Nature & outdoors activities in Penrith

Nature is all around you in Penrith. Surrounded by mountains and river, it’s an outdoor playground made for hiking, paddling, cycling or fishing. Discover lush national parks, tranquil waterways and picturesque trails that take you into the heart of the great outdoors, just a short hop from the bustle of the city.



On the river

The Nepean River runs through the heart of the Penrith region and there are many ways to experience it. Hire a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard to explore the calm waters or sit back and enjoy the scenery with a cruise on the Nepean Belle Paddlewheeler. Keen fishers can throw a line in at Bents Basin, a deep waterhole between Penrith and Camden.

Family enjoying a day of kayaking on the Nepean River, Penrith

Nepean River, Penrith

Explore on foot

The Great River Walk is a 7km trail that runs along the picturesque banks of the Nepean River between Penrith and Emu Plains. It’s an easy walk or you can make the loop by bicycle. Pack up some tasty local produce for a picnic in one of the quiet, leafy spots by the water, and be sure to take in the views from atop the Yandhai Nepean Crossing.

For spectacular views over the Nepean Gorge, take the short walk to the top of The Rock Lookout. There’s also a 2.5km trail leading through eucalypt forest to Riley’s Mountain and more stunning views. In the nearby Bents Basin National Park, the Caleys Lookout Track winds through rugged bushland. Bring your lunch – at the top, you’ll find another great picnic spot. Meanwhile, Portal Lookout, perched atop the lower ridges of Blue Mountains National Park and a just 20min drive from Penrith, offers magnificent views of the junction between Glenbrook Gorge and the mighty Nepean River.

Family enjoy Great River Walk, Penrith

Great River Walk, Penrith 

Scenic drives

Take a mini road trip through the Blue Mountains, which are less than a 50-minute drive from Penrith. Following in the footsteps of Penrith's pioneering settlers, the Penrith Heritage Drive takes in more than 25 landmarks, as well as some pretty rural countryside.

The Greater Blue Mountains Drive encompasses 1,200 kilometres of sealed road but can be done in sections as a day trip, visiting some of NSW's most beautiful national parks, including Blue Mountains National ParkKanangra-Boyd National Park and Thilrmere Lakes National Park.

The scenic drive along Bells Line of Road through the World-Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park

Bells Line of Road, Blue Mountains National Park

Get back to nature in Penrith