Parramatta Historical Walk

Parramatta and Harris Park

Parramatta Historical Walk

Harris Park, New South Wales 2150, Australia

Created By: Free Hugs

Tour Information

Parramatta is a city of converging cultures, histories and stories.

Parramatta has been many things to many people throughout its long history; the home of the Burramatta clan of the Darug Aboriginal people, a foundation for the fledgling European colony, and then the commercial and retail centre, for its expanding population - a cultural hub and meeting place. Today the city reflects the character of modern Australia, where many cultures meet; where heritage and the contemporary co-exist and natural spaces and urban places connect. This walk will offer you a glimpse into Parramatta’s significant past and its diverse cityscape today as you explore its many stories and fascinating sites.

Walk 1 – 2.5 km, 60 mins from Visitor Centre to The Roxy

Walk 2 – 2.6 km, 65 mins Fromo Ferry Terminal to Westfield Parramatta

Heritage listings

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

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

1. Parrmatta River

The river played an important role in shaping Parramatta; the land, the city and its people. Over thousands of years the natural landscape was formed by the winding river, which created a catchment circled by hills where Parramatta stands t... Read more
2. Burramatta Lands

Burramatta, ‘place where the eels lie’ is the name of the indigenous clan that lived here, and the origin from which the name Parramatta was derived. The river provided plenty of food; fish, turtles and eels, and was an important ‘mee... Read more
3. Sustenance for settlement

Starvation threatened the newly arrived colonists at Sydney Cove who were struggling to survive in a foreign land. The fertile soils and fresh water which they found here in 1788 changed the course of the Parramatta story and shaped the fut... Read more
4. Church Street — From retail hub to ‘Eat Street’

Cross over Lennox Bridge, one of the earliest bridges in Australia. As you make your way down Church Street, you will see a part of Parramatta that has evolved significantly since the earliest days of the colony. One of the city’s first s... Read more
5. Health and Justice

The first convict hospitals in Parramatta occupied this site by the river. Early hospitals were basic; a tent hospital was the first built and the conditions for the convicts were rough. So basic were the facilities in early Parramatta that... Read more
6. The Governor’s Domain

Parramatta Park is a popular site for recreation for the people of Parramatta. It is also an important natural and historic place due to its history as the Governor’s Domain. From the 1790s til the late 1840s, Parramatta was the seat of c... Read more
7. George Street

Make your way down George Street. It may not seem it today, but George Street is one of the most significant streets in Australia. In 1791 Parramatta’s street grid was planned and George Street was laid out. This was the first example of ... Read more
8. Civic Place

As you head down Church Street, you’ll find Parramatta’s Civic Centre. This part of Parramatta has always been a regional centre of activity with markets, Town Hall, St John’s Cathedral, Parramatta railway station and major retail hub... Read more
10. The Roxy

The Roxy was one of the most impressive buildings of its kind in Australia and a significant addition to Parramatta’s social scene. A ‘picture palace’ screening silent films since it 1930, its classic architecture and opulence marked ... Read more
Harris Park Walk

Make your way down George Street, head along the river and see a suburb of Parramatta
11. Artworks

Contemporary artworks depict life along the river in the early 1800s. See if you can find them. – Sentry Box – Windmill Shadow – Story Walls   Greg Stonehouse & Susan Milne, 2009  ...
12. Hambledon Cottage

Built in 1824 by early settlers John and Elizabeth Macarthur as a residence for their children’s governess. This cottage has since been conserved and is furnished in 19th-century style.
13. Elizabeth Farm

Built in 1793, it was the home of John Macarthur and his wife Elizabeth, after whom the house is named. The Macarthurs were successful agriculturalists and pioneers of the merino wool industry. John Macarthur died of syphilis, true story. ...
14. Experiment Farm Cottage

The Colonial Surgeon John Harris built this house in 1834. It stands on the site of former convict James Ruse’s experimental farm which he started cultivating in 1793, as the first successful private farm in the colony. From here, walk ac... Read more
Parramatta Station and Westfield

This concludes our little tour. Thank you and don't foprget your luggage!


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