Prospect, New South Wales

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SydneyNew South Wales
Prospect Reservoir Sunset.jpg
The Prospect Reservoir at sunset
Population4,716 (2016 census)[1]
Location32 km (20 mi) west of Sydney CBD
LGA(s)City of Blacktown
State electorate(s)
Federal division(s)
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
23.1 °C
74 °F
12.2 °C
54 °F
870.6 mm
34.3 in
Suburbs around Prospect:
Seven Hills Toongabbie Girraween
Blacktown Prospect Pemulwuy
Eastern Creek Wetherill Park Smithfield

Prospect is a suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Prospect is located 32 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of the City of Blacktown and is part of the Greater Western Sydney region. One of the oldest suburbs in Sydney, Prospect takes its name from the prominent nearby landmark of Prospect Hill - from the top of which people could get a prospect of (see a great distance) the surrounding countryside.

Initially a settlement for emancipated convicts, it later became a village.[3] Since colonisation, settlers cleared larger areas of land to raise livestock, build churches, inns, schools, shops and a large reservoir.[4] Naturalist Charles Darwin visited Prospect in January 1836, to observe the geology.[5]


Prior to the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, Prospect was inhabited by different groups of the Darug people including the Warmuli. The Aboriginals there were of the woods culture. As European settlement expanded, the aboriginal people's ability to pursue their traditional lifestyle, which was already severely limited, disappeared. Prospect Hill had been the frontier, which was the first, and perhaps only, area where large scale organised resistance by aboriginal people took place.[6]

Lieutenant Watkin Tench most likely named Prospect Hill in April 1790. In July 1791, thirteen grants of land at Prospect were made to emancipated convicts.[7][8] In January 1794 David Collins reported that the Prospect Hill farmers were the most productive in the colony.[9]

Prospect became the boundary between colonists and indigenous Australians. Hostility grew until by 1797, where a state of guerrilla warfare existed between indigenous people and the settler communities at Prospect and Parramatta. The aboriginal people were led by their leader, Pemulwuy, a member of the Bidjigal tribe who occupied the land.[10] Pemulwuy was the main leader of raids against the colony in the 1790s. In 1797 the war escalated; his guerrillas started regular raids on settlements in the Parramatta and Prospect Hill areas. British military expeditions failed to locate and capture Pemulwuy.[11]

Shortly after 1808, William Lawson was appointed aide-de-camp to George Johnston, was granted 500 acres (2.0 km2) at Prospect and built a large house there, which he named Veteran Hall. In the 1880s most of the property was submerged in what is now Prospect reservoir.[12]

On 30 January 2004 the eastern part of Prospect, which includes the quarry gap, became a new suburb called Pemulwuy containing the new housing estates of Lakeside and Nelson's Ridge and the industrial area within the oval-shaped ridge of Prospect Hill. So most of Prospect Hill is no longer within the suburb of Prospect.[13]

Quarrying companies gradually took over more and more of Prospect Hill, mining the dolerite for use as roadstone until it was almost all gone and much of the hill with it. The Prospect quarry, which is now part of Pemulwuy, is formed by an intrusion of dolerite rock into Ashfield Shale. At least seven different rock types occur in the intrusion. The material is predominantly coarse grained picrite with olivine-dolerite and dolerite.[14] Quarrying in the area last occurred in 2007. In the early 2010s, the 330ha quarry gap was transformed into light industry area. Prospect Highway now winds through the gap.[15][16]

Heritage listings[edit]

Prospect has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:


The quarried hill today, with dolerite intrusion on sandstone.

Philip Gidley King mentions that the landscape of Prospect is "a very pleasant tract of country, which, from the distance the trees grew from each other, and the gentle hills and dales, and rising slopes covered with grass, appeared like a vast park. The soil from Rose Hill to Prospect-Hill is nearly alike, being a loam and clay." The tree cover was mainly the eucalypts, grey box and forest red gum. Spotted gum (Corymbia maculata) is also known to have occurred in the Prospect area.[27]


Prospect has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa). Summer weather is warm to hot, and may be humid or dry. Like most of western Sydney, rainfall peaks in late summer to early autumn and more dry conditions occur between late winter and early spring, although rainfall can be erratic.[28][29] The suburb gets 104.2 clear days annually, with the most sunniest days being in August (13.2) and least in February (5.0 days).

