The Great West Walk Is Western Sydney's New 65-Kilometre Walking Track
The trail connects Parramatta with Penrith at the base of the Blue Mountains.
So, you've successfully smashed all the walks and hikes in town and you're looking for some fresh tracks to conquer? We reckon you'll be kept pretty busy with Sydney's new — and utterly enormous — walking trail, known as the Great West Walk. Clocking in at 65 kilometres, the walk runs all the way from Parramatta to the foot of the Blue Mountains in Penrith.
As Western Sydney's longest walk, the trail traverses a lot of residential streets (and even the Great Western Highway at one point), but you'll still have plenty in the way of nature opportunities — no matter how much of it you're tackling at once. Near the start, it runs along the river through Parramatta Park, by the likes of the Old Government House and The Old Dairy, and a new 1.2-kilometre track along Toongabbie Creek. You can take in the Lost Rogans Hill Railway Line at Northmead, Seven Hills' International Peace Park and the scenic surrounds of Chang Lai Yuan Chinese Gardens in Western Sydney Parklands.
As you get further out, The Great West Walk passes through the heritage-listed Rooty Hill Historic Site and the 900-hectare Wianamatta Regional Park. It finishes at the Nepean River, where you can either kick back enjoying views of the Blue Mountains in the background, link up to the existing eight-kilometre Great River Walk or venture a few more metres into the Penrith CBD for a hard-earned coffee and feed.
You probably won't be knocking the whole thing out in one go, but it can easily be done in parts over a couple of weekends. The track intersects with the train line at multiple points, too, so you'll be able to get there and back without much hassle. Plus, it might even save you a drive to a national park and help you explore your own backyard a bit more.
The whole thing has been brought to life with the help of hiking group the Walking Volunteers (who also helped create the 760-kilometre Sydney Harbour and Coastal Walking Network), along with almost $500,000 from the NSW Government and support from the likes of local councils, NSW Parks and Wildlife Services, and Western Sydney Parkland Trust.
The Walking Volunteers are the first to put the Great West Walk through its paces. They set out to tackle the whole 65 kilometre stretch on Friday, and are expected to end in Penrith this evening, Tuesday, October 15.
The Great West Walk starts at Parramatta and ends in Penrith. To plan your walk, view the map here.
Image: Western Sydney Parklands.
Published on October 14, 2019 by Libby Curran