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. Penrith sits on the western edge of the Cumberland Plain, a fairly flat area of Western Sydney, extending to Windsor in the north, Parramatta in the east and Thirlmere in the south. The Nepean River forms the western boundary of the suburb and beyond that, dominating the western skyline, are the Blue Mountains. It can be reached by road via the M4 Western Motorway using either The Northern Road or Mulgoa Road exits, or the Great Western Highway, or by train on the Western Suburban Line. Penrith station is also a stop on the intercity Blue Mountains Line.
Penrith Market: Penrith Show Grounds
Trading: every Wednesday. Type: General
Phone: (02) 4721 0821
The Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Complex is in High Street next to the Council Chambers. Named after opera singer Joan Sutherland, the building was designed by architect Philip Cox and opened in 1990. It incorporates the Penrith Conservatorium of Music and the Q Theatre (Penrith), which had been operating in Railway Street for 30 years before moving to the complex in 2006.
Museum of Fire: Tells the story of fire brigades in New South Wales. Located in the old Penrith Power Station (built 1952), the museum features vintage fire engines and displays on fire fighting. A quarter gauge stream train operates throughout the grounds on Sundays. 1 Museum Drive, Cnr Castlereagh Road, Penrith. Open Mon - Sat 10.00am - 3.00pm; Sun & Public holidays 10.00am - 5.00pm Entry fee applies.
Arms of Australia Museum: Cnr Gt Western Hwy & Gardenia Ave, Emu Plains. Open Sun 1.00pm - 5.00pm Entry fee applies.
Located in the historic 19th century Arms of Australia Inn (hence its name), which is the oldest building in the region. The museum features local history. UBD Map 162 Ref N 9
Public transport: train to Emu Plains, walk west along Gt. Western Hwy. to museum.
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St Stephen the Martyr Anglican Church and Cemetery: St Stephen the Martyr Anglican Church and Cemetery were consecrated by Bishop Broughton in 1839. The church tower provided a welcome landmark for travellers crossing the Blue Mountains. The cemetery contains some notable graves including Sir John Jamison, in his day said to be the wealthiest man in the colony, and Police Sergeant James Beatty, who was murdered while carrying out his duties in High Street in 1890. St Stephen the Martyr Anglican Church has played a key role in the spiritual and social development of Penrith. Location: 252 High Street, Penrith Cemetery Entrance: Fulton Street Phone: 02 4732 2124
Old Methodist Church, Penrith: Built in 1861 the Old Methodist Church is now home to King Henry s Court Restaurant and Gift Shop. The distinctive front porches were added in 1885 by Rev Parsons. The first moving pictures screened in Penrith were shown in this church in August 1898. Location: King Henry s Court Restaurant 74 Henry Street, Penrith Phone: 02 4721 1155
Emu Plains Public School: The original Emu Plains Public School was officially opened in August 1877 by NSW Premier Sir Henry Parkes. Attached to this attractive stone school is the former schoolmaster s residence, while at the rear of the school is the original sandstone outhouse. The old school now serves as a community centre and is home to the Nepean Family History Society. location: Great Western Highway, Emu Plains (entry from Lawson Street)
St Thomas Church, Mulgoa: St Thomas Anglican Church was consecrated in 1838 by Bishop Broughton. The picturesque sandstone church, unlike others in the area, was constructed by free labourers rather than convicts. Edward Cox donated the five acres of elevated land on which the church was built. The attractive sandstone used in the construction of the church was cut from Edward Cox's nearby property, 'Fern Hill', and Henry Cox s property, 'Glenmore'. The strong association of the Cox family with this church is evidenced in the gravestones in the churchyard. The church's last major construction was undertaken where part of the foyer had to be removed to accommodate the delivery of the Walker organ in 1868. Location: St Thomas Road, Mulgoa
Mulgoa Public School: A Public School at Mulgoa was established in 1875 with the present school building constructed in 1883. The original school grounds covered four acres and were acquired from Mrs A B Cox, while the Hon G H Cox was instrumental in encouraging the Department of Public Instruction to build the school. The people of Mulgoa saw its establishment as a major advancement for the area. Location: 1189-1193 Mulgoa Road, Mulgoa
Mount Schoenstatt Shrine: In a quiet wooded area off the main roads is Mount Schoenstatt Spirituality Centre, which when translated from German means, a "beautiful place". This tiny chapel that overlooks a quiet valley with only the sounds of nature is one of 200 identical shrines around the world that belong to the Schoenstatt Sisters, a secular group founded in Schoenstatt, Germany. While the groups may be religious, the shrine is a serene place of contemplation intended for anyone looking for peace and tranquillity. Visitors stroll around the gardens, or for a longer stay, the Sisters rent out the cabins for weekend or week-long retreats. Location: 230 Fairlight Road, Mulgoa, NSW
Fernhill: Fernhill Estate is one of Australia s most unique and historic properties. It is set on nearly 2,000 acres of rolling parkland in Mulgoa Valley, at the foot of the Blue Mountains. The property is located on one of the first land grants in the area, issued in 1810 by Governor Macquarie to Colonial Magistrate William Cox. In the pioneering years of early Australia, the Cox family had a major influence over the settlement and development of western Sydney, including construction of the access road to the Blue Mountains.