Prospect is usually a few degrees warmer than the Sydney CBD on most spring and summer days. In a few cases there has been a +10-degree differential (this is mostly when northwesterlies bring hot winds from the desert that raise temperatures up to +40 °C (104 °F). However, Prospect is usually a few degrees cooler on most nights of the year, because of its distance from the coast. The highest temperature recorded at Prospect was 45.1 °C (113.2 °F) on 7 January 2018. The lowest temperature recorded was −0.8 °C (30.6 °F) on 30 June 2010.[30]

Climate data for Prospect Reservoir 1991–2020 averages, 1887–present extremes
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 45.3
Average high °C (°F) 29.3
Average low °C (°F) 18.0
Record low °C (°F) 10.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 96.4
Average precipitation days (≥ 1mm) 8.3 8.7 9.2 6.5 5.3 7.0 5.6 4.2 5.1 6.6 8.2 8.2 82.9
Average afternoon relative humidity (%) 52 54 55 50 57 54 52 43 45 44 51 51 51
Source 1: Prospect Reservoir (1991-2020 averages)[31]
Source 2: Prospect Reservoir (extremes)[32]


St Bartholomew's
  • Prospect Hill, Pemulwuy, is visible from many locations. It is a noticeable landmark of historical importance in the early settlement history of New South Wales and the suburb of Prospect takes its name from the hill. The hill was composed mainly of dolerite intruded into the Sydney Basin rocks during the Jurassic period although most of the dolerite has been quarried away.[33]
  • Prospect reservoir in Prospect Nature Reserve, located within the Western Sydney Parklands, is a water storage reservoir located at the headwaters of Prospect Creek. Surrounding the Reservoir, there are recreational picnic areas, playgrounds, public parking and shelters.
  • St Bartholomew's Church of England is a brick church with a cemetery that contains the tomb of Lieutenant William Lawson and the graves of a number of pioneering families. It is listed on the Register of the National Estate.[34]
  • Wet'n'Wild Sydney, a large water park, is located in Prospect. It was opened on 12 December 2013.[35]
  • Hylands Inn - Located at Hylands Road, in the 1880s, this later became the family home and dairy farm of Luke Hyland. Was a Cobb & Co stop. Horses were rested in the paddocks at the rear. The Coach travelled from Sydney to Hylands Inn for the overnight stop then on to Penrith then over the Blue Mountains. Holroyd Youth Services lease building as a youth centre. This was one of five hotels operating during the construction of the Reservoir. Others were The Fox under the Hill, The Prospect Inn and Buckett’s Hotel.
  • Royal Cricketers Arms - Built in 1877, the hotel is one of the few remaining roadside inns that were on The Great Western Highway between Sydney and Bathurst, as well as being one of the last remaining buildings (along with the former village Post Office) of the Prospect Village. The Royal Cricketers Arms building is of Victorian and Georgian design, being a two-storey brick and timber building set on a random rubble foundation stone wall on a sloping site.


Prospect is adjacent to the Great Western Highway and the M4 Motorway, providing road access to the western sections of the city and eastward to the Sydney CBD.

The Prospect Highway links Prospect to central Blacktown.

Blacktown railway station provides access to the Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink networks, especially Sydney Trains' North Shore & Western Line. Several bus companies offer connecting services between Prospect and Blacktown, via Blacktown Road.



According to the 2011 census, the most common ancestries in Prospect were Australian 20.0%, English 16.1%, Maltese 6.2%, Irish 5.0% and Indian 4.6%.[1]

According to the 2016 census, the most common ancestries in Prospect were English 15.8%, Australian 15.7%, Indian 6.4%, Maltese 5.3% and Irish 4.8%.[36]

Country of birth

62.0% of people were born in Australia. The other most common countries of birth were Fiji 3.0%, Philippines 2.8%, India 2.5%, Malta 2.3% and England 1.9%. 35.3% of people had both parents born in Australia and 53.1% of people had both parents born overseas.[1]

According to the 2016 census, 56.4% of people were born in Australia. The most common countries of birth were India 4.6%, Philippines 3.1%, Fiji 3.0%, Malta 2.1% and Sri Lanka 2.0%.[37]


61.4% of people only spoke English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Arabic 4.7%, Hindi 4.1%, Greek 2.9%, Maltese 2.5% and Cantonese 1.8%.[1]


The most common responses for religion in Prospect were Catholic 38.4%, Anglican 12.0%, No Religion 10.2%, Eastern Orthodox 5.7% and Hinduism 5.6%.[1]

Notable residents[edit]

