Located on the western bank of the Nepean River and at the foothills of the Blue Mountains lies Emu Plains. Although no emus may be found today, history tells us emus once flocked to this leafy area, hence the name.
Spend a day within this riverside town exploring Emu Plains. With offerings such as the Penrith Regional Gallery, Emu Hall, and the newly opened Yandhai Nepean Bridge, Emu Plains is proving to be an up and coming destination within the Penrith Area. A great way to explore the area is by foot. The newly completed Bridge to Bridge loop is apart of the Great River Walk. The loop links the Yandhai Nepean Bridge and the Penrith Valley Bridge and goes right past two of our favourite destinations.
Arriving via Memorial Avenue, park your car along the road right near the old sandstone clock tower. This is a great location to start from and presents photo opportunities of the newly opened pedestrian bridge – you will cross this at the end of the walk, but for now head left down Nepean Avenue along millionaires row towards the Penrith Valley Bridge. Walking along the riverbank, explore the parklands and river frontage, passing through trench reserve overlooking the Nepean.
Continuing along, you’ll discover the newly completed Trench Reserve and boat ramp. Recently opened in 2019 the boat ramp and jetty are a perfect place to spot to stop for a rest. There are cafes here where you can grab a coffee or a cool drink. From here, head up onto Trench Avenue which will allow you to cross the M4 Western Motorway. After crossing the bridge you can then head north up River road along the meandering sharded pathway.
Located along the River Road is The Penrith Regional Gallery. This is a free public gallery space and is the home of the Lewers Bequest. The original house, known as Lewers House was built in 1905 and in 1942 was home to acclaimed artists Margo and Gerald Lewers – these two artists were leaders of the development of modernism in Australian art. In 1980, the Lewers daughters, Darani and Tanya donated a selection of their parent's works, as well as the entirety of the site to the Penrith City Council.
With a lively café and gallery spaces dotted throughout the gardens, the Regional Gallery becomes a space to escape the outside world. It’s a great place to stop for lunch or save yourself for the next destination along the walk.
Currently showing is ‘Warwick Fuller – Chasing the Light’. This global exhibition from Australian Artist Warwick Fuller showcases 83 of his best workings in a variety of scales and is a truly spectacular, must-see exhibition.
After finishing up at the gallery, continue the walk up River Road until you arrive at historic Emu Hall. Established in 1852 as a homestead, Emu Hall has transformed into a venue second to none.
With a café, restaurant, bar, and beer garden the venue is a one-stop-shop. Stop for a lazy afternoon drink or indulge in some great food and atmosphere. This is a place you can spend hours at.
End the day by walking across the Yandhai Nepean Bridge finishing the loopback where you started. Be sure to look up at the amazing architecture when crossing the bridge, and look back over the river to see how far you’ve come! If your lucky enough to be there on dusk, the sunsets over the Nepean are spectacular and the bridge is lit up also.