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Smith Park and Pugh's Lagoon

Home > Sydney > Picnic Spots | Parks | Outdoor | Art
by Rota (subscribe)
Still out and about
Published March 22nd 2013
More than 'A Shady Hollow by a Dusty Road'
If you find yourself in the vicinity of Richmond, make your way down to the end of this historic country town and you will find Smith Park. With its own picturesque lagoon, grassy banks and established sheltering trees, Smith Park is a peaceful recreation area with more to offer than most parks of its size.

Pugh's Lagoon
Pugh's Lagoon

Located just over a kilometre from Richmond train station, the park is characterised by Pugh's Lagoon, one of many important sites within the Hawkesbury Region. Considered an ecologically important wetland, it is naturally home to a number of plant and bird species. A highlight of the park is the flock of ducks, swamp hens and swans that congregate there. They like to be fed by visitors and linger around the banks of the lagoon in between frequent dips in the fresh water.

smith park pugh's lagoon
Various birds share the lagoon

Apart from its obvious attractions, Smith Park is part of the Hawkesbury Artists trail - no surprise, considering that so much of the Hawkesbury region has been portrayed in art. The Australian Dictionary of Biography relates how Julian Ashton, revered open air painter, took Impressionist artist Charles Conder on sketching tours in the Hawkesbury region. According to the Hawkesbury Council Plan of Management for Pugh's Lagoon and Smith Park, the lagoon was painted by Charles Conder during his time in Richmond. The oil on cardboard painting, 'A Shady Hollow by a Dusty Road' depicts the area in 1887, as the young countryside that Conder would have witnessed.

smith park pugh's lagoon

Not surprisingly, Smith Park is now more developed than it was in Conder's day. The friendly bird life, shaded greens, barbecue facilities, toilets and ample parking space, make the spot ideal for families with children there's more than enough room to toss a frisbee. And a number of picnic benches - some under gazebos - ensure that seating is available, no matter what the weather.

But more than just a picnic spot, Smith Park is perfect for anyone who just wants to get outside and enjoy a scenic location by the water. The charm of the spot that inspired Conder to paint remains to this day - the lagoon being especially beautiful during the late afternoon, when sunlight hits the water.

smith park pugh's lagoon
Sunlight and birds on the lagoon

Whether for an easy going family afternoon out, or a contemplative repose under a shady tree - perhaps with an easel of your own - Smith Park is worth a visit.
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Why? Experience an afternoon by a lagoon
When: Anytime
Where: Richmond
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Lovely place, but the photos here are very blurry, I have some great ones if you would like copies. I spend a lot of time down there with my dog, it's a relaxing and beautiful place to be. Unfortunately these pics don't do it justice.
by ann (score: 0|2) 2423 days ago
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