The main commercial centre west of Sydney’s central business district, Parramatta offers much more than just business and commerce. Any visitor to the area will revel in the developing art and film scene, the global eateries and historic hot spots such as the World Heritage Site of the 18th century Old Government House, which resides in Parramatta Park and stands as Australia’s second oldest surviving building.
You may find yourself on an extended work stay, perhaps you are passing through or maybe you are planning a move to this commercially thriving city, whatever your reasons for finding yourself in Parramatta we are here to guide you.
We spoke to the experts at Astor Legal, the Parramatta criminal lawyers who are based in the centre of the city and have a great knowledge of the area. They help with criminal offences, traffic law and driving issues, so who better to help us out with our dedicated guide than those who live, work and travel around the area?
Here’s a taste of what Parramatta can offer you.
This buzzing multicultural area to the west of Sydney offers a diverse range of things to see and do for anyone who goes there. Alongside riverside parks and among the humid and hot climate you’ll find sports venues, a huge shopping mall, trendy bars, riverside theatres and plenty of other things to keep you entertained, but let’s talk a little of the history.
The second city to be established in Australia in 1788 by European settlers – second to neighbouring Sydney – Parramatta takes its name from the Burramatta clan who called the head of the river home. The settlement was and is still a place where people come together to meet, much like the indigenous Darug clans, the area’s first inhabitants and traditional custodians.
The city’s 200-year colonial history can be seen through the gardens of Elizabeth Farm, the Georgian architecture and 19th century furniture that is seen at Hambledon Cottage and the aforementioned Old Government House. The end of May to early July sees the festival of WARAMI being celebrated to commemorate indigenous culture in Parramatta, while the city’s heritage office has been digitally scanning important heritage objects using 3D scanning techniques so people the world over can learn of the cultural history of the area.
Out and about
For those who like to get out and about, the abundance of greenery at Parramatta Park will surely entice, as will bushland at Lake Parramatta Reserve, which boasts an array of wildlife to spot. From city bushwalks to riverside cycling, there are a range of ways in which explore the natural surroundings. 160 years after it was declared ‘the people’s park’, Parramatta Park remains as one of the most popular destinations for a leafy escape from the CBD. Picnic areas, open spaces, play areas and cycle paths combine to provide a park for all to enjoy and it is no surprise that it attracts some two million visits each year.
We are sure that you won’t want to stay here without heading to Sydney for a quick trip, and quick it is with the excellent transport links here. For a scenic trip take the 50-minute ferry ride to Darling Harbour or what not hire a car and drive yourself the 15 miles? Just be sure not to pick up a speeding or parking fine otherwise you may just need the services of Astor Legal!
Sydney, of course, has all the top sites to see from the Harbour Bridge and Opera House to Taronga Zoo, and if you have the freedom of your own car then Manly Beach and Bondi Beach are places you will not want to miss.
And when you’re back in Parramatta you will want to head somewhere for a delicious dining experience. You’re certainly in luck here as there are a range of eateries offering everything from the finest Southern Indian, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean and Malay cuisines to name a few.
Top-rated eateries include Courtney’s Brasserie, which utilises the produce of nearby suppliers to create an array of delightful dishes; The Emporium, which serves up modern Australian fare combined with Mediterranean touches; and Alex and Co. where only the freshest of produce found at the morning market is used to create succulent seafood and signature cocktails.