Residents in Sydney's far west are set to get their own beach this summer, three years after the area earned its place in history as the hottest spot on Earth at the time.
Western Sydney’s estimated 2.6 million residents will be able to take a dip and cool off at the stretch of water and sand at Penrith Lakes over the hottest months of the year, Penrith Council announced over the weekend.
Locals took to the beach — which is the same length as Bondi Beach’s famous 1km shore — for a test run on Saturday but it won’t officially be open until late December. Swimmers can visit from 7am to 7pm, 7 days a week until early March, except for Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Lifeguard services and first aid will be available in the designated swimming zone, with a car park and amenities block to be built in the coming weeks.
Swimming spots at least 40km awat
Western Sydney’s summer temperatures are notoriously hotter than the eastern part of the city, averaging 18 additional days over 35 degrees. During the Black Summer bushfires of 2019/20, Penrith reached a record-breaking 48.9 degrees.
Despite this, residents have had limited access to outdoor swimming spots, with a 40km drive to Lake Parramatta and 63km to Bondi.
“I have lived in the Penrith community for over 35 years, so I know what a sweltering summer’s day feels like here,” Member for Penrith Karen McKeown said. “Since the day I was elected I have been advocating that this gem open up for our community.
“I know just how much local residents are going to embrace and enjoy this new swimming spot close to home over Christmas and the school holidays. It’s an incredible amenity for families and friends to come and cool off, with the backdrop of the beautiful mountains, and I’m so proud to see this project come to life.”
Locals excited about 'long' Penrith Beach
Locals who gave Penrith Beach a test go on the weekend shared their excitement over the $1.7 million investment from the NSW Government. “It’s quite a long beach. I think they said a kilometre,” Julie told 9 News. “So we can fit a lot of bums on the sand.”
One young boy told the publication he enjoyed how warm and calm the water was.
The site will be managed by the Department of Planning and Environment after an agreement with Western Sydney Lakes, the council said.
AI images show final project
AI images published by Western Sydney Lakes show the final plan for the extensive foreshore project, showing two jetty’s extending into the blue water and several stand alone circular wooden diving spots.
A large amenities block with a blue roof will stretch along the sand, with a grassy area directly in front and winding roads leading up to its doors. The doctored photos show the council expects crowds of swimmers to flock to the water.
“Penrith Beach isn’t just about fun in the sun, it’s also about embracing the natural environment, and a symbol of the growth and commitment to provide world-class facilities to Western Sydney residents,” the NSW Government says on its website.
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