Meet local adventurer, Tina Willmore

“Beautiful flowers, birds, mushrooms galore, even a few waterfalls. There’s so much you can see here — without having to drive very far,” says Tina, who’s lived in Winston Hills, just ten minutes’ drive from Parramatta, for seven years.

Tina spends nearly every weekend on an adventure — be it a hike through local woodlands, a paddle along the tributaries of the Parramatta River, or a stroll among the City’s spectacular heritage-listed buildings.

One of Tina’s regular walks is the Murri-Yanna Track, a 3.7-kilometre journey from North Rocks to Northmead. “There’s a wonderful gully, in between the housing, which has some incredibly tall gum trees, a creek running through, and some fantastic sandstone cliffs and boulders,” she says. “It’s surprising, just how far you can walk in and around Parramatta, without having to leave the forest.”

Every now and again, Tina swaps the land for water, and, armed with her kayak, heads for the Parramatta River, where she puts in at Silverwater Bridge. “From there, you can paddle all the way to the city — even as far as the ocean,” she says. “Just a week ago, I paddled to Hunters Hill, then turned into Lane Cove River, as far as De Burghs Bridge.”

Another favourite spot is Lake Parramatta, where, in a kayak, you can escape weekend crowds and get a new perspective on familiar landmarks, like the impressive dam wall.

And, when friends or family visit, Tina invites them to Lake Parramatta Cafe for lunch — with scenery. “It’s such a lovely setting, the food’s nice, and the service has always been great,” she says. Another option is a trip down Parramatta River on the River Cat.

“The City of Parramatta runs various walks and talks, which I’ve been attending for the past couple of years at least,” says Tina.

“One that I remember well was held during Science Week. We took a fascinating walk around Parramatta CBD, guided by archaeologists, who explained some of the incredible things they’ve found during excavation for construction […] by looking at pollens in the soil underneath the site where the new stadium is planned, they can work out what plants were growing 7,500 years ago.”

Tina Willmore

Tina Willmore
Frequent visitors to Parramatta's natural settings