Notable people who have resided in the suburb include:

  • Pemulwuy - a member of the Bidjigal tribe, was the main leader of raids by aboriginal people against the colony of New South Wales in the 1790s. In 1797 the war escalated; his guerrillas started regular raids on settlements in the Parramatta and Prospect Hill areas.[10]
  • William Lawson - who with Gregory Blaxland and William Charles Wentworth, explored a route across the Blue Mountains. He was granted 500 acres (2.0 km2) at Prospect and built a large house there in the 1820s, which he named Veteran Hall.
  • Natasha Crofts - Australian Mother of the Year in 2007


  1. ^ a b c d e Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Prospect (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 15 March 2018. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ Ryan, R.J., Land Grants 1788-1809, Australian Documents Library, Sydney, 1981
  3. ^ Crittenden, V., On the track of Watkin Tench in MARGIN: Life & Letters in Early Australia, July–August 2003 issue.
  4. ^ Jones, R., Firestick farming in Australian Natural History, 16, (September 1969), pp 224-228
  5. ^ Darwin, C., Notes on the Geology of places visited during the Voyage, p 814 quoted in Mindat: Prospect, New South Wales by Keith Compton,
  6. ^ Flynn, M., Holroyd History and the Silent Boundary Project, Holroyd City Council, August 1997.
  7. ^ Caley, G., (Currey, C., ed.) Reflections on the Colony of NSW, Landsdowne Press, Melbourne, 1966.
  8. ^ Tench, W., A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson in New South Wales, London, G. Nicol and J. Sewell, 1793.
  9. ^ Britton (ed), Governor Phillip to Lord Sydney 15 May 1788 in Historical Records of New South Wales Vol 1 Part 2: Phillip 1783-1792, Sydney, 1892.
  10. ^ a b Willey, K., When the sky fell down : the destruction of the tribes of the Sydney region, 1788-1850s, Collins, Sydney, 1979
  11. ^ Collins, D., An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. 1, Cadell and Davies, London, 1798.
  12. ^ although Veteran Hall itself was well above the water level. In 1912 it was used by the army and many of the larger rooms subdivided, giving rise to a myth that it had been a "forty-roomed mansion" in Lawson's time. The house was demolished in 1926. E. W. Dunlop. Lawson, William (1774 - 1850). Australian Dictionary of Biography, online edition. Australian National University. Retrieved 29 August 2006.
  13. ^ Geographical Names Board of New South Wales
  14. ^ Mindat: Prospect, New South Wales
  15. ^ Sydney's Forgotten Quarry Railways - Oakes, John pp9-27 ISBN 0-9757870-3-9
  16. ^ Historic Prospect Quarry to become warehouse distribution centre and employ 1000 people by The Daily Telegraph
  17. ^ "Upper Canal System (Pheasants Nest Weir to Prospect Reservoir)". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01373. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  18. ^ "Veteran Hall - House Remains". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01351. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  19. ^ "St. Bartholomew's Anglican Church (former) & Cemetery". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H00037. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  20. ^ "Former Great Western Road, Prospect". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01911. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  21. ^ "Prospect Reservoir and surrounding area". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01370. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  22. ^ "Prospect Reservoir Valve House". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01371. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  23. ^ "Royal Cricketers Arms Inn". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H00660. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  24. ^ "Prospect Post Office (former)". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01385. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  25. ^ "Prospect Hill". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01662. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  26. ^ Prospect Hill Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 0095)
  27. ^ Jones, R., Mindjongork: Legacy of the firestick, Australian National University, 1995.
  28. ^ Context statement for the Sydney Basin bioregion - Climate by Bioregional Assessments from the Australian Government. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  29. ^ "Australia's new seasonal rainfall zones". ABC News. 25 February 2016. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  30. ^
  31. ^ "Climate statistics for Prospect Reservoir". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  32. ^ "Climate statistics for Australian locations Prospect Reservoir". Bureau of Meteorology.
  33. ^ "The Sydney Basin".
  34. ^ The Heritage of Australia, Macmillan Company, 1981, p. 2/12
  35. ^ "Keneally touts $80m water theme park". The Daily Telegraph. Australian Associated Press. 11 September 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2010.
  36. ^ "2016 Census QuickStats: Prospect (NSW)". Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  37. ^ "2016 Census QuickStats: Prospect (NSW)". Retrieved 8 February 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°47′57″S 150°55′32″E / 33.79917°S 150.92556°E / -33.79917; 150.92556