Woohoo – I have a new favourite swimming spot! Pre-kids I loved natural swimming spots – so refreshing and relaxing floating and swimming amongst the bush. But have been weary of going to them with my two little ones, who can’t yet swim. We enjoy Lake Parramatta but there isn’t much shallow for my boys to splash in. Well we now have the answer – Yarramundi Reserve!
This gorgeous spot along the Grose River has great shallow sections (adult shins), as well as deeper ones (adult waist), sand and lots of room along the banks for a family picnic. It is also a dog off the leash park so your furry family members can join in the fun.
The car park was full when we arrived at 11am on a Saturday, but we got a spot just outside on the wide shoulder of the road. And when we have gone during the week, there have been lots of spots in the car park. Keep in mind that there are two car parks for Yarramundi Reserve – you want the second one after the Yarramundi Bridge, on the right hand side. NOT the carpark that says Southern Entry.
There are paths off the carpark, which take you down to the river. And the toilets are at the beginning of the carpark, after the short driveway on the right hand side. On your way down, you will find two covered picnic tables. And there are also some back up at the carpark.
Once at the river, there are lots of places to set up ‘camp’ on both sides of the river. And it doesn’t feel crowded down at the river even when the carpark was full. The south side of the river has the most shade closest to the water. Whereas on the northern side, there is a lot more sand before the tree line. We found a great spot under the trees on the south side and the shade was welcome relief when we had lunch.
To the left of the ‘rock dam’, the water is of more varying depths and there are rocks and wood debris on the riverbed. To the right, the riverbed is more sandy and much more shallow, so great for little ones. But there is no shade on the right side. We usually spend most of our time at the dam, floating through the gaps where the current was strongest and building up the dam with rocks from the riverbed.
The water is crystal clear when the tide is running down river (left to right). This helps when there is varying depths. Last time we went, we saw the tide change and the water got a bit murky when the tide was coming in, with water flowing in from the Hawkesbury and Nepean Rivers. The water temperature has been just right when we have gone in summer.
Normally I like to head to eastern Sydney on a hot day as it is 10 degrees cooler, but even on a 40 degree day it didn’t feel anywhere near that by the river. The heat hit us though as we walked back to the car!
Yarramundi Reserve is a dog off the leash park and dogs can swim in the river. So if you or your kids don’t like dogs then this is probably not the swimming spot for you.
We understand that there are bushwalks but it was too hot today and we were having too much fun in the water. You can also fish here, though we only noticed tiny fish in this part of the river. Definitely looking forward to coming back and exploring some more!
Keep in Mind:
- It is not recommended to swim 48hrs after heavy rain and the river can flood.
- The sand by the river can get very hot.
- The riverbed has lots of rocks so you may want to bring water shoes with you.
- It is lots of fun floating along the current so bring an inflatable with you.
- Grose river is effected by tides. Silly me just thought it flowed down from the mountains all the time but I saw it change last time and the water flowed back up river. The nearest tidal information is for Freemans Reach on the Hawkesbury River.
Finding Yarramundi Reserve
While further away in distance then some eastern Sydney beaches, Yarramundi Reserve is a lot quicker to get to as traffic is rare and the speed limit is mostly 80. It only took us 50mins from Rydalmere on a Saturday. Yarramundi Reserve is along the Grose River, near where the Hawkesbury and Nepean Rivers meet, just west of Richmond.
This review is of the northern section of Yarramundi Reserve. The carpark for the northern section is the second one after the Yarramundi Bridge, on the right hand side a little further along from the southern entry carpark. Note: The southern section is along the Nepean River and we understand it is not recommended to swim in that section.
- Address: LOT 7301 Springwood Rd, Yarramundi