Blacktown is located 32 kilometres west of the Sydney CBD, and is 30 minutes south of the Olympic Park at Homebush. Indeed, in the 2000 Olympics the Blacktown area was the venue for cycling, show jumping and shooting.
Rich in heritage, recreational facilities, restaurants and nightspots, it is one of the fastest-growing cities in the Sydney region and its population is expected to top 300,000 by the year 2021.
Blacktown’s Eastern Creek Raceway is headquarters for the Australian Racing Drivers Club and Sydney’s revheads. The city also boasts two of the largest shopping centres in the metropolitan area and, with more than 500 undercover stalls, Parklea Markets are the largest roofed complex of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
The city has adopted an aggressive re-greening program over recent years and, as a result, boasts some of the most expansive bushland retreats in Sydney’s west.
The recreational standouts include the Prospect Reservoir parkland, which protects the largest body of water in the Sydney basin, and Nurragingy Reserve, which supports a resident blacksmith and an integrated complex of lakes, waterfalls, international botanical and sensory gardens and bird sanctuary.
Plumpton Park Wetlands represents a significant step in the long-term program to regenerate the Hawkesbury-Nepean river system, which is so vital to the Sydney region. The wetlands provide a habitat for many species of native flora and fauna.
Blacktown comes alive as a community with the City Festival, which normally extends from the last week in May to the first week of June. Launched in 1975 as the Crafty Bunyip Festival, the annual knees-up fare invariably includes a film festival, visual arts, live entertainment, sporting events such as a fun run and billycart derby, street dance and daily kids concerts.
An hour-long drive whisks you from Blacktown to the dramatic Sydney backdrop of the Blue Mountains - a unique world of peerless views, 19th century-style grand hotels and traditional B&Bs, cafes, restaurants, picnic grounds and antique and book shops.