Wetlands are among the calmest and most peaceful natural spaces you can visit. They are quiet spaces characterized by the meditative croak of frogs and the soft warble of wetland birds. All this, mixed in with the hum of dragon flies that have an endearing tendency to zip by you and out over the water, can make for a meditative experience.
Sydney has some lovely wetland habitats, some natural but many created from spaces of reclaimed and rehabilitated land. There places provide an important role as a habitat for many species of wetland plant and animal and have particular environmental value in absorbing pollutants and improving water quality.
Blacktown Showground Wetlands
The Blacktown Showgrounds are home to a lovely constructed wetland that winds through the parkland and beside picnic tables and the attractive children's play area.
A variety of birds and other small animals can be spotted and the whole set up provides a really nice setting for a relaxed walk or picnic. This wetland is easily accessible at only a 5-minutes walk from the Blacktown Train Station.
Randwick Environment Park Wetlands
The Randwick Environment Park wetlands are located within the larger Randwick Environment Park which has been developed on 13 hectares of restored land. The park is dedicated to providing a beautiful natural space for walking and creating a suitable habitat for local wildlife and the more than 90 indigenous species of flora which have been identified at the park.
There is a viewing platform which gives you a good view over the wetland.This is not as lush a wetland habitat as many others in Sydney as it is an ephemeral wetland. This means that it only temporarily holds water during wetter weather and spends much of the rest of the year almost dry.
Sydney Park Wetlands
The wetlands at Sydney Park are some of the most beautifully designed wetlands in Sydney. Created on what was once a landfill, they are a testament to the ingenuity of modern architecture when applied in conjunction with what we understand about nature.
The wetlands at Sydney Park are designed with a tiered system in which a larger body of water feeds into smaller ones via man-made waterfalls and channels. Much wildlife, including many water birds, amphibians and small reptiles choose to call the space home.
There are lots of benches and plenty of green space for relaxing and taking in the beauty. The area around the wetland is also extremely popular among dog owners as much of the space is off-leash. The Sydney Park wetlands are conveniently located only 5-minutes walk from St Peters train station.
Salt Pan Creek Reserve
The wetlands at Salt Pan Creek in Riverwood are scattered throughout a walk that takes you above and through mangroves, but which also gives you a glimpse of wetland areas here and there during the walk.
Unlike the other wetlands that exist separate from modern Sydney, these wetlands seem to exist in spite of it. The Salt Pan Creek walking route has the trappings of a modern city interspersed throughout it in the form of industrial infrastructure, a motorway and the East Hills train line. This aside, you will gain insight into wetland habitat persisting through the challenges placed on it, yet still managing to provide habitat for local wildlife in what is at times a very stark mix between nature and all that is not.
Badu Mangrove Wetlands
Spread over a massive area with glimpses of the Parramatta River, the Badu Mangrove Wetlands at Sydney Olympic Park are among the most beautiful and immersive ways to experience a wetland habitat.
They are located over a flat expanse behind the Badu Mangrove swamps and you can visit the whole system via bike and walking paths. There are bird hides and plenty of informative plaques identifying species you are likely to spot there from the perimeter of the wetland lakes.
If forking over and through a wetland habitat on boardwalks is how you'd prefer to experience it, head over to the other side of Hill Road - still a part of the Sydney Olympic Park complex - and you will find yourself winding through the wetlands that allow you to feel right in the midst of it all. Narawang Wetland covers 1.6 km and is made up of a corridor of 3 irrigation ponds and 22 freshwater habitat ponds surrounded by bush.
This is a freshwater wetland, making it a little different from wetlands you may experience closer to the coast. You will also see other species of wetland flora and fauna suited to a freshwater habitat. Keep your eyes peeled and you will surely spot black swans, little pied cormorants and long-necked tortoises.
Marsden Park, Park Central, Campbelltown: an amazing series of linked lakes and ponds utilizing storm water and home to an abundance of flora and fauna including a large representation of water birds in particular a colony of black swans often seen frolicking under the water fountain central to the main pond.the park is complimented by a series of walking tracks and signage identifying the local fauna and flora and playgrounds, dedicated picnic areas and open grass areas and exercise equipment.