Two kilometres from Parramatta CBD is a man-made reservoir on 75ha of parkland. The lake is a popular swimming spot, and visitors can hire pedal boats or kayaks to explore the area on water. It was once a meeting place for the Darug peoples, and now there are three marked walking trails that join into one long track, circling the lake. It’s an easy to moderate walk and dogs are welcome if they’re on a lead.
You’ll hear the cockatoos before you see them, but there are also lots of rosellas and kookaburras among the red gum trees and banksias. It’s an uneven pathway, and you’ll get to cross the creek twice, as well as check out the 1856-built Parramatta Dam.
The park has free barbecues and a playground, so you could make a family day of it. For the less organised, there’s a kiosk called Lake Parramatta Café serving up burgers, wraps and sandwiches.