Introduction(Back to top)
Lake Parramatta Reserve sits on Country traditionally cared for by Aboriginal people of the Dharug language group. Today we welcome you to the reserve and ask that you acknowledge indigenous cultural values particularly having respect for Country. Some relics of Aboriginal occupation exist on site today in the form of remnant shelters, hand-stencils, flaking scars and midden deposits.
Completed in 1856, the Lake Parramatta reservoir was the first large dam built in Australia. It was made of sandstone blocks quarried onsite, as seen today from the Dam Wall Lookout. A concrete rim adding 3.3m to the dam height was built in 1898. The dam was a crucial part of Parramatta’s water supply until 1909, when the city was connected to Sydney’s water system (following the construction of the Cataract Dam).
An enduring legacy of the dam for Parramatta was the creation in the 1880s of a water reserve protecting its catchment. This was later expanded to cover the natural area now protected in Lake Parramatta Reserve.
Today the reserve forms a vital part of a connected network of natural areas. These provide essential habitat for an array of native wildlife across the Parramatta River Catchment. Please help to protect these values by following the reserve’s user regulations.
Walks and Tracks(Back to top)
View a PDF version of the map
HERITAGE PATH (purple): Grade 1 – 300m one way
Follow this surfaced wheelchair accessible path around from here to the Dam Wall Lookout. Some short steeper sections exist on this path. Suitable for wheelchair users who have someone to assist them.
ARRUNGA BARDO WALK (orange): Grade 2 – 900m one way
Starting from the Arrunga Bardo Garden follow the evenly surfaced bush track past Lake Parramatta’s finest views to the Arrunga Bardo (Calm Waters) Lookout.
RESERVOIR TRACK (blue): Grade 3 – 600m one way
Steep steps, a creek crossing and rocky track surfaces make this a grade 3 outing to a fine viewpoint.
LAKE CIRCUIT (all tracks combined): Grade 3 – 4200m loop / 2 hrs
From the Dam Wall Lookout, continue on via the Reservoir Track / Upper Lake Track / Arrunga Bardo Walk to complete a loop of the lake.
Regulations and Cautions
Please be aware that the Upper and Lower Hunts Creek Crossings may be impassable during and after light to heavy rain events. Do not use Lake Circuit when water is flowing over stepping stones at creek crossings.
Dogs are to be kept on leads at all times and cats are not allowed in the reserve at all.
No bicycles are allowed on walking tracks. Bicycles are permitted on Illawong Drive and sections of the Management Trail in eastern parts of the reserve.
Swimming is not advised in areas other than visitor hub designated area.