Lace up your hiking shoes Sydney! The Great West Walk has just opened up and it’s huuuuge.
But the most exciting thing about this walk isn’t its length. It’s the variety of landscapes and settings hikers cross through on the way. Between public parklands, Cumberland Plain woodland, local river systems, urban landscapes and some of Aus’ oldest architecture, the Great West Walk will surprise you with its diversity and history.
Highlights along the track include the Chang Lai Yuan Gardens, the Nepean River in Penrith, historic buildings like Old Government House and the Old Observatory in Parramatta Park and the Wisteria Gardens of Westmead.
The NSW State Government contributed $500,000 through the Metropolitan Greenspace Program to help create the walk. The walk is a part of the government’s green grid plan for Sydney, which aims to create more natural transport links between public places and spaces.
The route was mapped out by experienced hikers within The Walking Volunteers group, who helped piece together sections of already existing parklands across Sydney’s west. The creation of the walk is an amazing display of collaboration between Blacktown City Council, City of Parramatta Council, Penrith City Council, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Western Sydney Parklands Trust in creating much needed green public spaces.
At the opening of the track, Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said, ‘These trails are creating so many contexts for community. We’ve created such an atomistic society where we retreat into our homes, behind our fences or in our motor vehicles…It’s so exciting that we’re now rediscovering the idea of community through open spaces.’
That’s what we like to hear! More opportunities to get out amongst it, closer to home. Go check it out for yourself this weekend!
Feature photo courtesy of City of Parramatta Council