My brother set a challenge for me. He would join us on a training walk for the upcoming Bloody Long Walk charity event if I could find something near to where he lives. As he lives in suburban Western Sydney, which wasn’t known for its views or bushland, it was quite a challenge indeed. Fortunately I was able to find a patch of green on a map and plot a path that led from Marayong Station to Bungarribee Reserve via Nurragingy Reserve. It seems I had discovered a well know shared use pathway called “The Western Sydney Parklands Track”. I have to say I was surprisingly impressed.
We had four members of our team today. After an initial short road walk from Marayong station we entered a path that followed Breakfast Creek. The creek was a mess. Shopping trolleys and plastic bags lines it’s banks and I worried the whole walk would be in such a state.
Fortunately it did get better. We passed a lovely rustic sitting area that a local passerby told us was laid out by a woman for a community Father’s Day event that she had organised. I didn’t get a good photo unfortunately as the shadows were too dark.
We entered a section with many bellbirds ringing away and something between the trees caught my eye. It was a white Unicorn! It was framed by a beautiful golden glow. We watched it move slowly through the forest until another passerby walked too close to take a picture and spooked it. It leaped out and bounded away. We all settled on it being a goat but an instagram follower messaged me later and told me that it was definitely a fallow deer. That makes sense from its size and the way it moved. Dunno what we were thinking!
We arrived a Nurragingy Reserve and promptly set about ordering coffees from the Kiosk. We had a view of a fountain and noticed signs for a baby gender reveal party. The area was a popular wedding and function venue. After a snack we walked through the Chinese gardens which were magnificent and unexpected. I had spent several years growing up nearby and I had no idea any of this was here.
After passing a set of African trees we walked through a very exposed section of grassland. It felt like a bit of a trudge but I kept my eyes peeled for snakes. The turn off to Bungarribee Reserve was just a footpad through the grass but, catching the uncertainty looks of my teammates, I convinced everyone it was the right way. After a short walk through the grassland we entered a greener section and crossed a creek. When we emerged from the trees we could see Bungarribee Reserve directly ahead. The playground was amazing! The biggest flying fox I’ve ever seen, swings with a huge long arc, a climbing frame that was actually a small building with multiple slides protruding. Across the way we could see a new Zoo being built. I see a weekend adventure here with the kids in my future.
And with that, we had finished our planned 16km and there was only a dreary road walk left to take us to my brothers house. One of us had been struggling with some foot pain but it had started to become quite bad. On realising this my brother called his wife to come and collect us.
My nephew had laid out an amazing afternoon tea and took our orders for tea and coffee. That was a most welcome end to a surprisingly interesting walk.
It’s great that Western Sydney has something like this parkland and I hope a few more people discover it and head out to enjoy it after reading this blog. I’ll certainly be heading to that amazing playground at Bungarribee Reserve and I look forward to the opening of the zoo.
Are we ready for our Bloody Long Walk? As ready as we will ever be! If you’d like to give us a little encouragement please donate to our fundraiser– it all goes to a great cause. Thanks for reading.