In the Penrith district on the western fringe of the Sydney metropolitan area, St Marys is on the fertile Nepean River flats of the Cumberland Plain with the Blue Mountains rising at its western border.
A military depot was set up here in the early 1800s as Governor William Bligh continued to discourage settlers from crossing the Nepean River. In February 1804, Daniel Woodriff was granted 1000 acres covering much of what is now the suburb of Penrith, and it was from his pioneering efforts that the district began to grow and prosper.
Penrith is now a thriving city in its own right and home to the Penrith Panthers in the National Rugby League.
A terrific excursion from Penrith is a trip on the Nepean Belle Paddlewheeler which cruises into the Nepean Gorge at the foothills of the Blue Mountains National Park. Winner of the Penrith Small Business Awards for Outstanding Restaurant in 1998, the Nepean Belle has lavish interiors, a licensed bar and panoramic views through its glass windows.