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10 Awesome Reasons to Live in Western Sydney

This article is sponsored by Western Sydney University

Are you looking for vibrant nightlife, beautiful national parks and a thriving arts scene? Well, look no further than Greater Western Sydney, home to some of the country’s most livable and exciting suburbs including, Parramatta, Blacktown, Hawkesbury and Penrith – just to name a few.

If you’re thinking about studying in Australia, here are the top ten reasons you should consider Greater Western Sydney.

Epicentre of education

Greater Western Sydney is home to Western Sydney University – one of Australia’s leading institutions included on all the major universities rankings. According to Times Higher Education (THE), it’s in the top two per cent of universities worldwide, and ranked 6 in Australia among universities under 50 years old (THE Young University rankings 2021). With 10 different campuses to choose from across the region, it’s easy to find the perfect spot in Greater Western Sydney for you to live and study.

Also, there’s no shortage of TAFE courses in Greater Western Sydney, as there are heaps of TAFE NSW campuses here, including the Blacktown, Kingswood and Miller Campuses. TAFE NSW is one of the best vocational education facilities and offers qualifications from certificates to Diploma and Advanced Diploma levels.

Great sports culture

Greater Western Sydney is one of the best places to get involved with sports. There’s no shortage of local teams to get behind, including a number of National Rugby League (NRL) and Australian Football League (AFL) teams including the Parramatta Eels, Penrith Panthers and GWS Giants, and if you’re a football (a.k.a. soccer) fan – the Western Sydney Wanderers.

Also, if you want to capture a little nostalgia from the 2000 Olympics, make sure to stop by Sydney Olympic Park. While you’re here, explore the bike trails of Bicentennial Park or the Aquatic Centre and celebrate the triumphs of some of Australia’s greatest swimming legends. The choice is yours!

Multiculturalism

Greater Western Sydney has some of the most multicultural and linguistically diverse suburbs in the country. With an influx of international students at Western Sydney University, the region has become a melting pot of different races and religions. One event to get excited for is Harmony Week, which runs from 15 to 21 March each year. Harmony Week offers an opportunity to celebrate multiculturalism in Australia. Diversity Fest is also an important event at Western Sydney University. With one-third of WSU’s students coming from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and one-fifth of students born overseas, Diversity Fest is a chance for everyone to come together and connect through diverse experiences and perspectives. 

Gorgeous sunny weather

Western Sydney enjoys a sunny climate with mild winters and hot summers. If you’re someone who gravitates to consistently warm weather, this region is ideal for you. All year-round, it’s mostly sunny with very little rainfall here, so you can partake in heaps of outdoor activities while soaking up the sun. Whether it’s picnicking, winery tours, lawn bowls or barbecues, make sure to fill up your social calendar and enjoy the clear blue skies.

 A chance to connect with nature

As we previously mentioned, Western Sydney has excellent weather, which provides you with ample opportunity to appreciate and reconnect with nature. The leafy suburbs are surrounded by an abundance of natural bushlands, parklands, hiking trails, farms and national parks.

If you’re looking for some scenic picnic spots, visit The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan, Bungarribee Park, Parramatta Park or even Weir Reserve. However, if you want to discover some breathtaking waterfalls and campsites, check out the Blue Mountains and all the bountiful biodiversity it has to offer.

Foodie hot spots

It’s no secret Parramatta has become a popular food precinct in Sydney, offering a wide variety of fusion Middle Eastern, Southeast Asian and Taiwanese food. Parramatta is home to the legendary Eat Street, which has many excellent cafes, bars and restaurants along the strip. This lively strip is decorated with fairy lights and offers alfresco seating, making it a popular spot during the Summer.

If you’re looking for incredible Indian food in Parramatta, definitely check out Harris Park. Cabramatta, if you’re looking for Vietnamese fusion and Auburn for Middle Eastern cuisine. Additionally, every Friday in Centenary Square, the Farmer’s Market comes alive, offering the very best seasonal produce, the perfect place for you to pick up your groceries for the week. 

A bustling bar scene

As well as being a popular food spot, Parramatta’s nightlife is booming as they have some of the best bars in the state and even in Australia. If you’re looking for a vibrant bar unlike no other, visit Coco Cubano, as this Cuban inspired bar will have you feeling like you just stepped into downtown Havana. For something a little more luxurious, check out Nick & Nora’s or Alex&Co, as both venues have an extensive champagne collection. For cocktail specials and great live music, head to Bar 30, but, if you’re after something more low key, check out Uncle Kurt’s, a New-York inspired dive-bar, a hidden gem tucked away under a Parramatta car park.

The arts are alive and thriving

Art lovers will be in absolute bliss when living in Greater Western Sydney, as the region’s art scene is rich and diverse, with many artists from all walks of life living here. If you’re a student wanting to discover world-class pieces, Western Sydney University has an endless collection consisting of paintings, works on paper, mixed media, sculpture and ceramics.

But if you’re after some boundary-pushing live theatre, make sure you swing by the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre in Penrith. These performance hubs also offer concession prices, making it a great cost-effective weekend activity for students.

Rich history

Western Sydney has a range of interesting historic sites filled with Aboriginal history and heritage. Not far from Elizabeth Farm – Australia’s oldest intact European building, you can find the Baludarri Wetlands, a small area of greenery named after a Darug teenager who lived in Parramatta when European colonists arrived and served as the translator for Governor Phillip. 

The Western Sydney Parklands are situated in the Deerubbin and Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Councils – the Traditional Custodians of this land. It’s part of the Country of the inland Darug people, whose territory lies from the Blue Mountains to the coast. 

The Parklands feature gorgeous rural and agricultural lands, natural bushlands with historical sites and artefacts that tell the story of survival and resilience of the Darug people during British settlement.

Fun on the water

Ok, so there may not be a whole lot of surfing going on in the western region, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t still hit the waves. The Greater Western Sydney is fortunate to have heaps of extraordinary water parks such as Raging Waters Sydney and Aquatopia, for you to experience a vast range of water sports, activities and rides.

Also, there’s a massive list of free waterparks, including Blacktown Showground Precinct Water Play Park, Nurragingy Reserve and Plough and Harrow, located in the Western Sydney Parklands. Particularly useful if you’re someone looking for a fun, action-packed day on a budget.

Photo courtesy of Destination NSW.