Built in the 1830s, this sandstone mansion and surrounds is one of the grand old ladies of Australia's leading country estates. It is built from stone quarried from the property by convicts and constructed by 20 Irish stonemasons brought out under the "bounty system" of immigration. The property is located on one of the first land grants in the area, issued in 1810 by Governor Macquarie to Colonial Magistrate William Cox. In the pioneering years of early Australia, the Cox family had a major influence over the settlement and development of western Sydney, including construction of the access road to the Blue Mountains.
Recognised globally for his excellent quality of wool production including awards at the 1878 World's Fair in Paris - its owner, Edward Cox (son of William Cox), became known for the careful breeding of his father s merino sheep herds. While he had similar success with cattle, Edward made quite the name for the Fernhill estate by using the same principles on race horses, breeding the 1880 Melbourne Cup winner, Grand Flaneur who then sired two more Melbourne Cup winners. Fernhill is still a centre for equestian excellence, with former Olympic show jumper Greg McDermott having trained numerous future Olympic riders here, including his son Tom McDermott a medallist at the 2010 Youth Olympics in Seoul. Location: 1041 Mulgoa Road, Mulgoa.
In-ground swimming pool, Notre Dame
Notre Dame: multi-millionaire and Frenchman Emmanuel Margolin built the world s largest private zoo, with over 3000 species on his 42-hectracre estate, Notre Dame, in the 1980s. His collection including lions, monkeys, koalas and alligators. The property already boasted a decadent chateau complete with waterfalls, a tropical rainforest and a helipad, as well as 3,000 fairy lights he claimed were visible at night from the Westfield (formerly Centrepoint) tower. The tourist brochures declared Notre Dame - a $20 million property near Mulgoa at the foot of the Blue Mountains - "the best house in the world". The public wasn't as enthusiastic about the venture as Margolin, so the property and its contents - including everything from twin suits of armour to stuffed alligators - had to be auctioned off to cover its losses. Most of the animals went to zoos. Location: 935 Mulgoa Road, Mulgoa, NSW
Glenmore: Henry Cox and a team of convicts built the first stages of Glenmore, now Glenmore Country Club, and its stables in circa 1825. In its heyday Glenmore was a hive of agricultural, pastoral and social activities. By the 1850s, this property was owned by Penrith s first Mayor, James Riley, and then operated as a private school for young women before becoming a golf course and guesthouse in 1927. Location: Glenmore Heritage Valley, 690 Mulgoa Road, Mulgoa, NSW. Phone: 02 4733 3288. Open: Sunrise to 7pm daylight savings time Sunrise to sunset non-daylight savings time.
Melrose Hall: Melrose Hall was completed during the depression in 1934 and was funded by a special government 'building relief' grant. Melrose Hall has been an important venue for dances, concerts and many important local functions. The hall was named after C J Melrose, a popular Australian aviator who three months before the opening of the hall set a record of 8 days and 9 hours for a solo flight to England. Location: Great Western Highway, Emu Plains
The Arms of Australia Inn: The Arms of Australia Inn was an important stopping place on the Great Western Road for those crossing the Blue Mountains. The first section of the building is constructed of rough stones packed with clay possibly from the time of the convict farm in the 1820s. The second section is made of brick. The building was licensed in 1841 as the Australian Arms Inn by John Mortimer. The Inn now houses a museum run by the Nepean District Historical Society. Location: Corner Gardenia Avenue and Great Western Highway, Emu Plains Phone: 02 4735 4394. Open: 9am to 2pm Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and 1pm to 4pm Sunday Charges apply.
