An attempt to visit every suburb in Sydney.

Penrith, The Riff, 2750 or just that really far place at the end of Sydney. Let's go. Penrith

Just Riffin': Penrith

Penrith, The Riff, 2750 or just that really far place at the end of Sydney. Let's go.


As you may already know, Penrith is a major suburb in Sydney's Outer West, and the capital of the council of the same name. Once considered its own city, it's now very much within Sydney's bounds, albeit at the western extremity. From Central, it's a 50 minute to an hour train ride, depending on which train you catch.

Lucky for me, I had a set of wheels with me today, allowing me to easily make the drive across the (untolled bit of) the M4.

I pulled over just a few blocks into the suburb to catch my bearings.

Interestingly, this spot happens to feature the only block of terraces I can ever recall seeing in Western Sydney,

as well as this church with a lying sign.

I continued on into the town centre. It turns out that Penrith CBD is quite busy for car traffic, so I ended up parking in the big and modern "Penrith Plaza" Westfield.

Now, there are some stereotypes about the type of people you may find strolling around Penrith Westfield. I must admit many of those stereotypes appeared to be true today.

I don't really take pictures of random folks on this blog so you'll have to just take my word for it.

Anyway, next to the Westfield is the rather nice looking Red Cow pub.

These guys feature an actual plastic cow, which is neat.

Also next door is the train and bus interchange which had plenty of patronage even at Sunday noon.

Like many other suburbs, Penrith also has a main shopping street in addition to its shopping centre. I walked the few blocks to check it out.

First impressions? Not that great.

While fellow Western Sydney heavyweight Parramatta appears to have put in a fair bit of effort to spruce up its streets for foot traffic, Penrith's shopping street is somewhat lacking in excitement.

Clearly, the bulk of Penrith's shoppers just stick to the Westfield.

Unless you're keen on some slightly more predatory retailers, that is.

Yes, there are a handful of interesting spots on and around Penrith's main drag, such as the elaborate war memorial of Memory Park,

as well as a few interesting older buildings,

but as a whole I can't say that Penrith's CBD is a "must see".

Now, changing gears.

I'm a firm believer that if you're in Western Sydney you should eat one of two things. The first option is to eat delicious, authentic and outrageously good value ethnic food. The second option, and the one I went for today, is the greasy and fattening one, preferably American.

That's why my travel companion and I walked over to Big Daddy's Burger Bar, one of those faux-American burger places opening up all over the city lately.

These guys aren't messing around, with Americana plastered all over the walls.

Lunch was some very meaty, very cheesy star-spangled burgers, curly fries and, of course, "soda".


Well, the burgers were alright but I've definitely had better American burgz. The curly fries were excellent (but honestly, curly fries are always great). And I'm one of those weirdos who likes Dr Pepper so it made me happy to see that they have American drink options.

Like the good Western Sydney citizens we are, we hopped back into the car and drove to the next destination, this car park.

I like this car park because it's home to a lot of exciting stuff.

First, and most prominently, you've got the Penrith Panthers Leagues club, one of the many Western Sydney megaclubs where you can eat, drink, gamble, host your wedding, gamble and gamble.

Next door to the club is a branch of Harry's Cafe de Wheels. I was going to write that this is the westernmost Harry's but then I found out that they've opened one in China. How about that.

Also of interest is a Krispy Kreme,

with a drive-thru,

because of course there is.

And an Outback Steakhouse. Penrith is really trying to out-America Marsden Park here.

As well as a random block of apartments.

Now none of these are my favourite thing in the complex. That prize goes to something which is actually unironically great.

So on this artificial body of water,

is Aqua Golf!

If you've never played Aqua Golf, it's basically a driving range where you shoot golf balls into the water. There's targets you want to try and aim for, but ultimately you're just here to smack some golf balls. Good old wholesome family fun (and a go-to Western Sydney date).

Sadly, I didn't have time to stay and drive a bucket of balls, so we jumped back into the car and headed to the final destination.

All the way back in Mays Hill, I spoke about the idea of finding that "pearl" in a suburb. Well, if you head out to the western edge of the suburb, you can find Penrith's pearl.

I started on this residential street.

Quite a lovely residential street at that, with plenty of expensive looking houses,

and just the right amount of trees to make this a great place to walk without catching too many spiderwebs in the face.

From this residential street, you can get an early glimpse of this suburb's particular pearl, the Nepean River.

With the sun directly in front of me, this is the best photo I could manage from here, but don't worry, a better view is coming soon.

We continued up the road to the bit you're meant to actually go to if you want to ogle the river.

This is the Yandhai Nepean Crossing, a relatively new pedestrian bridge, opened in 2018.

And this is where the Nepean's true beauty reveals itself. 

What a spot.

If you can't make it out here in person, enjoy this photosphere from Google Street View instead.

Here's some bonus long distance ducks in the water below.

If you cross the bridge to the other side of the Nepean, you get to the next suburb.

As I was weighed down with a car today, it was this parallel bridge for cars and the train that would take me there instead.

Penrith: Don't waddle around Penrith Westfield in your pyjamas, waddle over to the Nepean instead.


  1. Nice to see you're out in my part of the world. It's a shame you didn't get into the residential area a bit more, lots of lovely old houses around the area. You also missed Nepean Square, that's where the "types" shop lol.

    1. Thanks for the comment - yes with these big suburbs I often don't end up covering everything so some things do get missed. The small portion of residential Penrith though that I did delve into was very beautiful (but you'd expect that by the river!)

  2. Awesome thanks for the great tip on the Harry's Cafe du Wheels in Shenzhen. Now I have my own little urban exploration to do over the border next weekend. Will send photos if I end up making it ...

    1. Please do share if you end up making it!

  3. For starters this American stuff in penrith has always been here well before Marsden park was even built up.....Marsden park is trying to out "american" penrith.

    1. Fair enough. Where's the Starbucks Drive Thru though? Get on it guys.

  4. Fair enough comments, however there are many hidden architectural gems in the riff including an internationally famous brutalist concrete building hiding in an industrial area off Castlereagh Rd.

  5. I moved to the riff from the mountains. Been here for nearly 5 years, the non stop construction has damaged the roads so bad, wherever you drive, if you've got average car suspension you'll be brain and spine damaged by the end of the week. Luckily we're full of psycho bogan utes and giant soccer mum cars. There isn't much to do locally besides shop and gamble sadly. We're pretty isolated too, you either bypass us to go up the mountains or use the m4 to head to the big smoke.

  6. Say all good things about the shops and what not but the one picture of a church and you put a negative comment. Why?

    1. hey mate i think the joke may have gone over your head a bit - he's not shitting on the church he is suggesting sin is actually pretty fun.

  7. Penrith is all about the people.
    A melding of cultures and personalities.

    1. I think you'll find that to be true about many if not most of the suburbs in this town of ours :)

  8. Not to mention ifly, wakeboarding, whitewater rafting and jetpacking. Penrith is becoming an adventure playground. We also now have a new restaurant strip down on the river to indulge in once you've finished a lap around our beautiful river doing the river walk.