Oatley Park in Sydney’s south is one of those rare gems - a piece of beautiful public accessible bush land amid the suburbs.
The further in you go, the more surprises you'll discover.
At the entrance is a playing field - an inauspicious entrance to a beautiful park.
A little further along the bush-lined one way road, and you come across a large picnic spot with plenty of parking and playground equipment for kids. Steamroller Park is named after the famous steamroller that sits in the middle of the area. The steamroller is fenced off these days - probably too many kids were falling off it. There are barbecue facilities there to use.
Then you come to perhaps the parks best-kept secret, and certainly its biggest surprise. The ‘Castle’ is a small old stonework building, looking a lot like a fort, that can be hired out for parties and weddings. It’s a popular spot hidden among the trees. It makes the ideal place to have your wedding photos.
Nearby to the Castle are the baths, which have been closed to swimming for many years. People still visit for the beautiful outlook, and hence enjoy a picnic by the water - and to fish off the pier.
So relaxing here
Further along the road and you come to Webster’s Lookout. The view from there is magnificent, stretching across the Georges River to the Como Bridge - a famous local landmark.
One road rings the park, yet if you want to explore the bush trails and scenic lookouts; you’ll need to park the car and walk around. There are four kilometres of walking tracks to follow. You’ll notice the native trees and shrubs and the birds happily twittering away in this serene piece of bush land.
The road is used regularly by cyclists and joggers. There is a very good Fun Run event every year around April, that does two laps equalling about five kilometres.
Plenty to do here
Oatley Park was established in 1888, and the baths have been recorded as being used as early as 1919.
So, for a picnic or a gentle bush walk: next time you’re down south, visit beautiful Oatley Park.
Where: Oatley in Sydney's South
Why: Beautiful bushland to discover
When: Daily from dawn to dusk