Emu Plains Railway Station: Built in 1883 the Emu Plains Railway Station is a substantial three storey building constructed of brick and sandstone. Emu Plains Station was known as the gateway to the Blue Mountains and played a central role in the expansion of the area. This building replaced a smaller station that was completed in 1868 located west of Old Bathurst Road. Location: Railway Row, Emu Plains.
Explorers' Memorial Cairn: The Explorers' Memorial Cairn was unveiled in 1938. The memorial commemorates the starting point for the expedition undertaken by Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth to cross the Blue Mountains. The cairn is located adjacent to the former site of Gregory Blaxland's farm, 'Leeholme'. The white marble tablet erected by the citizens of St Marys in 1938 to commemorate the site of his farm on the South Creek. Blaxland set out from his farm on the 11th May 1813 with William Lawson and W.C Wentworth attended by four servants with four pack horses and five dogs on the first offical expedition that crossed the Blue Mountains. Location: 31 Luddenham Road, Orchard Hills.
Penrith Weir: Penrith Weir was constructed in 1909 to provide Penrith with a permanent water supply and with a few alterations, remains intact today. The Pumping Station on the south side of Victoria Bridge drew water from the permanent pond provided by Penrith Weir. The existing weir replaced a sandbag weir that was built and washed away by floods in 1902. In 1940 the weir was dry for the first and only time.
Penrith Regional Gallery and The Lewers Bequest: Penrith Regional Gallery was formerly the home of sculptor Gerald Lewers and his wife Margo, an abstract painter. The existing circa 1901 farmhouse, its property and art collection were bequeathed to Penrith City in 1978. The gallery was officially opened in 1981 by the then Premier of NSW, Mr Neville Wran. Location: 86 River Road, Emu Plains Phone: 02 4735 1100. Open: 9am to 5pm seven days a week Closed Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day Free entry
Thornton Hall was built by notable pioneer Thomas Smith, who lived in St Marys (where he lived is now part of Penrith) from from 1819 to 1896. Smith was very sports minded and built a cricket pitch at Thornton Hall, where he hosted a cricket match between six players of the local Nepean Cricket Club and Lord Sheffield's English team on 16th and 17th February 1892. The match, played at Belmore Park (now known as Thornton Oval at Penrith) on Thornton Hall's land, was drawn. The cricket pitch used for the match still exists. Lord Sheffield Circuit, wich encircles the oval, honours the visiting cricket team's manager.
In 1920, an old trotting track at Belmore Park was converted to the Penrith Speedway. Nine years earlier, on 3rd November 1911, pioneer Australian aviator, Parramatta dentist William Edward Hart, had made the first flight of any significance in Australia. He had purchased the powered Bristol Biplane (Box Kite) unassembled for £1,300 from a New Zealander, J.J. Hammond, in September 1911. He took it to Belmore Park on the back of a truck, and quickly assembled before taking off for the short test flight. 15 days later, he made a series of flights in his trials for the Certificate of the Aerial League of Australia.
Hundreds of eager spectators gathered at Belmore Park, the starting point of the trials. At 5am, he wheeled the box kite out of a marquee and was given a flying lesson by Lesley McDonald during which time they flew around Castlereagh and over Government House before landing. They flew at 60 mph at 3,000 feet during the 20 minute flight. After a little more practice in the flimsy plane, Hart made a cross country flight from Belomore Park to Moore Park at the Sydney Showground, a distance of 47 miles. Hart was granted Australia's first pilot's license, No. 1, dated 5th December 1911. Two months later Hart started a flying school at Belmore Park. He served in the Australian Flying Corps in World War I and bought Bert Hinkler's 'Baby' in 1925.
