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Penrith City

About the profile areas

The 2016 Estimated Resident Population for Penrith City is 201,400, with a population density of 4.98 persons per hectare.

Location and boundaries

Penrith City is located at the western fringe of the Sydney metropolitan area - about 54 kilometres from the Sydney GPO. Penrith City is bounded by Hawkesbury City in the north, Blacktown City and Fairfield City in the east, Liverpool City and Wollondilly Shire in the south, and Blue Mountains City in the west.

Name origin

Penrith is named after the village in Cumberland/Cumbria, England.

Settlement history

European settlement of the area dates from 1803 when the first land grants were made. Settlement was initially restricted to the eastern side of the Nepean River, then spread to the west from 1821. Land was used mainly for farming, including market gardens, dairies, orchards and vineyards. Growth occurred in the 1850s and 1860s, aided by the opening of the Parramatta-Penrith railway line. Timber-getting and saw-milling were established at this time. Growth continued in the 1880s and 1890s, particularly in Emu Plains, Penrith and St Marys. Significant population growth occurred in the post-war years, especially from the 1950s, although there was growth in St Marys in the 1940s due to the establishment of a munitions factory. Industrial growth took place in the 1960s, particularly in St Marys, which spurred residential growth in the wider area, especially around the Great Western Highway and the railway line. Since the 1960s the population has increased due to the continued release of land for urban development. The population nearly doubled between 1971 and 1981, growing from 58,000 to 109,000. Population growth continued from the 1980s, although at a slower rate, growing to 135,000 by 1986. The population increased from nearly 150,000 in 1991 to about 178,000 in 2011. Most of the development from the 1980s was in the new suburbs of Claremont Meadows, Cranebrook, Erskine Park, Glenmore Park and St Marys. The fringe areas remain largely rural, with some rural-residential living. The population is expected to continue growing, especially with several planned new release areas.

Land use

Penrith City is a residential and rural area, with most of the population living in residential areas in a linear corridor along the Great Western Highway and the main western railway. The City encompasses a land area of 407 square kilometres, of which around 80% is rural and rural-residential. Most of the urban area is residential, with some commercial areas and industrial areas, including extractive industries and manufacturing. Much of the rural area is used for agricultural purposes, including dairying, poultry farming, hobby farming, orcharding, market gardening and horse breeding. Major commercial centres are located at Penrith and St Marys.


Penrith City is served by the Great Western Highway, The Northern Road, the Western Motorway and the main western railway line, with stations at Emu Plains, Kingswood, Penrith, St Marys and Werrington.

Major features

Major features of the City include the University of Western Sydney - Penrith Campus, TAFE NSW Western Sydney Institute (Nepean College), Penrith Stadium, Penrith CBD, St Marys CBD, Westfield Penrith Shopping Centre, Panthers World of Entertainment (Penrith Leagues Club), Nepean Hospital, Penrith Lakes Scheme, the Nepean River, Blue Mountains National Park (the portion east of the Nepean River), Castlereagh Nature Reserve, Mulgoa Nature Reserve, Penrith Lakes Regional Park and Werrington Lakes Flora & Fauna Reserve.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the Penrith area were the Dharug Aboriginal people.

Included areas

Penrith City includes the suburbs and rural localities of Agnes Banks (part), Badgerys Creek (part), Berkshire Park, Cambridge Gardens, Cambridge Park, Castlereagh, Claremont Meadows, Colyton, Cranebrook, Emu Heights, Emu Plains, Erskine Park, Glenmore Park, Jamisontown, Kemps Creek (part), Kingswood, Leonay, Llandilo, Londonderry, Luddenham (part), Mount Vernon, Mulgoa, North St Marys, Orchard Hills, Oxley Park, Penrith, Regentville, South Penrith, St Clair, St Marys, Wallacia (part), Werrington, Werrington County and Werrington Downs.