Cranebrook, New South Wales

Cranebrook is a suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Cranebrook is located 65 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the City of Penrith and is part of the Greater Western Sydney region.

Geographically it is northern-most part of Penrith. It is surrounded by the rural suburbs of Castlereagh, Llandilo and Londonderry and has come to incorporate the Mount Pleasant housing estate, long regarded as a separate suburb.


Cranebrook takes its name from a pioneer farmer, James McCarthy, who was granted 100 acres (400,000 m²) of land in 1804 and named it "Crane Brook farm", after the abundance of cranes in the area. James McCarthy started a cemetery in 1804. His 4 year old daughter died so he set aside some land to bury her, in what became one of first Catholic cemeteries in Australia.


Cranebrook's geography is hilly and so many residents on the western side enjoy views across the Nepean River to the Blue Mountains. Residents on the eastern side enjoy views across the ADI Site, an area rich in Cumberland Woodland and populated with many kangaroos.

The eastern side of Cranebrook is bound by The Northern Road. This road separates Cranebrook from an area of land known as the ADI Site, around 15 square kilometres in size. Aspects relating to the sale and development of this land have been a strong local political issue. The north side of Cranebrook is bound by Smeeton Road. In the northern areas of Cranebrook is more government-owned land including one section known by locals as the "drop zone" which in the past has been used for parachuting training by the RAAF. Nearby is McCarthys Lane Cemetery, considered the oldest Catholic cemetery in Australia. The south side of Cranebrook is bound by Andrews Road. Just north of this is the Mount Pleasant housing estate, which has since been incorporated into Cranebrook.

The western side of Cranebrook takes in Penrith Lakes Scheme, a series of flooded quarries. The quarries were formed by a quarrying conglomerate in 1979. The site supplies around 75% of Sydney’s sand and crushed aggregate requirements, including about 85% of the materials for ready mixed concrete. One of these lakes is the Sydney International Regatta Centre which hosted the rowing events of the Sydney 2000 Olympics. There is also the popular Penrith Whitewater Stadium which hosted rafting events for the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

It is a popular misconception that these lakes are filled via the Nepean River. They are not, they are filled via rain water and ground water. When the Nepean River floods, the lakes system can act as a weir.

Commercial Area

The main commercial area of Cranebrook is on Borrowdale Way which features a shopping centre and some parkland.


Residents of Cranebrook can access Penrith by traveling south on The Northern Road or Castlereagh Road. The trip by car is about 5 minutes. Residents can also travel to Windsor and Richmond to the north, which are about 10-15 minutes by car. The distance to the Sydney CBD is 65 km and this is best traveled by either driving down The Northern Road to the M4 Motorway or taking a train from Penrith Railway Station. Cranebrook itself has no train station (the nearest station is Penrith), however the area is serviced by buses which can take residents into Penrith.


The three public primary schools are Braddock Public School, Henry Fulton Public School and Samuel Terry Public School The local public high school is Cranebrook High School At one point Xavier College was based in Cranebrook, while construction of its permanent site in Llandilo was developed.

The catholic primary school is Corpus Christi, located in northern Cranebrook. A non-denominational Christian private school, St Paul's Grammar School, offers the IB Diploma Programme.


Cranebrook is a largely residential area. It contains mostly medium-density housing and some low-density semi-rural housing towards the north. Whilst some of the semi-rural areas would date to when Cranebrook was first founded, much of the medium-density development has occurred within just the last 15 years. Even today there is a regular new home construction.

As such, the population is typically local families, many of whom are home-owners or aspiring home-owners. Suburbs like Cranebrook are often considered part of the mortgage belt of Western Sydney. There are some units and semi-detached houses in the Mount Pleasant area, though the majority are detached with good size house blocks, well kept gardens and abundant mature native trees.


The state government electorates are Londonderry and Penrith. It is in the Northern Ward of the local government area of the City of Penrith. The Aboriginal district is the Deerubbin Local Aboriginal Land Council Area.


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