The Arms of Australia Inn Museum at Emu Plains is run by the Nepean District Historical Society. Built in 1826, the inn provided accommodation for travellers crossing the Blue Mountains to the West and the gold diggings. Operated as a hands on museum and educational facility for schools, the inn houses artefacts dating back to early days of settlement in the area. Books and photographs are available for sale. Location: Gardenia Ave & Great Western Highway, Emu Plains. Ph 902) 4735 4394.
At the Museum of Fire there is something for all the family. Wishing you were a firefighter, enjoying the machinary, showing your respect, reliving past experiences, understanding fire as a friend or foe, visiting with friends or made to visit with the relatives, educating or entertaining the kids, for whatever reason you will enjoy your visit. Open 7 days per week. 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Sunday & Holidays. Closed Good Friday and a number of days over Christmas. Location: 1 Museum Drive, Penrith. Ph (02) 4731 3000.
The Penrith Museum of Printing is keeping the history of letterpress printing machinery and equipment alive. Take a trip back with a visit to the Museum and check out one of the 23 working machines on display that date back over than 100 years. It is usually open every Saturday for general viewing and demonstration from 10am to 2pm. Not open on public holiday weekends. Group tours and courses available by appointment. Location: Penrith Showground, Ransley Street, Penrith. Ph 0415 625 573.
The Nepean Naval Museum opened in 2014 and is the area's first museum dedicated to the naval forces. The Museum houses a collection of Naval forces memorabilia. Open Saturdays and Sundays 11am - 3pm. Gold coin donation for entry. Location: 40-42 Bruce Neale Drive, Penrith. Ph 0411 138 700.
Together with its sister bridge at Menangle, the Victoria Bridge is one of the oldest and finest railway bridges in NSW. Spanning the Hawkesbury River near Penrith, it was built between 1862 and 1865. The bridge features three spans made of wrought-iron of a cellular construction, each 57m in length and resting on two intermediate piers. The bridge was destroyed by floods in 1857. Reconstructed, it was again destroyed in 1860. Restoration of the road bridge was deferred because plans were almost completed for the extension of the railway across the river and over the mountains and it was considered that part of the railway bridge could then be used by road vehicles.
One legend has it that the Victoria Bridge was originally constructed for the Crimea and when not required, was bought by the N.S.W. Government. This is not so. It was in fact designed in Sydney by the Engineer-in-Chief, John Whitton, who sent the design to England for checking. One interesting feature of the structure is that it is about 2 metres higher than was originally intended. Before the final designs for the piers were completed, severe floods indicated that it would be desirable to raise the level, and the design was adjusted. This explains the provision of the rising 1 in 200 grade on each side of the bridge.
The bridge was shared by single lanes of road and rail traffic until 1907, when double line railway trusses were completed alongside and it became a two-lane road bridge for the Western Highway. As the width of the bridge was only 7.77 metres, during its time of carrying two modes of traffic a galvanised iron fence was erected down its centre to separate them. In order to prevent the larger and heavier road vehicles from striking and damaging the fence, two channel strips were laid to form wheel guides. In addition, a warning system was introduced so that horse-drawn vehicles could be clear of the bridge before a train crossed.
A rowing and canoe sprint venue built for the 2000 Summer Olympics, Sydney International Regatta Centre is now a popular sporting venue, with the Head of the River Regatta held annually here. Defqon.1 Festival is also held here; as a newly established and reasonably popular hard dance music event Defqon.1 Festival requires a large venue which is somewhat removed from residences, making the Regatta Centre an ideal location. Sydney International Regatta Centre is part of the Penrith Lakes.
The Rock Lookout area of Blue Mountains National Park is situated within the historic Mulgoa Valley, only minutes from the bustling city of Penrith. A short track of a few hundred metres leads toThe Rock with superb views of the Nepean River. A longer track of 2.5 kilometres leads from the car park through swampy heath and Eucalyptus forest to Riley's Mountain where more views of the Nepean Gorge and surrounds can be enjoyed by the keen walker or photographer. Access throughout this section of Blue Mountains National Park is by foot (over uneven ground) from the car park at the end of Fairlight Road, Mulgoa. Please note: the last section of Fairlight Road is a dirt/gravel road.
