Greater West

Located an hour's drive from the Sydney city centre on the Cumberland Plain, it was here that the first cereal crops were successfully grown by the young colony of New South Wales in 1791. In the 1820s, Peter Cunningham described the country west of Parramatta and Liverpool as "a fine timbered country, perfectly clear of bush, through which you might, generally speaking, drive a gig in all directions, without any impediment in the shape of rocks, scrubs, or close forest". This confirmed earlier accounts by Governor Phillip, who suggested that the trees were "growing at a distance of some twenty to forty feet from each other, and in general entirely free from brushwood..."

Farms worked by convict labour were established at Emu Plains and Old Toongabbie around the turn of the 19th century. Free settlers and emancipist convicts followed, establishing farms, vineyards and orchards that continued to operate successfully well into the 20th century. The population today is predominantly of a working class background, with major employment in the heavy industries and vocational trade.

Over the past 100 years, much of the the open spaces between Parramatta and Penrith have been taken over by residential suburbs. Most that remain will inevitably be swallowed up by suburbia, however successive Governments have wisely ensured that the remnant pockets of natural bushland that have survived are protected for present and future generations to enjoy.

Sydney's Greater West is much warmer than Sydney city in summer. During this time, daytime temperatures can be 5 degrees Celsius warmer than the city because sea breezes in the City do not penetrate the inland areas. Winters nights, though, are typically a few degrees cooler and frost is not uncommon in some areas.

How to get there:
By train: Sydney's Greater West is serviced by the Western line which passes through Parramatta to Blacktown and Penrith. A branch line from Blacktown to Richmond services suburbs and localities in the north. Services to the Blue Mountains operate regularly throughout the day. Trains from Parramatta to Campbelltown link the Greater west with the Macarthur District.
Bus services to all parts of the Greater West connect with trains at Parramatta, Seven Hills, Blacktown and Penrith stations.
By ferry: Regular ferry services operate from Circular Quay to Rydalmere and Parramatta.
By road: Parramatta Road and the Western Motorway are the main thoroughfares linking Sydney to the Greater West.

In The Area

The Blue Mountains

Upper Hawkesbury

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