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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Lake Parramatta- Everything You Need to Know

Lake Parramatta Reserve is a man-made reservoir. It is a dazzling haven in the middle of Western Sydney. However, the Lake Parramatta Dam was closed in 1909. It then transformed into a recreational facility in 2012, and Lake Parramatta Reserve was declared a wildlife refuge, protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

Furthermore, Lake Parramatta is a fantastic recreational area. It is used as a designated swimming range and is visited by people all over Western Sydney. The Parramatta Council is responsible for the lake’s proper conservation and water quality.

Lake Parramatta remains open on all days. You can take a walk, hire a boat, or enjoy swimming here. Furthermore, you can relish snacks at the picnic area.

Now, let us explore the things to do at the Lake Parramatta Reserve.

1. Things to Do at the Lake Parramatta Reserve

The things to do at the Lake Parramatta Reserve are described below.

1.1. Enjoy a Picnic 

Lake Parramatta
Photo by prathap karaka on Unsplash/ Copyright 2023

Lake Parramatta Reserve has picnic facilities with sheltered tables, suitable spots to sit on the grass, electric BBQs, and well-maintained washroom facilities. With all these amenities, undoubtedly, you can have a great picnic here.

There are also burgers and steaks at the electric BBQs. Furthermore, all the picnic spots and BBQs can be accessed free of cost. It serves visitors on a priority basis.

You can also witness lovely ducks in the shallow areas of Lake Parramatta near the Lake Parramatta Cafe. So, why delay? Grab the available seats and relish the breathtaking views of the lake while enjoying your snacks.

1.2. Visit the Lake Parramatta Cafe

Lake Parramatta
Photo by PhotoMIX Company from Pexels/ Copyright 2016

If you are at the lake without any snacks for your picnic, do not fret. You can visit the Lake Parramatta Cafe near the parking area and buy something. This Cafe offers you coffee with snacks, and you can enjoy the blissful atmosphere of the reserve while tasting their mouthwatering food.

There is also lunch at the cafe, and the menu has various options, namely, delicious milkshakes, chips, babycino for children, gelato, cakes, and cold refreshing drinks for the hot Sydney day. Furthermore, the cafe has incredible reviews.

1.3. Hire a Boat at Parramatta Rowboats

Lake Parramatta
Photo by Liam Matthews on Unsplash/ Copyright 2021

You can hire a boat and explore the entire lake while enjoying an exciting boat ride on the water. Also, you can easily avail of these rides since no booking is involved.

Furthermore, visit Parramatta Rowboats at the Parramatta Wharf and choose your preferred boat. The available ones are row boats, pedal boats, stand-ups, and canoes.

The boat hire is available during school holidays, on the weekends, and also on public holidays. The boats are available for hire on an hourly basis and also for an entire day.

The pedal boats are ideal for families because they can hold up to two adults and two children. However, you can hire them for only an hour.

1.4. Visit the Playground

Lake Parramatta
Photo by cotton-bro studio from Pexels/ Copyright 2020

The playground is opposite the washroom facilities and the car parking. However, you need not fret about your children’s safety due to the closeness of the playground to the parking area. Because there is a wall that separates it and the playground.

Furthermore, your kids can explore a lot at this playground. It consists of a slide, pretend shops, swings, an interactive play board with steering wheels, a xylophone, an abacus, stone sculptures, a climbing wall, and a liberty swing.

Hence, your children will never be disappointed with this place. So, ensure they don’t miss out on all the fun at this playground in the Lake Parramatta Reserve.

1.5. Bushwalking

Lake Parramatta
Photo by Trish Everett on Unsplash/ Copyright 2022

Bushwalking is the most popular activity to do at Lake Parramatta. You can try it individually or as a team. There are several bush walking trails to go hiking. However, there are three major walking trails to look out for. They are the Lake Circuit Walk, the She-Oak Track, and the Banksia Track. Of these, let us know more about the Lake Circuit Walk.

1.6. Lake Circuit Walk

This bushwalking trail loops around the lake and consists of four walking tracks. They are given below.

1.6.1. Heritage Path

Lake Parramatta
Photo by Bekir Uğur from Pexels/ Copyright 2020

The heritage path is a short walking trail from the main parking area to the dam wall, and people in wheelchairs can also conveniently use this trail. It then goes past the swimming area and the boat hire. This is also where you can relish the view of the lake.

1.6.2. Reservoir Track

This track goes behind the Parramatta Lake dam wall through Hunts Creek via stepping stones. Furthermore, the reservoir track is longer than the Heritage Path because it involves climbing rough surfaces and a creek crossing.