Mulgoa Nature Reserve is located some 5 kilometres south-west of Penrith, lying at the western edge of the Cumberland Plain. The Cumberland Plain was once extensively covered in a characteristic group of vegetation communities generically termed Cumberland Plain Woodland. After more than 200 years of intense development, only isolated pockets of the Cumberland Plain native woodland communities remain. The pressure to further develop the Cumberland Plain for urban, commercial and industrial uses places increasing emphasis on the need to protect and rehabilitate the remaining Cumberland Plain vegetation in western Sydney. Mulgoa Nature Reserve was established to protect remnants of Cumberland Plain Woodland, which are Threatened Ecological Communities and some of the last remaining woodlands of this type and quality on the Cumberland Plain.
Located in the north-eastern corner of the reserve are the remains of the historic Regentville estate built by Sir John Jamison, an early settler and prominent figure of the early colony of NSW. In addition, Mulgoa Nature Reserve is significant due to the shale cliffs present along Mulgoa Creek on the western edge of the reserve. These cliffs, up to 30 metres high, are the only known example of this landform in the Sydney basin.
Georgian homestead built for colonial chaplain and pastoralist, Rev. Samuel Marsden in 1820s. Features period furniture, tea rooms and conference facilities on 80ha property.
Mamre Rd, St. Marys. Open Wed - Fri 10.30am - 2.30pm; Sun 11.00am - 4.30pm Entry fee applies.
Public transport: train to Penrith or Liverpool, Bus No. 835, alight at Homestead entrance on Mamre Rd. UBD Map 185 Ref E 10
Mulgoa Natural Area includes the archaeological remains of Regentville. Regentville (1823-1869) was constructed for Sir John Jamison (1776-1844) physician, landowner and constitutional reformer who arrived on the First Fleet. Regentville was known as the grandest and most substantial house in the colony of NSW, and was named in honour of George IV, the former Prince Regent. Despite its ruinous state Regentville is an important site as the place where Sir John Jamison chose to have his mansion complex built and where he established a major agricultural enterprise.
The Regentville site is historically significant as a rare example of the site of probably the first wine estate to use the terraced vineyard technique (c1830); one of the few early wine estates where the vineyard terraces and, though ruinous, the old winery can still be located. The vineyards are important as one of the earliest complete wine-producing enterprises planned and implemented at the time ie. vineyards, large winery/store, access road and circulation system. Sir Henry Parkes worked here as a labourer in 1839-40.
The Nepean Belle Paddlewheeler and the Penrith Platypus Cruiser offer river cruises into the Blue Mountains National Park from Penrith, taking in the Nepean's stunning gorge scenery. Operating as cruising restaurants and as a popular function venue, the lunch and dinner cruises are also venues for special occasions such as Birthday Parties, Anniversaries, Hen's nights, Club Socials or Reunions. Regular Dinner, Luncheon and Devonshire tea or coffee river cruises are open to the general public. Ph (02) 4733 1274
In November 1813, Governor Lachlan Macquarie granted John Blaxland (1769-1845), 6,710 acres of land between the Nepean River and South Creek, straddling what is now the township of Luddenham. John Blaxland was the elder brother of Gregory Blaxland of Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth fame. The grant was named Luddenham after the Blaxland family estate in Kent, England. It remains a rural locality today.
Luddenham is one of the most intact and historically interesting late nineteenth century village reserve in the western Sydney region. The evolution of surrounding rural and urban uses and historic associations with the community supported by these are demonstrated in the collection of extant cottages and farmhouses, numerous church and cemetery reserves, and recreation ground reserve. The village is attractively sited on the elevated The Northern Road with a distant backdrop of the Great Dividing Range. The surrounding undulating rural land, particularly along Luddenham Road, remains largely undeveloped pastoral land which to the east has scenic quality enhanced by views to neighbouring Badgerys Creek.
Vicary's Winery: The vineyard in Northern Road, Luddenham, was created in 1914 on what was originally grazing property. Today the winery supplements its own crop with grapes from the Hunter Valley to meet demand for its production. As well as wine tasting and sales, there is a picnic ground, souvenir shop and farm animals and on Friday and Saturday nights a woolshed dance is held. A terraced vineyard was once located over the road from Vicary's. It was tended by German vineyard workers who had come to Australia in the 1860s to work for the Macarthur and Cox families.
