I love travelling and writing, meeting people and experiencing foodie places.
Published September 15th 2019
Oasis of waterfalls, playgrounds and wildlife in the suburbs
In a tranquil Garden of Eden lies an extraordinary suburban oasis of thrilling waterfalls, an enchanting creek weaving its way through paradise with sweeping foliage providing shade for an abundance of waterfowl and other nature dwellers. Black swans calmly paddled along the shoreline, snaking their long elegant necks into the undisturbed water. Mottled ducks, vigilant with their fluffy chicks resting on the peaceful shore, were an example of family devotion. Relaxing walking tracks and zig-zag boardwalks created to view this captivating paradise, a delightful place that soothes the soul.
Central Gardens Nature Reserve is surprisingly idyllic, in contrast with the busyness of two nearby main roads in Merrylands. We arrived mid-week, a quiet time, the traffic noise dissipated as we drove to the inside carpark. There are plenty of car spaces inside the reserve as well as outside. Walking past the Norrie Maley Kiosk, a hall which can be hired, we headed towards the scrubby bushland and tender-footed across the slightly submerged log footway. Birdlife was prolific in and around the peaceful stream and green spaces of this reserve.
We strolled along the walkway which opened out into a spectacular lake system of two waterfalls cascading down the rocks and a fountain spurting water high in the air. There are seats along the boardwalk to contemplate this scenic beauty and absorb the fresh air and sunshine.
Strolling further along is open green space for picnics and a barbecue area. A toilet block is nearby including a toilet for the disabled. There are also two enclosed synthetic grass courts that are available for hire from Cumberland Council. Click here for details
A big plus at this Nature Reserve is the Central Gardens Wildlife Exhibit. Animals include emus, kangaroos, wallabies, geese, finches and other birds as well as a small nocturnal house which operates 9:00am to 3:00pm, featuring tawny frogmouth and sugar gliders.
There are two playgrounds at Central Gardens. The main playground is undergoing an upgrade and is due for completion at the end of the year. There will be new play equipment including a sand pit and water play, new landscaping, seating and a shade sail. This is wonderful news in time for the Christmas school holidays. There is currently another playground open which is closer to the lake.
Other activities to consider for your visit to Central Gardens. A playgroup meets Mondays 10:00am – 12 noon during school terms. Click here for more details. There is also the Bush School at Central Gardens which is a nature-based educational program for children to explore and learn about the environment. The community is welcome to visit at any time. Click here for further information.
The gardens are open 7:30am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday and 9:00am to 5:00pm on weekends. Daylight saving time is 7:30am to 7:00pm and weekends are 8:00am to 7:00pm. Closed Good Friday and Christmas Day. Entry is free.