Water Based Activities
The spectacular Nepean River at Penrith is one of the region’s primary natural attractions. It is not surprising to discover that water based recreation is a key focus within the area. The Nepean River is also a great place for fishing, swimming or simply enjoying a relaxing picnic on the river bank with family and friends.
One of the region’s icons is the Nepean Belle, an old style paddle steamer which can regularly be seen touring the river. The Nepean Belle offers lunches, dinners, morning and afternoon teas as you cruise along the stunning Nepean Gorge.
To catch a breathtaking view of the Nepean Gorge, take a drive along Mulgoa Road to the historic Mulgoa Valley. On the right you will come across Fairlight Road. A further eight kilometre drive followed by a short work will lead you to The Rock Lookout. For those who feel a little more energetic you can also take a 30 minute walk to Riley’s Mountain Lookout where you will capture stunning views of the lower Blue Mountains.
Penrith and Emu Plains also offer three riverside reserves, these being Weir Reserve, Tench Reserve and Regatta Park, ideal locations for a picnic or barbeque. Just 15 minutes south of Penrith in Wallacia you will also find another riverside picnic area, Blaxland Crossing Reserve.
South past Wallacia is the small village of Warragamba. Here you will find the junction of the Warragamba and Nepean rivers as well as Warragamba Dam. The dam is a great attraction offering educational tours and picnic facilities. Warragamba Dam is of great importance as it supplies the majority of Sydney’s water. Further south of Wallacia is another riverside recreation area – Bents Basin Recreation Area.
With so many water recreation areas, it’s no wonder that Penrith was awarded as the host city for the Sydney 2000 Olympics rowing and canoeing. Sydney 2000 Olympic events were held at the purpose built Sydney International Regatta Centre north of Penrith just four kilometres along Castlereagh Road. The centre is open to the public daily with many picnic locations,walks as well as a cycling track around the rowing lake.
The Penrith Whitewater Stadium was also completed for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the first of it’s kind in Australia.
Other water based attractions include the world class Ripples Aquatic Centre at St Marys, and the Penrith Swimming Centre.