Doonside is a culturally diverse and vibrant suburb that sits on Dharug land. It is a great place to visit with plenty of activities to do, history to explore, and delicacies to try.
Travel to Doonside by train and arrive in the heart of this residential area at the station. Or, if you’re travelling by car, Doonside is just off the M4.
Doonside has a strong Filipino community, with over 13 per cent of the population having a Filipino background. You can see their influence as you walk past the businesses on Hill End Road down from the station. From bakeries to restaurants to grocery stores, Filipino people from all over Sydney travel here for the authentic businesses and you can too.
Begin your day with a great coffee and authentic Filipino baked goods from Starlight Bakery. From the moment you walk into this family-run shop, you are met with the amazing scent of fresh bread baking. The staff are super friendly, and ready to give suggestions on what to try. We loved absolutely everything, particularly the Pandesal (plain buns), Bitso (donut) and Ensaymadas (sweet scrolls). Buy plenty to last you throughout the day – you won’t be able to stop at just one.
Once you’ve explored the main street and picked up some Filipino delights, head to Bungarribbee Park in Western Sydney Parklands. This large park has a great playground that is bound to get the children excited with water play, a huge climbing tower, and slides. It’s a great spot to stop and enjoy those baked goodies.
Next, head next door to Sydney Zoo. Opened at the end of 2019, Sydney Zoo is a popular and large attraction with over 4 000 animals. Containing no hills or stairs, the zoo is easily accessible for visitors of all abilities. Explore the five iconic precincts and spot animals including a rhino, lions, sharks, elephants, cheetahs, and plenty of native Australian animals. This is a truly world-class zoo in the heart of Western Sydney. It also has a great and rich connection to country through its informative signage and integration of Aboriginal history, stories and local language.
Doonside is also a culturally significant area of Indigenous history. Head to Nurragingy Reserve, which is on the site of the first ever land grant given to the Indigenous people of Australia. The reserve is named after Dharug man Nurragingy, who in 1819 along with Colebee were given this land. Explore the reserve which features picnic areas, a playground and Chinese gardens surrounded by bushland.
The Chang Lai Yuan Gardens were opened in 2012 and are part of the sister city partnership between Blacktown City and the Liaocheng municipality in China. Including styled elements inspired by the Ming and Qing dynasty, explore these beautiful and tranquil gardens within this significant reserve. The seven arch granite spans over the lake and makes for an impressive photo. It really is an unexpected surprise and a must see.
If you’re hungry for a meal, we have you covered. West HQ is an easy drive down the road and boasts a collection of quality restaurants including Steak & Oyster Co. by Sean Connolly, New Town Thai Street Food, and Pizzaperta Manfredi to name a few.
Doonside is a great undiscovered gem in and of itself in the heart of Western Sydney bursting with rich culture, history, and attractions. A day out here is a perfect slice of the West and it really is so very easy to get too.