UBD Map 243 Ref L 10. Winery open Tuesday - Friday 9.30am - 6.00pm; weekends noon - 6.00pm.
St James' Anglican Church: St James' Anglican Church, which sits on 9 acres, was opened in 1871. This simple Gothic style church was erected for the Anglican Church around 1870. The church is prominently set above a shallow valley with the backdrop of the Blue Mountains . The rural setting of the church is enhanced by clusters of shade trees and enveloping graveyard. It is the oldest church in the area and has historic associations with a number of local landholders such as Sir Charles Nicholson.
Luddenham Uniting Church, which is a short distance up the road from St James Anglican Church, is a rendered brick Gothic style church that was erected by the extensive local Primitive Methodist community in 1886
Model Park: Model Park is owned and operated by the Sydney Society of Model Engineers Ltd, Australia's largest and oldest model engineering organisation. The Model Park is set on 25 acres of land and has a circular model car track, a boat pond for radio controlled boats and yachts, a miniature train ride track, and an area to fly radio controlled planes. Inside are model trains and a slot car track. Members of the public are welcome to watch society members drive, sail and fly, but participation is for members only. Steam train rides are available to the public along the two kilometre track for a small charge. Barbecues and picnic areas are available on site for you to use on open days. Quiet dogs are welcome, provided they are kept on a lead at all times. No direct access via public transport. 869 Luddenham Road, Luddenham NSW 2745. Ph: (02) 9729 2276
Elizabeth Lookout and Marges Lookout: Glenbrook Reserve, off Barnet Street, Glenbrook. Both lookouts offer expansive views to the right over Mulgoa and toward Camden, Campbelltown and Liverpool; straight ahead over Penrith and beyond to the lights of Sydney; and to the left, Windsor and Richmond.
Public transport: train to Emu Plains, Bus No. 689, alight cnr Grey St and Gt Western Highway. Proceed east on Hwy to Mitchells Pass Road (one way to vehicular traffic in opposite direction). Access track to Marge s Lookout off Mitchells Pass Road near Lapstone Bridge. Access Elizabeth Lookout via walking track from Marge's Lookout or track from Barnet street. UBD Map 162 Ref B 11, B 13
Glenbrook Historic Walking Trails:
Walking tracks through the bush in Glenbrook Reserve along the path taken by the railway lead to a memorial to John Whitton, Chief Engineer for NSW Railways and one of the state s great visionaries, and to the Lapstone Zig Zag (not to be confused with the Zig Zag near Lithgow), which Whitton built as part of his railway across the mountains. The Zig Zag had two changes of direction to enable the trains to climb the steep grade of the 160m Lapstone Hill. It remained in use until 1892 when it was bypassed with the building of the Lapstone tunnel. A walking path from the Zig Zag leads to a lookout about 30 m off to the left which overlooks the Great Western Highway at the turn off to Lapstone Village. A cottage at Lapstone village was originally situated alongside the Zig Zag, having been built in the early 1870s to house the railway pointsman. The Zig Zag may also be reached by following the path of the old railway line at the end of Knapsack Street, Glenbrook.
Public transport: train to Emu Plains, Bus No. 689, alight cnr Grey St and Gt Western Highway. Proceed east on Hwy to reserve.
Knapsack Gully Viaduct: Built in 1863, the viaduct over Knapsack Gully at Glenbrook is one of the finest stone bridges in Australia. In John Whitton's words, the bridge 'consisted of five spans of fifty feet and two of twenty feet each, built in masonry . . . for a single line of railway on an incline of 1 in 30'. This primary description failed to convey the majesty of the block sandstone viaduct sweeping across Jamisons Creek, a deep sandstone gully, with maximum pier heights of 38m, and excellent stonemasonry. The tall ribbed piers taper with height and are topped with classical semi-circular sandstone arches. The bridge terminates in traditional sandstone abutments which have been widened to accommodate the revised road width. Railway traffic over the bridge ceased in 1913, but wasn't until 1926 that it was adapted for use as a road bridge. In 1938 the viaduct lost its original form when it was widened by means of a 9 metre wide reinforced concrete cantilevered deck to carry the old Great Western Highway. A pedestrian/cycleway path was installed in 1993 when road traffic was diverted to the currently used road, and a The highway no longer passes over the viaduct, which walking trail was created on the old railway/highway alignment.
