Our other visitor guides
School Holiday Classes
Call Parramatta Heritage Centre
Sydney Festival Parramatta
street party, music and food.
After dark: Lee Fields & The Expressions in concert at Prince Alfred Park
Kids' Fun: Band of Magicians
January 26 Parramatta Park
Annie, The Musical
Lunar New Year Celebration
Sydney Symphony Orchestra
The Crescent, Parramatta Park
A free concert presented by Parramatta Park Trust and NSW Government
Kids' Fun: Tashi
Old Government House needs sleuths! Kids 7 - 12 with detecting skills help find the Villain who killed Conseula the Cook. (Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries Costume Exhibition) Mondays, 14, 21 & 28 April, numbers limited -- book early.
Kids' Fun: Squaring The Wheel
Kids' Fun: The Deep
Kids' Fun: The 13 Storey Treehouse
Sydney Writers Festival
Vintage Fashion Parade: Luxury to Leisure in Lachlan's Garden Marquee at Old Government House, May 24, 2pm, Parramatta Park
Opera in the Courtyard - La Traviata (Verdi at his finest) Sunday, September 28, 7pm, Bookings Required
Labour Day long weekend Festival of South Asian Arts Parade commences at Town Hall, St Johns Green www.parramasala.com
Thai River Festival
Parramatta River foreshore South-East Asia water festival. Activities – 'Krathong' ritual at sunset when lotus-shaped boats are launched onto the water. Brings good fortune for the coming year.
Christmas in Parramatta - Kids' Christmas Concert!
Stay Tuned to our Blog http://parramattaguide.com/blog.html for tun activities in and around Parramatta.
Designer Ruth Fattal Haute Couture presents a 4day 20% storewide Easter sale on Darcy street. Visit shop 28B on Darcy Street where sale begins Thursday 17April and continues on Saturday, Tuesday and Wednesday 22nd & 23rd April. This is your chance to grab locally designed handmade dresses, scarves and jewellery.
Elizabeth Farm (Harris Park): The Great Egg Hunt! Sunday 20 April. . . 2 choices, 11 - 12pm or 1-2pm. It's 19th century style hunt. Decorate and bring your basket -- put it to use in this annual Easter Egg Hunt! Bookings are essential (FEE). 02 9635 9488
Detective for a Day? An Old Government House Mystery: Consuela the Cook, carked it! How did she die? It's a 'Who done it'? Are you brave enough to confront the Villain? April 21 & 28? Your Help is wanted if you are a sleuth (ages 7 - 12 years) Tickets limited, Call 02 9635 8149
Epic Fairytale Quest, Elizabeth Farm, Tuesday 22 April or Thursday 24 April, 11Am - 12:30pm. Dressup as your favourite fairytale character. Go on an epic quest through the house and garden to find (shh.........) a magical dragon! Storytelling, craft and a fairytale feast! Ages 5-12. Bookings essential (FEE) 02 9635 9488
The Parramatta City Library and all its branches are continuing the school holiday programs. "Meet The Reptiles" is on for 23 April at 11am. "slithery, slinky, mighty, bitey, hoppy and stroppy critters" will show up at the Guilford branch. Read our blog for all the programs across the librarys.School Holiday Boredom has been banished in Parramatta!
Dressed to the Nines -- Fantastic Costume Exhibition. . . Old Government House. March 1st - June 1st. "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries". As seen on ABC1. This is one exhibition you won't want to miss.
Old Government House Ghost Nights. . . walk with the tormented, the unhappy and the revengeful on the 3rd Friday -- February through November. (Ghosts take a break at Christmastime) See our Blog... http://parramattaguide.com/blog.html?start=2
2014 Parramatta Guide can be found in shops & cafes around Parramatta and in our Parramatta City Libraries.
Parramatta and Harris Park appear to the casual observer to be in a state of transition – an evolutionary period where progress is imprecise but definitely 'on the move'. Construction appears to surge upward – towering and proud – into the blue sky over Macquarie and George Streets and along the riverfront on Church Street at Lennox Bridge.
Still, with some effort we can glimpse the numerous historic towers or church steeples around the city and are pleasantly surprised by the colourful renovations of Darcy Street and the Connections Arcade at Town Hall (see map). Hip artists and trendy designers from the Parramatta Pop Up program sit side by side with commercial ventures.
On Farmer's Market day, tent-covered stalls line Town Hall piazza with fresh and colourful produce from neighbouring Hawkesbury farms. Riverside Theatre, pulling from Sydney's performance scene, nourishes our souls throughout the chilly months. But with the arrival of spring, outdoor activities – many sponsored by Parramatta Council – come at us, fast and furious.
The fantastic Western Sydney Wanderers FC is definitely on our recommended list – the season starts soon. Festivals, music, ghost tours and historic walks along with moveable and delectable feasts in the alleys and streets – are yours for the choosing. Making a choice will likely be your impediment.
Harris Park is undergoing its own modest evolution as many petite turn- of-the-century cottages are in a constant state of renovation. Taking on new commercial uses, these early cottages– primarily eateries – add to the vibrancy of the Asian community within greater Parramatta.
Within walking distance of Harris Park, the guardians of historic Experiment Farm Cottage and neighbouring Elizabeth Farm each continue an ongoing effort to maintain and protect these heritage properties. The residential neighbourhood surrounding each site is home to a number of unique cottages (see map).
We still see the 'beautiful and the bad' while walking Parramatta and Harris Park. Each has its problems – all destinations do. It is what makes them distinct and diverse. But along the way, past and present councils have created parks and heritage walks while maintaining the river foreshore. The local government also enriches Parramatta's culture by sponsoring creative artistic activities and pop-culture festivals – all for our benefit.
Parramatta is a 'corporate town' – just try catching a late afternoon train or bus with the hundreds of workers eagerly headed home. But after 5pm on weekdays and certainly on weekends, the city and its many neighbourhood hangouts are yours for exploring.
In this edition, we segmented our map by neighbourhoods and we have walked each:
- South of the Railway Station, connecting Church Street with Wentworth and Anderson Streets
- Phillip Street – upmarket shops and restaurants
- Iconic Town Hall and St John's Cathedral
- Church Street – 'eat street'
- Parramatta Park historic and recreational spaces.
- Harris Park – international eateries, beauty salons, jewellery and exotic clothing along with its historic farms and cottages
In our past publications, we have included only 'fun and fare' that we have tried. This edition, however we will expand our coverage. The 'eat street' scene in Parramatta and Harris Park multiplies at warp speed. We could not possibly explore every restaurant or cafe nor could our waistline guard against the onslaught of calories. Therefore, we list some that have been recommended. Still most references are built upon our experience – we are, so to speak, a 'word of mouth' reference.