Explore Lake Parramatta Reserve

Swimming, picnicking, bushwalking and pedal boating, Lake Parramatta is an amazing place of natural beauty to enjoy with friends and family.

4 mins read

5 reasons to visit Lake Parramatta Reserve

With more than 70 hectares of bushland to explore and only two kilometres from the Parramatta CBD, a visit to Lake Parramatta is the perfect way to enjoy a sunny Sydney day by the water, without having to make the journey east.

Here are five reasons to pack up a picnic basket, grab some friends and make tracks to the reserve this weekend.

Swim in the Lake

With the lake open for swimming from October each year, the summer season is the time to shake winter off and reserve a spot by the water.

Fully patrolled by lifeguards, the designated swimming area is safe for children to splash and paddle and big enough for adults to get some laps in.

For those more interested in a leisurely lounge around the water, BYO floatation device and lounge on the water to your heart’s content.

People wishing to swim at Lake Parramatta are recommended to do so in the designated swimming area when it is supervised by lifeguards.

Before swimming, it’s important to recognise the risks, check water conditions and understand your own swimming abilities. It is also recommended that people never swim alone.

Visit Swimming at Lake Parramatta for more advice.

People swimming in Lake Parramatta

Hire a boat

Whether you’re an experienced kayaker, or perhaps are looking to woo a date with a romantic daytime paddle in a row boat, there are plenty of options for hitting the waterways at Lake Parramatta Reserve.

Hire your choice of boat from Parramatta Rowboats with kayaks, canoes, paddleboats, stand up paddle boards and row boats on offer. All levels of ability are welcome to enjoy a few hours on the water.

For hire fees and details of hire, visit Parramatta Rowboats.

family in pedal boat

Bushwalk around the tracks

Take a stroll around one of four walking tracks that join to make the Lake Circuit in the reserve. The HERITAGE PATH Grade 1: 300m one way Follow the surfaced wheelchair assisted accessible path around from the visitor hub to the Dam Wall Lookout. Short steeper ‘wheelchair assistance required’ sections occur. The ARRUNGA BARDO WALK Grade 2: 900m one way Starting from the Arrunga Bardo Garden follow the evenly surfaced bushtrack past Lake Parramatta’s finest views to the Arrunga Bardo (Calm Waters) Lookout. The RESERVOIR TRACK Grade 3: 600m one way Steep steps, a creek crossing and rocky track surfaces make this a grade 3 outing to a fine viewpoint. The UPPER LAKE TRACK Grade 3: 2100m one way Connects Reservoir Lookout with Arrunga Bardo (Still Waters) Lookout via the top of the lake and the LAKE CIRCUIT Grade 3: 4200m loop / 2 hrs Link the Heritage Path, Arrunga Bardo, Reservoir Track and Upper Lake Track together for a memorable lap of the lake.

family bushwalking Lake Parramatta

Enjoy a picnic, BBQ and the playgrounds

Pull up a patch of grass or choose a rock overlooking the water, bring a book and a basket and spread out for the day.

If a sunny Aussie BBQ in the bush is your idea of a perfect day, get there early to reserve a BBQ and claim your space.

If picnics or BBQ’s aren’t your style, stop for a coffee and one of the many decadent treats on offer at Lake Parramatta café.

family enjoying a picnic at Lake Parramatta

Explore Australian History

A significant place for the traditional owners of the land the Darug people, evidence still remains of the regular usage of and occupation by the Aboriginal Burramattagal clan within Lake Parramatta Reserve and Hunts Creek.

Look out for shelter caves, hand-stencils, stone flaking, tree scars and midden deposits as you wander around the site.

The local Aboriginal community and City of Parramatta Council have in recent years established a Bushfoods Garden and Walk to show these remarkable items to visitors so find out how you can be a part of one of these here, or join one of the tours run through the Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre.

mother and daughter looking out at Lake Parramatta