Nurragingy Reserve is a fantastic place for a day out for Sydney families. The reserve has great facilities, including several picnic shelters, wood-fired barbecues, wedding venues and multiple playgrounds next to the picnic areas. Furthermore, now it offers miniature train rides thanks to the North Western Model Engineers (NWME) and the Blacktown Council.
Nurragingy Reserve is a paradise for children.The little ones will enjoy the multiple playgrounds, including the Nurragingy water park, a splash water play area near the Wren picnic shelter. Older children might prefer the bushwalking tracks that snake through the reserve. There are also footpaths for bikes, scooters, skateboards and roller-blades.
For families and friends, the reserve is a wonderful place to have a picnic. However, if you prefer to relax, the Lakeside Kiosk serves coffee, hot food, drinks and snacks (they do a roaring trade in ice cream!), and it has tables overlooking the beautiful lake.
Melanie Cross has been out exploring Sydney with her three and a half year old daughter and almost two year old son. Today they show us around Nurragingy Reserve and its playgrounds. Thank you, Mel.
Nurragingy Reserve, playgrounds and water park
Knox Road, Doonside
Summer (December to February): 7 am to 7 pm
Autumn (March to May): 7 am to 6 pm
Winter (June to August): 7 am to 5 pm
Spring (September to November): 7 am to 6 pm.
Note: the water park area has different operating hours, see below.
Nurragingy Reserve is a deceptively modest looking park from the entrance gate. However, once you drive in, this 63 hectare reserve is an amazing place to bring your kids. It’s easy to see why it attracts over 1 million visitors a year.
Driving past this well-manicured area you enter a far more natural landscape that seems to go on forever! Despite its enormous size, the layout of Nurragingy means that it is easy to find an area for any size of gathering. Roads within the reserve wind around the natural bushland passing the many different picnic areas. Most picnic areas have barbecues both push button and wood burning (wood provided in some). Some also have children’s playgrounds of varying sizes and many with shaded picnic tables.
We tend to go to the Ibis Picnic Area for most of our visits as it has a fun playground in a big sandpit that my kids love. It is also not too close to any of the open water areas, has BBQs and picnic tables and is well shaded. This of course makes it popular with families with small children.
On one recent visit we found we had been beaten there by a princess party, two large family reunions and a number of other picnickers so we continued driving!
We wound around until found the Kookaburra Picnic Shelter, new to us, far less crowded and with a play area that was perfect for Miss 3 and Mr soon-to-be 2. By the time we had spread out our blanket our little people were happily checking out the small climbing frame, slide and swings.
Another popular picnic area is the Casuarina Picnic Shelter, which can accommodate up to 400 people and offers play equipment, too.
Nurragingy Water Play Playground
Located in the Wren Picnic Area in Nurragingy Reserve, the water play area is open:
SUMMER: DECEMBER – FEBRUARY: 9:00AM to 6:30PM
AUTUMN: MARCH – MAY: 10:00AM to 3:30PM
WINTER: JUNE – AUGUST: CLOSED
SPRING: SEPTEMBER – NOVEMBER: 10:00AM TO 3.30PM
Nurragingy Miniature Railway
The Nurragingy Miniature Railway is an authentic small-scale railway experience and a terrific way to explore Nurragingy Reserve in Doonside. The train runs every third Sunday of every month, as well as on additional special days, from 10am until 3pm. For last minute updates, we recommend that you check Nurragingy Miniature Railway on Facebook.
The railway is located inside the reserve between Currawong and Cockatoo Picnic Areas. It cannot be seen from the roadway and it is only accessible walking or riding the bike along the path which you can find after the Magpie Picnic Area and heads towards Cockatoo Picnic Area or the path that you can find after crossing the creek at Boronia Picnic Area, which heads towards Currawong Picnic Area.
Passengers must wear fully enclosed footwear. Also, children under 3 years of age must be accompanied by a paying adult.
Nurragingy Chinese Gardens
If you like gardens, you might want to have a look at the Chang Lai Yuan Chinese Gardens.
Toilets/Baby change: There are 5 toilet blocks within the reserve, some with baby change
Nearest takeaway coffee: Yes
Enclosed playgrounds: No
Shade: Yes, both trees and shelters
Parking: There are many parking areas in the Reserve
Mum’s report: An amazing location, however supervision for small children needs to be vigilant as there are a number of open water areas and roads run throughout the park often close to the playgrounds
Extra: If you are not from Western Sydney, you might not aware that it has fabulous playgrounds, click here to read all about them. Maybe it is time to play a trip to one of these playgrounds.
For booking a picnic shelter, click on the Council website here.
Also, you can reach the reserve by train. The closest train station is 13 minutes walk from Doonside Station.
Sounds like a great place to have a picnic and a play with family and friends, thank you Melanie!
Enjoy exploring Sydney with the kids!
Find many more wonderful Sydney parks and playgrounds described in detail on this post!