Tench Reserve has been transformed
The NSW Government worked with Penrith City Council and the local community on an ambitious upgrade of the riverside park.
In February 2023, the popular Tench Reserve was reopened to the public after a remarkable transformation.
The upgrades to Tench Reserve provide the community with enhanced facilities that will be enjoyed for many years to come. The wharf precinct provides locals with the only public access to the Nepean River, as well as an amphitheatre that is already being used for events. New riverside paths, a Changing Places amenity, accessible picnic areas and seating, public art and an inclusive playspace have made Tench Reserve a park for all people.
About the park
Tench Reserve is a 10 hectare park and a favourite destination for the local community and visitors to Penrith. Set on the beautiful Nepean River, the park offers a mix of recreational and social opportunities as well as quiet respite from a busy world.
The upgraded park protects and enhances this unique place so that it can continue to support the wellbeing of the community. The Penrith City Council's Our River Masterplan demonstrated that the community wanted to see improvements to Tench Reserve, and this strategy helped to inform the decision to include the site in the Parks for People program.
The Nepean River is also important to the local community as a place to cool off and have fun, enjoy the outdoors, celebrate good times, meet up with friends and exercise.
In developing the concept design, we wanted to improve these experiences and create a better relationship between the park and the river.
This means more access points to the water, walkways that lead down to the water’s edge and opportunities to touch and play with the water. There are places to stop and enjoy the natural riverside experience and new paths and trails make it easier for everyone to enjoy the park.
The new wharf precinct has been designed with an event space and amphitheatre.
Tench Reserve was upgraded in close collaboration with Penrith City Council, the local community, key stakeholders and experts. Construction began in April 2022 following 2 rounds of community engagement, site studies, technical investigations and design work.
See the design process or go to Parks for People for more information about the program.
The first step was to find out what could and couldn't be done on the site through due diligence studies and consultation with industry and local experts. The top priority was to protect the unique environment and scenic beauty of the riverfront park, while offering more places for the community to get together.
The second step was to seek initial ideas and feedback from the community and key stakeholders to inform the development of a draft concept design.
The third step presented a draft concept design for community feedback before developing more detailed designs for the park. This stage included a design board to take a closer look at the proposed key features of the park, and a survey to capture community priorities and values that need to be further represented in the final plan.
The fourth step provided the community with the opportunity to view the final plan in more detail.
Tench Reserve location
Tench Reserve is a 10-hectare park, conveniently located on the eastern banks of the Nepean River, southwest of the Penrith City Centre. The park has easy access to the East Bank retail and dining precinct.