The traditional land of the Darug People, Blacktown is home to over 395,000 people and is the largest council in NSW. With a new university, hospital and workers club all due to be completed in the next few years, the Blacktown we know will soon be radically different, so what better time to go and explore the streets before the township is changed forever.
With a station located in the heart of the city centre, Blacktown is easily accessible via the Sydney train network. The CBD of Blacktown is also home to several public car parks all located in convenient spots around town.
Spend some time walking through the streets of Blacktown taking in all the sights and delicious smells within the main street precinct. Walking along, you will pass by a vast array of cuisines and grocers, all selling a variety of goods and produce. Take your time, soak it in and try something new.
With a mix of many different cultures, you will see artefacts from a variety of different religions and ethnicities lining the street, including Middle Eastern grocery stores, Vietnamese bakeries, African restaurants, and mixed fashion shops.
Heading up Flushcombe Road, away from the train station, you will notice the wide tree-lined streets. The trees provide a great deal of shade, something very much appreciated over the warmer months by the locals. Walking up along you will pass by the former Blacktown Public School, which currently houses the Blacktown Visitor Information and Heritage Centre. The restored 1877 building houses information about the City of Blacktown as well as a small exhibition space displaying items on the history of Blacktown, as well as a small shop selling souvenirs.
On the next block up, directly behind the Visitors Information Centre, you will come across the Max Webber Library. The library is one of the busiest libraries in Sydney and is designed with the community in mind. Architecture firm, FJMT Studio, designed the new library with the intentions of creating a ‘civic dam’ to create a public place for the whole community. Walking into the library you are met with a grand staircase leading upwards, with timber panelling covering the ceiling, creating wave-like motions.
Blacktown has an array of Architecture with some great examples of the ’60s and 70’s design reflecting when the city centre really started to develop. For design buffs there a lot to take in and explore.
Across the street, you will be led into the Blacktown Village Green. A community space filled with a variety of public artworks.
The words inscribed into the mosaic wall ‘Warami Ngallawah Mittigar’ translate to ‘come in friend, sit down’ in the Darug Language. The artwork was a collaboration between indigenous artist Robyn Caughlan, Ceramic Artist Tracie Bertram, and concept development by Nerine Martini.
After exploring the streets of Blacktown, Head to the Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre.
A recognised leader in the development of contemporary art in Australia, the Arts Centre provides a curated program of exhibitions, performances, workshops, artist residencies and events.
The gallery has hosted a variety of exhibitions such as Future Proof, Heech – Beyond Nothingness, Hayakal al Noor – Bodies of Light. On Friday mornings, the gallery plays host to Elders In Residence, where the community is invited to drop by the Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre to meet local First Nations Elders and learn traditional knowledge such as the Dreaming stories and firsthand accounts of the area now called Blacktown and Greater Western Sydney.
Next door to the gallery is Blacktown Workers Club. Currently undergoing renovations, Blacktown Workers Club is set to become a destination within Blacktown. With bars, eateries, and family entertainment spaces throughout, you will have to check out the Workers Club once the renovations have completed. However, one of the most exciting features of the Workers Club that is currently open is the revolving restaurant on the top floor, the only revolving restaurant outside of Sydney CBD and something of an icon.
Currently, open every Saturday for Western Sydney’s Highest Tea, the revolving restaurant is a truly unique experience, showcasing views from the Blue Mountains through to the Harbour Bridge and Opera House in Sydney.
With multiple session times available for booking every Saturday between 10 am-2 pm, the high tea makes for a great way to treat that special someone. The revolving restaurant is also open for themed nights, such as Brazilian nights, as well as big events like the Melbourne Cup. Keep an eye out to see what themed nights are coming up.
With so much to see and do in Blacktown, you might feel the need to stay overnight. Check out the Atura Blacktown, a contemporary hotel with design references targeting the 1950s and 60s.
With a swimming pool, bar, and restaurant the hotel makes for a perfect overnight destination in Blacktown. If you are looking for something else to do during the evening, head next door to the Skyline Drive-In to catch yourself a movie, or head two minutes up the street to the Royal Cricketers Arms Hotel, first licensed in 1880.
We love Blacktown and think it'sone of Western Sydney’s hidden gems. Watch this space as it's rapidly changing and has so much on its doorstep.