Walking Parramatta River – Part One: Lake Parramatta to Lennox Bridge

Currently Reading: Ernest Cline – Ready Player One | Patrícia Melo – The Lost World | Peter Matthiessen – The Snow Leopard | Herta Müller – The Fox Was Ever the Hunter

I’ve had these books on the go for several weeks (in some cases months). There has not been much time for reading as I enter these final two months of thesis. Come the first of September, and the beginning of spring, I will be free. This summer, I won’t know what to do with myself!

I haven’t had as much time for hikes lately either, unfortunately. Recently, however, I began a long term project which aims to link together several walking routes along Sydney’s waterways, from Botany Bay in Sydney’s south to Barrenjoey Lighthouse in the north, and along the Parramatta and Hawkesbury river systems, linking the Royal NP Coastal Walk (which, due to recent fire damage, I am also walking in three sections, the first of which you can read about here) and the Great North Walk, which connects central Sydney with the Hunter Valley. I am using a series of maps collaboratively compiled by Sydney’s various coastal councils, called Walking Coastal Sydney.

I decided to walk the Parramatta River section first, as my campus is situated along its banks, so I can stitch together sections as I attend uni for meetings, library visits, and class (when teaching resumes in August). Setting out from Parramatta station, I walked to the Lake along the river and returned through the streets, taking about 3.5 hours to complete the circuit, from Lennox Bridge to the Lake and back to the station.

The circuit around Lake Parramatta took a little over an hour to complete

You leave the road and within five minutes find yourself in the middle of the bush

It’s a substantial pond

Surrounded on all sides by beautiful rocky outlooks – perfect for Sunday picnics

This dam reduces the emergent flow of Hunt Creek to a slow trickle. Hunt Creek joins with Darling Mills Creek and later with Toongabbie Creek to form the Parramatta River.

The walk along Darling Mills Creek takes you past the Old Parramatta Gaol

Once on the river proper, you take a stroll through a wisteria garden which must be spectacular in Spring

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Clearly signposted with route maps and brief histories of the local area

Half an hour from one of Sydney’s busiest transport hubs, you may find you have this entire river bank to yourself

O’Connell St underpass

Boardwalk between the Marsden and O’Connell St underpasses

Corner of Church St and Phillip St

Centenary Square, Parramatta

Business as usual

Parramatta Square – under construction

All of Sydney feels a bit like a construction zone at the moment, between the ever-expanding development of roads, airports, light-rails, smart cities and other immanent architecture, infrastructure and ‘must have’ capital investment opportunities. One can’t help wondering if Sydney’s growing at a rate faster than it can sustain. These here are changing times… It’s nice to slow down and take in a little of the sprawling urban environment on foot. Then retreat once again to the slower pace of mountains life.

I’m house-sitting in Eastwood this week, hanging out with two very cool cats going by the names of Whiskers and Meow. My plan is to complete one to two more sections of the Parramatta River while I am here.

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