hefty array of native and international species — more than 1000, in fact — across over 30 exhibitions. Visitors can get up close to camels, giraffes, meerkats and more. There is also a strong focus on education, including a program that lets kids become a mini zookeeper for the day.
EXPLORE — AND HELP CLEAN UP — A MANGROVE FOREST
Badu Mangrove Walk takes you through the largest remaining mangrove forest in the Parramatta River region, showcasing the ethereal beauty of these and many other water plants — all as you mosey across a winding boardwalk. There is plenty of native fauna to observe, including mud crabs and a variety of native water birds that call the swamp home. All of this is conveniently housed within Sydney Olympic Park, which is just a stone's throw from Homebush Bay Drive. You can also take part in clean-up sessions, helping the park's rangers keep the area in top shape for its animal and plant inhabitants.
LISTEN TO FROGS AT SYDNEY'S OLD BRICK PIT
Originally the site of a brick manufacturer — and also a filming location in the mid-80s for Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome — this part of Sydney Olympic Park was slated for redevelopment for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Due to conservation efforts to protect the endangered species of green and gold bell frogs that have made their habitat here, the process was halted. Now, the area operates as a conservation park, complete with a huge ring bridge that towers 18.5 metres above the base of the pit. Visitors can get a stellar view the frogs' habitat, as well as the wetlands and the disused brickworks site, all from a safe distance.
Visit Stockland's pop-up fashion event House of Kicks at Stockland Merrylands (May 3–16) to take part in sneaker customisation, street styling and street art workshops. To secure your place in a workshop, head this way.
Top image: Tree Tops Adventure Park, Destination NSW.
Published on May 15, 2021 by Dominic Gruenewald