Station, Brighton and West Streets, Petersham
Petersham Park is one of the most picturesque and iconic parks of the Inner West, and it’s one of our favourite places to play, swim and catch up with friends. The park is always vibrant, with parties and picnics, sports on the oval, playground equipment that suits a wide span of ages, the open-air Fanny Durack Aquatic Centre and designated off-leash dog exercise areas.
The playground features a large climbing structure, a spinning disc, a tall slide and balancing equipment to engage older kids. There’s plenty for younger children too, including a much smaller climbing structure with a slide, as well as a spring rocker and swings. The playground has a softfall surface and some woodchip areas. Shade cloths provide some cover within the playground area. There is plenty of seating around the playground with a low stone wall, decking and benches available.
On Mondays the beloved Magic Yellow Bus, a free mobile playgroup for children aged 0–6 years, visits Petersham Park. This is a free council initiative including age-appropriate toys, activities and community information. The bus visits between 9.30 and 12 pm during the school term. Be sure to check the Inner West Council’s Twitter feed for daily updates on the Magic Yellow Bus, including cancellations due to wet or extreme weather.
Petersham Park is a popular choice for social gatherings, with ample grassy areas, tables, barbecue facilities and a beautiful rotunda.
During the summer months, the oval is used for cricket while baseball is played there in winter. Notably, cricket legend Donald Bradman scored his first grade-cricket century at Petersham Park. When sporting matches are not taking place, older kids enjoy use of the oval.
A cafe, Bread and Stone, is conveniently located directly next to the playground as part of the Fanny Durack Aquatic Centre.
Nearby on the corners of Palace and Brighton Streets are two more lovely cafes, Brighton the Corner and Brothers Ben Cafe. The Pig and Pastry, voted among the Inner West Mums’ top ten local cafes, is just across the park at 1 Station Street.
Toilets are located outside the aquatic centre; these are available for use all year round.
Fanny Durack Aquatic Centre
Fanny Durack Aquatic Centre is open from October to April each year from Monday to Sunday 6.30 am–7 pm. It includes a 25-metre lap pool with a recreational area, an enclosed toddler pool and splash area. In addition, there are sheltered picnic tables, barbecues and a large grassed area. Toilets, showers and changing facilities are also available. Bread and Stone is accessible from the pool side. The pool underwent a major refurbishment and reopened in 2014.
Costs are adult $5.50; tertiary student/senior $4.30; concession pensioner/health card $2.80; child 4–17 years $2.80; child under 4 years FREE; family pass (2 adults + 2 children or 1 adult + 3 children) $15.40. All children 3 years and under must wear a swim nappy.
While lifeguards are present, please do watch your children closely. Children under 5 years must be within arms’ reach of their parent or carer all times. Children under the age of 15 years must to be accompanied and supervised by a responsible adult 18 years or older.
Note that Fanny Durack Aquatic Centre can become very crowded on hot summer days, particularly during the weekends or on public holidays. At times the centre does reach capacity and a one-in-one out policy applies. We suggest visiting early or late in the day.
Petersham Park can be reached by car, bus, train or walking. The nearest train station is Petersham Station, which is less than 500 metres from the park; Lewisham Station is a little further, at 800 metres’ distance. It’s a five-minute walk to Parramatta Road (Park Street stop) with the bus routes 413, 461, 480 and 483 servicing the area. Parking can generally be found in the surrounding streets.
The Aquatic Centre images in this piece are courtesy of Fanny Durack Aquatic Centre.
All other images © Ginny Grant
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