Forget Bondi, Penrith is getting its own lakeside beach and it is set to open in late December.
The NSW Government has announced the beach will open on the afternoon of Tuesday, December 19.
The government has stated the first week will be used to gather feedback and fine-tune the experience, and "asks that people be patient during this time in case of delays".
Deputy Premier Prue Car called it the "first-ever beach in western Sydney", adding locals had been "waiting for the beach to be opened up for decades".
"Penrith Beach is a game-changer that gives the people of western Sydney all the benefits of living in the west, with the addition of easy access to their very own beach."
One kilometre in length - the same as Bondi Beach - Penrith Beach will offer a safe and free waterside experience in the heart of western Sydney.
"This is about fairness," Ms Carr added. "For too long western Sydney locals were neglected as the Liberals and Nationals focused all their energy on investment in Sydney's eastern suburbs."
Wags online have already dubbed it Pondi.
"The Eastern Suburbs has Bondi and now the western Suburbs has Pondi," a Facebook site said, with one adding: "Seems a little unfair, Best NRL team, Best beach, Best aqua golf... the list goes on."
The lifesaver-patrolled beach (minus the waves) will be open from 7am to 7pm, seven days a week, until March 2024, except on the Christmas and New Year's Day public holidays. The site will be fully accessible and food trucks will be on site.
In 2020, Penrith earned the title of the hottest place on earth with residents sweltering in 48.9 degrees Celsius. In a heat wave it can be up to 10 degrees hotter than the east.
The $1.7 million announcement by the NSW Government and the Penrith Lakes Development Corporation will see the Penrith Lakes open this summer to recreation activities.
Water quality has been tested at the Castlereagh Road site and will be monitored in the same way that every other beach in NSW is monitored through Beachwatch.
Penrith Mayor Todd Carney said council's advocacy for the community had come to fruition in time for summer.
"For too long, Penrith Lakes has been sitting idle behind locked gates when it should have been opened to the community," Cr Carney said.
"With summer just days away this is an enormous win for our community. This first step towards permanent access and to realise the lakes' full potential is just the beginning for this hidden gem in Penrith."
The mayor said "Penrith Lakes spans 20 square kilometres and offers a natural beach and waterway that is comparable in size to Bondi Beach".
"Unlocking parts of this prime, existing piece of land in our footprint is a cost-effective way to ensure that our community members have an active haven to escape the heat which is close to home."
"Instead of having to drive over an hour to the nearest beach, our residents will be minutes from a fantastic spot to cool off and have fun."
He said successive mayors and councillors had called on the state government to open the site to the community.
The announcement was made on November 26.
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully said: "Penrith broke records for being the hottest place on earth and another sweltering summer is ahead of us, so a place to swim is important to support public health".
Member for Penrith Karen McKeown said: "It's an incredible amenity for families and friends to come and cool off, with the backdrop of the beautiful mountains, and I'm so proud to see this project come to life."
"I have lived in the Penrith community for over 35 years, so I know what a sweltering summer's day feels like here. Since the day I was elected I have been advocating that this gem is open up for our community."
Without their own beach, western Sydney residents have to travel 40 km to swim in Lake Parramatta, 63 km to Bondi Beach, or 75 km to either Cronulla or Manly.
Located within a former quarry site, Penrith Beach runs next to the Nepean River and is part of Western Sydney Lakes, which is owned by the Penrith Lakes Development Corporation.
There will be shuttle buses from Penrith station. Those coming by car will need to register for parking.
The mayor expects the natural beauty of the site and the activities it can host will immediately attract visitors from across Western Sydney, with tourist numbers set to further increase with the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport opening in 2026.