Nurragingy Reserve: ‘The One’ for Millions
The reserve’s name Nurragingy commemorates one of the two Aborigines of the Dharug tribe who received the first land grant to natives from Governor Macquarie in 1819. The other title holder was Colebee, whose name has been given to the Centre within the reserve. A painting by local Aboriginal artist Danny Eastwood depicting this land grant, hangs inside the Colebee Centre.
The land, originally part of the Cumberland Timber Forest, was purchased by the State Government in the 1970’s as green belt for the rapidly expanding area of Western Sydney. In 1981, the N.S.W. Department of Environment and Planning leased a section of the land to Blacktown Council as a recreational area. The council made this its major Bicentennial project and created a magnificent park.
Attracting over one million visitors per year, the eighty three hectare bushland setting has something for everyone; picnic and barbecue areas; children's playgrounds; bushwalking tracks; formal gardens and a picturesque lake- with ducks. The children’s splash park has a windmill, water wall spray fountain, jets, cannons and bucket dumpers- all partially covered by a sail shade. Too much activity? Not to worry. Day trippers can head for a more peaceful alternative, the Chang Lai Yuan Chinese Gardens.
The gardens were designed and constructed in 2011 by Blacktown City Council and the Liaocheng Municipal Government in China, as a symbolic gesture of friendship between the two Sister Cities. They named it Chang Lai Yuan, a fusion of the former name of the Chinese municipality Dongchang, and Bu Lai Ke Cheng, the Chinese translation of Blacktown. Opened in 2012, the authentic Chinese Gardens include water, (representing living and ever changing nature) stones, ( for stability and strength) plants, (providing beauty) and architecture, (the pavilions and teahouses). Elements from the Ming and Qing Dynasties are evident too, in the garden’s Gateway, Seven Arch Stone Bridge, Light Mountain Pavilion and a Waterfall Gazebo. As a whole, the gardens expresses harmony between man and nature. However, when viewed from each of its structures, magic happens: observers see gardens within the garden, emerge like a collection of Chinese landscape paintings. The facilities, combined with seasonal changes to its landscape, make Nurrangingy Reserve ‘the one’ for millions of park visitors, all year round.