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Penrith Valley Facts
The Dharug People were the original inhabitants of Penrith Valley and are the traditional owners of the region. In 1789, a year after the British Colony of New South Wales was established, Governor Arthur Phillip sent Captain Watkin Tench of the Royal Marines to lead a party to explore the country west of Parramatta. Tench and his party were the first Europeans to set eyes on what is now the Nepean River.
Aboriginal people, emancipated convicts, free settlers, and more recently farmers, combine to form the rich tapestry of characters that have helped to make Penrith Valley the exciting and prosperous area it is today.
The Nepean River, flowing along the base of the Blue Mountains Escarpment, is one of Sydney’s most important assets and a major feature in the Penrith area. For centuries, the river has provided for people living and working in the region. Initially supplying the traditional owners of the land, the Dharug People, with food and materials, the river quickly became an important trade route and water supply for early European settlers.
The Nepean River now provides irrigation for nearby farming and is a popular spot for a wide range of recreational activities that include fishing, swimming, hiking, canoeing and water-skiing. The surrounding catchment area covers some 22 000 square kilometres and supplies the majority of Sydney’s water. Despite its many uses, it is the Nepean River’s beauty as it makes its way across the low country of the plains and flows through dramatic rocky gorges that continues to draw visitors to its shores.
As part of Australia’s Great Dividing Range, the World Heritage Blue Mountains form an idyllic backdrop for Penrith Valley. The Blue Mountains National Park is a mecca for sightseeing, bushwalking and canyoning and is widely recognised for the biodiversity of its plant and animal communities, as well as the beauty and wonder of its natural landscapes.
The Penrith Lakes Scheme, encompassing the International Regatta Centre and Penrith Whitewater Stadium, is a visionary program designed to rehabilitate the Nepean floodplain after many decades of sand and gravel mining. The scheme will eventually provide Penrith with a 2000 hectare public recreation area featuring seven lakes to accommodate a wide variety of leisure pursuits. Development of the scheme will also work to protect and enhance the natural environment and wildlife of the area.
Penrith Valley enjoys a climate of relatively mild winters (6-17 degrees Celsius) and warm to hot summers (16-28 degrees Celsius). Average rainfall for the region ranges from 138mm over the winter months, to 283mm during the summer.
Data supplied by
© Penrith Visitor Information Centre
Phone: (61 2) 1300 736 836 Fax: (61 2) 4732 7690
Mailing Address: PO Box 60, Penrith NSW 2751
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