Residents of the Hills district are very lucky to have an abundance of parks to use for recreation and perhaps the biggest and best is Rouse Hill Regional Park. This large bushland park incorporates almost 2 acres of playgrounds, picnic areas, walking tracks, cycle ways, horse tracks and pavilions – it really is the perfect free day's worth of entertainment for the whole family.
The area of Rouse Hill is named after the Rouse family who were pioneers of this part of Sydney. Their original family home is located next door to the park and it is now owned by the Historic Houses Trust. The park was originally part of the Rouse family's estate for seven generations, and it is now owned by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Monuments to the family, in the form of wooden totem pole sculptures are located in the main playground. Each totem lists the name of the parents and how many children they had for 6 of the 7 generations of the Rouse family.
The park is in demand for birthday parties, family reunions and even weddings as it is such a large space and so many facilities are available to cater for the needs of everyone. There are picnic shelters, gas BBQs, toilets and pavilions for hire that can cater for all of your requirements. All of the picnic shelters, BBQ areas and pavilions are located in different parts of the park so you never feel as though you have to share your space with other members of the public. And even if you do have to share, everyone is so friendly out here because it is practically the country!
The playgrounds for children are in two different areas of the park. Smaller kids will have most fun at the playground located next to the main BBQ area. There are swings, slippery slides, climbing ropes, a rope bridge plus a wooden maze for them to burn off their energy in. There are also paths around the playground suitable for little kids on their bikes and trikes.
Bigger kids will love the adventure playground which is about 50m away via a cycle path. Here they can spend ages impersonating Tarzan on the flying fox, having a competition as to how many chin ups they can perform as well as whirling themselves in all sorts of weird and wonderful contraptions.
Kids of all ages will love riding their bikes, scooters, skateboards and even using their roller blades on the large circular pathway near the toilet facilities. This would be a great place to teach kids to ride as it is long and flat, and if the kids fall off it will more than likely be into the grass on either side of the path way.
Everyone can get out and use all of the walking paths….even your 4 legged family members (as long as they are on a leash). The Seconds Ponds Walk is a very popular short nature walk where you may be able to spot a bird or two, a lizard (of all shapes and sizes) or some other wildlife that calls the area home. Another short walk is the Rouse Hills Estate walk. You can step back in time and follow the footsteps of the 7 generations of the Rouse family who lived here from 1813 to the 1980s. There are large stretches of green expanse where kites can be flown, cricket, soccer and footy can be played or kids can just run free.
Once everyone is spent, it is picnic time. You can throw a rug down anywhere or sit in one of the picnic shelters provided. There are 2 large under cover areas with BBQs and a small pavilion which is very popular near the small kid's playground so you may have to turn up early to nab this spot.
If you are having a large get together it is wise to book one of the pavilions in advance. The Fibrosa Pavilion is ideal for parties, reunions and weddings. It is under cover, has a large electric BBQ, long picnic tables, electricity, sink with running water and views over the park. It can accommodate approximately 70 people and costs $330.00 to hire per day.
The Crebra Pavilion has the same facilities as the Fibrosa, but just a wee bit smaller. It can seat up to 40 people and it costs $220.00 to hire exclusively for the day. The only negative aspect of the pavilions is that the toilet facilities are on the other side of the park, I'm sure it would be quite amusing (or maybe not) to see a bride hitching up her skirt and traversing the parkland to use the amenities. If the pavilions aren't booked the general public are welcome to use them for informal get togethers, there is a notice board in front of each pavilion advising if it is booked or not.
If you still have some energy after your visit to the park, make sure you pop next door to Rouse Hill House and Farm. Open on weekends and during school holidays this is a fascinating place to visit to see how the Rouse family lived and worked.
As this park is so popular with locals and visitors alike, parking can be a real problem on weekends. If all of the spots are full on arrival, there is parking available along the road, it just means that you have to hike all of your stuff in. Another issue is that the access road (Rouse Rd) into the park can flood, so if you are visiting after a period of heavy rain make sure you check the NPWS website to check for road closures. There is alternate road to access the Park - travel further along Windsor Rd and turn left into Guntawong Rd.