Chalmers Lookout: Emu Road, Glenbrook: Great views over the bushland of Glenbrook Gorge in the foothills of the Blue Mountains. Nearby Bluff Lookout offers vistas to the plains in the east. Just west of Bluff lookout are the remains of a funicular railway descending into Glenbrook Gorge to a coal a shale mine which once operated there. Like the famous Katoomba Scenic Railway, the cable railway, built in 1910, was originally part of a network of tramlines built to bring coal and kerosene shale from mines in the valleys up to the main railway.
UBD Map 181 Ref P 6 Public transport: train to Lapstone, 2km walk south then west along Explorers Road, left into Emu Road, reserve at end of road.
Lennox Bridge: Mitchells Pass Road, Glenbrook (Access Mitchell's Pass by leaving the highway at McDonalds, Blaxland, and proceeding straight ahead): Located not far from Marge s Lookout, Lennox Bridge was constructed as part of the third road built up the eastern escarpment of the Blue Mountains. It was Major Thomas Mitchell who surveyed & recommended the construction of a road along this route, in preference to the governor's suggestion of stationing a permanent repair gang on the existing Lapstone Zig Zag Road (now Old Bathurst Road).
The oldest surviving bridge on the Australian mainland, it was built in 1833 by Scottish bridge builder and designer David Lennox and was the first of a number of bridges he built in and around Sydney. Its single arch was crafted from locally quarried sandstone by a team of convicts. Lennox bridge continued to be part of the main route to the west until 1926, when the highway was re-routed across Knapsack Viaduct. With the advent of motor vehicles, heavy trucks, taking a short-cut down the mountain, often slewed around the curve of the bridge, causing structural damage. The bridge had to be closed in 1956 and after being dismantled and rebuilt, was re-opened to light traffic in 1982. The road below the bridge is now one-way traffic down to the old highway at Emu Plains. UBD Map 161 Ref Q 11
No direct access by public transport.
St Stephens church, Penrith
Prior to the arrival of the Europeans, the Penrith area was home to the Mulgoa tribe of the Darug people. They lived in makeshift huts called gunyahs, hunted native animals such as kangaroos, fished in the Nepean River, and gathered local fruits and vegetables such as yams. Watkin Tench was the first British explorer to visit the area in 1789 and named the Nepean River after Lord Evan Nepean, under-secretary to the home department. Governor King began granting land in the area to settlers in 1804 with Captain Daniel Woodriff's 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) on the banks of the river the first land grant in the area. In 1814, William Cox constructed a road across the Blue Mountains which passed through Woodriff's land at Penrith. Initial settlement in the area was unplanned but substantial enough for a courthouse to be established in 1817.
Penrith was named by Governor Macquarie in 1818 after Penrith in Cumberland, England, the district of which he believed it resembled. Both Penriths are in counties called Cumberland. This area was called Evan By Gov. Phillip in 1788 when the area was first explored and the Nepean River named. In 1818 Macquarie named the settlement that had grown here Penrith which had become and remains today the business centre of the Greater West and an important stopping place on the way the Blue Mountains.
The post office was established in 1828, the Anglican church, St Stephens, was built in 1844 followed by the Catholic Church, St Nicholas of Myra, in 1850. Two other prominent Penrith pioneers were Irish-born Thomas Jamison (1752/53-1811), a member of the First Fleet and surgeon-general of New South Wales (after whom Jamisontown is named), and his son, the landowner, physician and constitutional reformer Sir John Jamison (1776 1844). In 1824, Sir John erected the colony's finest Georgian mansion, Regentville House, near Penrith, on a ridge overlooking the Nepean River. Sir John established an impressive agricultural estate at Regentville and became a Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council. His grave can be seen in St Stephen's graveyard. The first bridge was opened over the Nepean in 1856 and was washed away the following year in a flood. The railway line was extended to Penrith in 1863, a school was established in 1865 and in 1871 the area became a municipality. It officially became a city in 1959.