1.6.3. Upper Lake Track

As you finish the reservoir track, you can continue walking to the northern part of the reserve. This track is presumed to be the longest and the most strenuous section of the circuit walk. However, you can expect a smooth journey because there is not much climbing.

The trail will take you to the farthest part of the lake while crossing Hunts Creek to get to the eastern part of the lake. During the walk, watch out for the beautiful scenery with various kinds of native birds. Furthermore, wildlife in the area includes frogs, lizards, rosellas, cockatoos, and kookaburras.

Lake Parramatta
Photo by Margaret Riseley on Unsplash/ Copyright 2022

1.6.4. Arrunga Bardo Walk

The circuit walk continues to the farthest part of the reserve before returning to the visitor hub. This walk takes you through the Arrunga Bardo garden- a green scenery with various plant life.

The walk enlightens you on the intriguing history of the Aboriginal Burramattagal clan. They were the first settlers along the banks of the Parramatta River. This was also where they grew their food crops.

Furthermore, the path is wheelchair friendly. Hence, even those in wheelchairs can have a pleasant time here.

1.7. Swimming in Lake Parramatta

Due to unclean water, the government shut down swimming activities in Lake Parramatta for over seventy years. Fortunately, the Parramatta Council reopened the swimming area at the lake at the beginning of 2015 just north of the visitor hub.

A beautiful scene of trees with birds chirping away surrounds the lake, which makes the swimming area a gorgeous spot to cool off. Furthermore, it has clear and refreshing water.

1.7.1. Safety at the Lake

Lake Parramatta
Photo by monkeybusiness from DepositPhotos

You can witness several lifeguards on duty in the swimming area from morning to evening during weekends, public holidays, and any time from late October until April when Lake Parramatta is open for public swimming.

Furthermore, you can swim when the lifeguards are not on duty, but ensure you swim only in the designated area carefully. Additionally, you shouldn’t swim for at least a few days after heavy rain.

Also, the entrance to the swimming area is shallow. Furthermore, you should also wear water shoes to avoid slipping on the rocks and pebbles as they are lightly slippery.

2. Parking Areas

Lake Parramatta
Photo by Vitor Paladini on Unsplash/ Copyright 2021

Lake Parramatta Reserve has three car park areas near its entrance, which are said to have at least close to a hundred car park spots.

You can also find parking nearby on Bourke and Lackey Street in North Parramatta. Hence, you can park your vehicles there if you find the parking full at the Lake Parramatta Reserve parking area.

Furthermore, the area is accessible even through public transport. There is a bus route that stops along Bourke Street. It also has a link to Parramatta train station. Hence, you can plan your trip easily.

3. FAQs

Why was Lake Parramatta Reserve declared a wildlife refuge in 2012?

The City of Parramatta proclaimed the Reserve a wildlife refuge to recognize the wildlife diversity and several endangered species that inhabit Lake Parramatta.

What is the historical importance of Lake Parramatta?

The historical importance of Lake Parramatta is that it was home to the Aboriginal Burramattagal clan. They owned the land surrounding the lake before the first English convicts arrived.

Furthermore, there is evidence of their presence in the form of remnant shelters and flaking tree scars.

Which is the easiest entry point to the Lake Parramatta Reserve?

The easiest entry into the Lake Parramatta Reserve is from Bourke and Lackey Streets, North Parramatta.

How often do the lifeguards patrol the Lake Parramatta Reserve?

The Lake Parramatta Reserve has lifeguards patrolling it during the busy swimming periods. Furthermore, you can see them in action on weekends and other holidays.

What are the swimming precautions to take at Lake Parramatta?

Lake Parramatta provides a safe swimming experience for its visitors, but you still have to be careful. Below are the precautions to follow to ensure safety at the Reserve.

  • You should avoid swimming alone. Because when you swim in groups, you may have the support of others in case of emergencies.
  • Only swim during patrolled hours. Don’t swim outside the designated swimming area.
  • Avoid swimming for a few days after heavy rainfall, as there may be immersed objects in water that could cause injury.
  • Ensure you wear a life jacket.

4. Conclusion

Lake Parramatta is a heritage-listed man-made lake. It is now used as a recreational area with several fun-filled activities. Visitors can have a lovely time here. Furthermore, it is the best place to have family functions and create unforgettable memories.

It will undoubtedly provide an incredible experience to visitors. Furthermore, it has clean water, a well-sheltered picnic spot, a cafe, a playground, and beautiful scenery. What else could you ask for? Plan a visit and enjoy the exhilarating atmosphere.



A writer comfortable exploring any subject.

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