Bridge to Bridge walk along the Nepean River
The Bridge to Bridge (aka Two Bridges) Walk along the Nepean River is located in Penrith, approximately 1 ½ hours’ drive from central Sydney. The walk follows the banks of the river and crosses over the M4 in the south and Victoria Bridge in the north. The Blue Mountains loom over the river and the river sparkles in the sunlight. The river is always a hive of activity. It’s a favourite spot for day fishing boats, water skiing, kayaking, joggers, walkers, families, and dog walkers.
The entire 7km loop will take you approximately 2 hours and you can start pretty much anywhere although most people park on the east side of the river next to Tench Reserve. The paths are suitable for strollers, scooters, bikes, walkers, joggers, and perfect for dog walking (you must keep them on a leash and bring your own doggy waste bags). If you are taking bikes please take care on both bridges, in particular the Victoria Bridge (you must dismount and walk your bike across as it is very narrow).
Most of the activity happens on the east side of the river which includes huge picnic areas, kids play equipment, BBQ ‘s and gazebos, public toilets, and oodles of seats to watch the world go by.
You’ll spot lots of water birds including water hens and pacific black ducks. During this most recent walk I saw superb blue wrens and a number of bearded dragon lizards.
If you get a bit peckish there are some food options along the way. On the east side there is a small caravan kiosk offering up the usual junk food you’d expect (ice creams, lollies, chips, soft drink, hot chips) and The Coffee Club (pretty busy and noisy yet takeaway window on the left hand side of the building – http://www.coffeeclub.com.au). On the west side of the river follow the road rather than the river and you’ll reach the Penrith Regional Gallery which includes Café at Lewers(http://www.penrithregionalgallery.org/cafe.php). A Mr Whippy van often does a loop on the east side of the River. Alternatively the mammoth Penrith Panthers (http://penrith.panthers.com.au/home) is a short drive
The Nepean Belle (http://www.nepeanbelle.com.au/) is a pretty Paddlewheeler that cruises the river. It’s popular for weddings, Mother’s Days, and other functions. It departs next to the busy boat ramp on the east side of the river. I took some snaps of her pulling in at approximately 11am for a 12pm departure. The Sunday Lunch Cruise costs $46 for adults and $20 for kids including lunch and a 2.5 hour cruise. Check the website for the timetable.
I started on the east side and walked south in the direction of the M4. Once you cross the river and head north you have the option to walk along the road or follow the path next to the river. You will eventually have to join the road near the Victoria Bridge. Once you cross the Victoria bridge turn right at the Log Cabin (http://www.logcabin.com.au/) which overlooks the water. The next stretch of the walk will be through the streets for approximately 10 minutes until you see the white metal gates of Tench Reserve. Once you re-enter the park you will be able to get back on the walking path again and closer to the river once more.
Nepean River, Penrith, NSW, 2747
Drive towards the Blue Mountains on the M4. Take the Sydney Regatta Centre / Northern
Road exit. Turn left into Jamison Road and follow the signs to the Nepean River. Park anywhere next to Tench Reserve.
7km loop – approximately 2 hours to do the walk at a medium pace.
Absolutely FREE! Even the BBQ’s and parking are free.
Other things to do in Penrith:
Penrith Westfield – http://www.westfield.com.au/penrith
Cables Wake Park – http://www.cableswakepark.com/
Sydney International Regatta Centre – http://www.regattacentre.nsw.gov.au/
Sydneysiders – what are your favourite parks and walks in Sydney?