On the Southern edge of Liverpool City sits the suburbs of Casula, Edmondson Park and Prestons. A daily commute for many, the junction of the M7, M5, and Hume Highway holds host to a large and impressive public artwork, known as the Cutler VC Interchange. Home to the Dharug, Tharawal and Gundangurra people, this land has a long history, and this junction of roads and suburbs pays respect to a former Governor of New South Wales honoured for a prolific diplomatic and Vice-Regal career and honoured with the Victoria Cross for service in World War II.
We start our day with a coffee. Macchiato & Co is a quick detour from the M7-M5 junction and is tucked away in the Crossroads homemaker area. Serving up fresh coffee with a smile, the owner Omar is very welcoming and it’s a great place to soak up some sun for a quick chat.
If you’re feeling hungry for something more substantial then you can’t go past The Crossroads Hotel, much loved since the 1880s. This hotel is a local institution and underwent a renovation, winning an AHA NSW award for Best Casual Dining & Best Innovative Refurbishment. Alongside the great fit-out is equally great food, served up hot and fresh, taking pub meals to the next level. The cocktails are also a hit, and the seasonal favourites are a must-try. You’ll love the relaxed atmosphere, buzzing venue and a menu that makes it hard to decide what you should have.
Nostalgia and sentiment can be found just across the road at Chan’s Canton Village, a hero of Southwest Sydney. The owners had a vision, to create the biggest and best Hong Kong-style Chinese restaurant in the heart of Casula. The gateway cannot be missed and if you love the cool and kitsch then take a minute to enjoy what one family has created. Great food too and much loved by locals.
Suitably caffeinated and fed, the curious, athletic, and adventurous alike can make their way to the start of the M7 where a shared path some 40kms long starts in Prestons and makes its way right through Western Sydney to Baulkham Hills. It is popular with cyclists and pedestrians alike and connects to the Western Sydney Parklands. Choose your own adventure on how far you want to travel - dogs are even welcome.
The Cutler VC Interchange is made up of several key elements. You’ll be familiar with the enormous 25-meter-high grassed pyramid sculpture which is illuminated at night as a gentle spire for all. The timber poles at the base are a reference to the Cumberland Plain Woodland native to this area and critically endangered, and the Australian Defence Force Memorial Plantation comprises of some 45,000 native trees and shrubs sourced from the Australian Botanic Garden.
Suitably energised and informed, make your way to the western side of the interchange, and into Edmondson Park for some great dining options – big or small. Ideally, your day trip is going to flow over into the evening and Ed Square has such a variety of options for alfresco dining you will want to come back again and again. WEST has showcased the way Ed Square has become its own destination in the heart of a new development area. So, if you are just looking for a spot in the sun for a drink, something sweet, savoury or a night out with a few friends, take the time to explore what is on offer.
The diversity of offerings is what is most appealing, from Japanese at Noodle Den or Sushi on Fire, to Indian and a great Gin Bar at Masala Kitchen to Italian at Enzo Cucina or Nepalese at the Hungry Sherpa. Feeling really hungry, then perhaps Lonestar for the BBQ ribs that never, never get old. For something sweet head to Max Brenner where the hot chocolates, desserts and cakes are endlessly satisfying.
For something very sophisticated, vibrant and a place to linger for a few hours, Subset 27 is a cocktail bar and fine dining full of great spaces, fit-out and the all-important atmosphere, day or night.
So much to see, so much to do, and all just a short distance off some of our major roads in Western Sydney. It really goes to show it's worth getting off the beaten track and exploring your own backyard. You might even learn something cool along the way.