The numbers are in! Love it or hate it, it’s now clear that people just can’t get enough of Penrith Beach, with over 150,000 visitors heading down to escape the summer heat since it opened in mid-December.
As of Sunday, January 28, a total of 154,084 people had visited the beach, which has become fondly known as ‘Pondi’ – a staggering 25,000 on average each week since its opening.
According to the Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure figures, Penrith and Blacktown residents are the most frequent visitors to Penrith Beach, with the most popular suburbs being Penrith, Werrington, Castlereagh, Cranebrook, Glenmore Park, St Marys, Mount Druitt, Willmot and Marsden Park.
Member for Penrith Karen McKeown emphasised just how exciting it is to have a facility like Penrith Beach – which includes toilets, adult accessible change rooms, a fresh-water drinking station, a café and access for people with a disability – so close to home for local residents.
“After waiting many years for this area to be unlocked, it’s exciting that more than 150,000 Penrith locals have embraced this free facility over the summer to cool off,” she said.
“Seeing this beach flourish has been fantastic for our community, and I look forward to having more to say about this in the future.”
With locals formerly having to travel for over an hour to get to the closest beach, Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully expressed his excitement that the current government was able to make the long-promised Penrith Beach a reality.
“Western Sydney residents have been asking for a beach of their own for decades now. It’s fantastic to say that we’ve that we have delivered this trial within nine months of coming to Government,” he said.
Prue Car, Minister for Western Sydney and Londonderry MP, shared this sentiment, encouraging locals to head down before the temporary activation concludes on March 3.
“I am pleased that more than 150,000 people have had the chance to experience the sun, sand, and scenic mountain views at Penrith Beach,” she said.
“This free beach has been a huge success, and throughout summer, it has been embraced by the people of western Sydney, especially families.
“If you haven’t visited yet, there’s still plenty of time to bring your friends and family down to Penrith Beach for a swim, a coffee and a day by the water.”
While the beach has been a hit overall, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing.
A tragic fatality occurred over the Christmas period, while water quality issues forced it to be closed for one day last week.
Cassidy Pearce is a news and entertainment journalist with The Western Weekender. A graduate of the University of Technology Sydney, she has previously worked with Good Morning Macarthur and joined the Weekender in 2022.