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Parramatta

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Mangroves onroute to Parramatta

Located 24 km west of Sydney is Parramatta, the geographic and demographic centre of greater Sydney and the second most important commercial and retail Sydney Central Business District.

Founded on the 2 November, 1788, and named Rose Hill, it was later changed to the Aboriginal name of Parramatta, meaning “the place where the eels lie down” or “head of the river”. Parramatta was home to the Aboriginal Dharug tribe who were the inhabitants of the area for more than forty thousand years, before British settlement in 1788.

Once the agricultural centre for the settlement of Sydney, the crops of Parramatta saved the earlier Sydney settlement from famine. Parramatta also has a fine collection of colonial architecture as well as other historic buildings, including Old Government House, Elizabeth Farm House, Hambledon Cottage, Experiment Farm, St John's Cathedral and many others.

You can get to Parramatta via train, bus, car or by boat from Circular Quay. In fact, this is a pleasant way to travel, leaving Circular Quay on the RiverCat for a leisurely 50 minute ride up the Parramatta River. Good value for money is the State Transit and Sydney Ferries Day Tripper ticket, that allows you to travel all day on any train, bus or ferry.

In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.

Arriving at Parramatta RiverCat Terminal

St John's Cathedral, Anglican Church

Information Centre

Parramatta Heritage & Visitors Information Centre
Cnr Church & Market Sts, PARRAMATTA NSW 2150
Ph: 02 9630 3703
Fax: 02 9630 3243
Email

Parramatta Attractions

Elizabeth Farm
• Alice St, Rosehill NSW 2142 • Ph: 02 9635 9488 • Fax: 02 9891 3740
• To get there you can catch the Parramatta RiverCat from Circular Quay, then either walk or catch a taxi. It is 30 minutes by car or train. Commenced in 1793 and contains part of the oldest surviving European building in Australia, it was the birthplace of the Australian wool industry and was an important social, political and cultural centre. Elizabeth Farm is situated in a recreated 1830s garden and contains early plants from those times.
St Johns Cathedral - ParramattaHistory
• Parramatta offers a great historic walk, known as the Harris Park Heritage Walk. The ‘walk’ celebrates a number of ‘firsts’ in the colonial history of Australia, such as the first private farm granted to a former convict in Australia, the first olive tree to be planted and the birthplace of Australia’s merino wool industry. It’s river wharf was the first gateway between Sydney and Parramatta. The place is rich in early European history and contains evidence of first contact between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. The walk takes approximately 2 hours to complete across a gentle grade. Some of it’s main sites include:
  • Queens Wharf Reserve
  • Hambledon Cottage, 63 Hassall Street
  • Experiment Farm, 9 Ruse Street
  • Elizabeth Farm, 70 alice Street, Rosehill
  • Lancer Barracks and Linden House Museum, Smith and Darcy Streets

A map of the Harris Park Heritage Walk is available online from the Parramatta City Council website.


Lake Parramatta
• Created in 1855 when a masonry dam was built as a source of freshwater is located in the Hunts Creek catchment. The “Swim Towards 2005, help clean up Lake Parramatta” project aims to have the lake suitable for recreational use.
The Parramatta Observatory
• Originally established in 1821 by Governor Thomas Brisbane with the purpose of serving the community in meteorology, precise location and time keeping information and in astronomy. Today the observatory is no longer in existence and a memorial stands in its place at Parramatta Park near the Old Government House.
Parramatta Regional Park
• Is the largest area of open space, contains some beautiful gardens and the old parliament house overlooking Parramatta River. Parramatta Regional Park is also home to Aboriginal markings on trees which bear witness to the past Indigenous presence in the region.
Riverside Walk
• The Aboriginal art path runs along the scenic Parramatta River from Charles Street ferry wharf to the historic Lennox Bridge. The designs tell the history of the region and its people from an Aboriginal perspective.
Transport
• There is excellent public transport system in Parramatta that includes City Rail, Sydney buses, Rivercat ferry, Parramatta Explorer and private bus services. Visit the Parramatta Council website for more information.
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Parramatta Tours

NSW Tours • Outback • Eco • Adventure • National Tours
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• Click here to view tours available in Sydney and throughout Australia and make an online booking.
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