Parramatta holds great significance in the history of Australia, being the first inland settlement, and the second settlement overall after Sydney Cove to be established by Australia's British colonists of the late 18th century. Today's Parramatta is a modern city with a range of cafes and restaurants, large shopping centres, cinemas and a theatre.
An historic town of the Macarthur Region, Camden is 65 kilometres south-west of the city s central business district on the fringe of the Sydney metropolitan area and is close to the suburb of Campbelltown. Camden is the gateway to the Wollondilly Shire, a prosperous farming area with numerous picturesque towns and villages.
With beautiful historic buildings, tranquil atmosphere and lush country views, Cobbitty is nestled on the Nepean River and is a low density residential, picturesque village. Surrounded by farmland, it is the location of an agricultural branch of Sydney University. Cobbitty is well worth a visit if you are in the Macarthur district. It is a short drive from Camden.
A great destination for a day out, particularly in summer, Cronulla is the only Sydney ocean beach to have a direct rail service. Surfers looking for good waves but less crowds find Cronulla fits the bill perfectly. If surfing is not your scene, Cronulla has other alternatives on offer. The village of Bundeena is a 20 minute (each-way) ferry ride away on the opposite shore of Port Hacking.
Bundeena began life as a fishing village and has managed to retain its rural charm thanks to its isolated position on the northern boundary of Royal National Park. Situated opposite Cronulla on Port Hacking, Bundeena is a great desination for a day or half day outing or as a base for adventurers wishing to explore the Park in detail.
During the 1980s, Cabramatta and the surrounding Fairfield area was something of a melting pot, characterised by a diversity of Australian-born children having migrant parents. Cabramatta was transformed into a thriving Asian community. Cabramatta now having the largest Vietnamese community in Australia.
One of the first rural colonial settlements in the Sydney region, Windsor still has a substantial number of interesting, historic buildings, though it has been greatly changed by the inevitable modern developments. There is a good walking map available locally which identifies all of the heritage sites and provides a detailed history.
By nature of its position at the junction of the Northern Line and the North Shore line of the City Rail network, and close to the junction of the Sydney-Newcastle Motorway, Cumberland Highay (Pennant Hills Road to Parramatta) and the Pacific Highway, Hornsby has become a major regional business, administrative and retail centre.
A suburb on the north side of the Parramatta River, Ryde is the third oldest European settlement in Australia, after Sydney and Parramatta. Located 13 km to the north west of Sydney central business district, Ryde is the administrative centre of the local government area of the City of Ryde. Ryde Pool was home to water polo events for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
Not a regular tourist destination, Oatley has a couple of interesting and easy suburban walks that lead to and through some tracts of virgin bushland on and around the Georges River. Here you can swim, fish, or just take in the views. Enjoy refreshments at one of Oatley's many fine cafes. Oatley Park is ideal for cycling or jogging. Oatley is on the Waterfall/Illawarra railway line.
If you like bushwalking, Glenbrook is made for you. Walk to one of a number of lookouts over the Nepean River, or follow the railway-related heritage trail along the line of the first railway through the foothills of the Blue Mountains. Go by train (Blue Mountains line), allow a full day to explore the sights and sounds of the Australian bush.
Penrith, a commercial centre on the Nepean River in Sydney's Greater West region, is located 50 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district. The Nepean River forms the western boundary of the suburb and beyond that, dominating the western skyline, are the Blue Mountains.
Not one of the tourist haunts, Maroubra is nonetheless a popular beach for surfers which also offers plenty of space for families. The swell is milder than at this beach's northerly neighbours though it can get quite rough at the north end. Protected swimming is available at Mahon Pool in the north and a children's pool in the south.
Peaceful is the best word to describe this isolated beach located behind Prince Henry Hospital. It is surrounded by golf courses and the swell in the bay itself is little more than a gentle rise and fall. The bay's two strips of sand are recognised as the safest of all of Sydney's ocean beaches. A number of coastal walks begin here.
A popular venue for a weekend family picnic, there are a number of beaches on and around the La Perouse peninsula at the head of Botany Bay. Though the Kurnell Refinery is visible across the bay and Botany's port and industrial area is just around the corner, the low-surf Congwong Bay, like its neighbour, Little Congwong Bay, is sufficiently secluded to not be affected by its location.
Brighton-Le-Sands is one of a string of beachside suburbs on the western shores of Botany By. Lady Robinsons Beach is the strip of beach which runs south from Sydney Airport through Brighton-Le-Sands. Its name recalls the wife of a Governor of NSW during the 1870s who used to ride her horse here. A cycleway connects Kyeemagh at the northern end with Sandringham in the south.
Catch the train to Hawkesbury River and then the ferry to this peaceful island paradise where motor vehicles are banned. Stroll around the island, swim at one of its unspoilt river beaches and enjoy a slow lunch at the island's cafe. Accommodation is available for a longer stay. Dangar Island is 70 mins. by train from Sydney's Central Station.
Pittwater is a wide inlet north of Sydney and south of Broken Bay near the Hawkesbury River mouth. 30 kms north of Sydney, it is a boatowner's paradise. The suburbs built on its shores are all prestigious residential areas which take full adventage of the expansive views towards Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park across Pittwater.