Historical Parramatta

Parramatta was one of the first cities in Australia to be colonised in the 17th century resulting in a rich history that can be discovered today. Whether you are interested in a historical walk, discovering historical architecture or simply learning about another piece of Australian history, you can find it all at Parramatta.

The best place to start for any interested historian is the Heritage Centre, located at 346 Church St., which is the heart of the CBD. At this centre you will be able to find archival records, references, genealogy resources and knowledgeable staff to help with any enquiries.

For those that want to simply start their historical tour on their own, we’ve rounded up a list of some of the best historical sites in Parramatta to visit and why.

For a look at daily colonial life, Elizabeth Farm is a great destination. Built in 1793, Elizabeth farm is one of the few examples of early Australian colonial bungalows. Once a home to John and Elizabeth Macarthur, wool industry pioneers, the farm is now a museum open to the public. Enjoy an interactive historical experience, talk a walk through the lush garden or bring kids along for a ‘Colonial Kids At Work And Play’ event, where they can dress up in colonial attire and engage in colonial experiences.

The Old Government House, initially built in 1790 offers a glimpse at the political history of Parramatta. In 1799 Governor John Hunter built over the original structure, further extensions and renovations occurred in 1815 by Governor and Mrs Macquarie, who are responsible for the current appearance of the building today. The house displays recreated furniture both true to the time period and reflect Mrs Macquarie own personal taste, a true look into important figures in Parramatta history.

For a peek into Parramatta’s military history, the Lancer Barracks, Australia’s oldest mainland military barracks has a wide range of artefacts from the colonial period. Built in 1885, the soldiers of the Lancer Barracks were the first in Australia to enter active service in the 1899 Boer War. This museum provides an insight to the development of weaponry and the Australian military as it is today.

Lake Parramatta

The beautiful Lake Parramatta has an array of boats available for hire including, Rowboats, Pedal Boats, Canoes, Kayaks and Stand up Boards. The family can enjoy the clean and calm waterway without the worry of rough water and tides/current making it very easy to pedal or row your way to a fun experience. There is no requirement for booking the boats, just simply arrive and select what is available. For children under the age of 12 lifejackets are compulsory and are included in the cost of the hire. It is encourage everyone to take a lifejacket. Pedal boats are ideal for the family which can hold 2 adults and 2 children and no experience is needed and the rowboats can hold up to 4 adults. Great fun for the whole family!