So it turns out that the Sydney metropolitan area has a forest. Who knew? I didn’t until recently when I read about it on Family Fun in Sydney. It is the Cumberland State Forest and it’s located in West Pennant Hills. On Monday, I decided to make the most of a sunny, winter’s morning and my long weekend (God bless RDOs) and finally check it out. I took my 81 year old, visually impaired grandmother with me.

I like to take Nan out for a walk and some lunch as often as I can. The Cumberland State Forest offers three different types of walking tracks, one of them being a 350m sensory trail. This is the trail we took as it is smooth surfaced and focuses on other elements of the walking experience including sound, touch and smell. The website offers an audio tour which I played on my phone as we made our way through the forest. We then had a look at the visitor’s centre which shares information about the production of timber and protection of forests. After that, we checked out the huge outdoor nursery which sells a variety of pretty, potted native plants.

Cumberland State Forest Cumberland State Forest Nursery Cumberland State Forest

After exploring, we wandered over to Café Saligna. The café is located right near the sensory trail and next to the visitors centre in a beautiful octagonal timber building. The menu is modest and the food isn’t fancy, but it is a good spot for visitors to refuel or just enjoy a coffee whilst listening to the laughing kookaburras and screeching cockatoos. I ordered a simple caesar salad and hot chocolate while Nan just got her usual flat white and a lemon melting moment to nibble on. We ate our lunch outside and enjoyed this rare to come by, peaceful slice of nature within western Sydney’s busy suburbs.

Cumberland State Forest Saligna Menu Cumberland State Forest Saligna Cumberland State Forest Lunch Menu Saligna

Hot Chocolate Saligna Cumberland State Coffee Cumberland State Forest Saligna

Salad Cumberland State Forest  Melting Moment Cumberland State Saligna

Location: Cumberland State Forest, 95 Castle Hill Rd, West Pennant Hills 2125
Phone: 9873 2955
Open: 9.00am to 4.00pm everyday
Price: Lunch menu ranges from $16.50 to $25