Colonial History Comes Alive in Parramatta

Historic Parramatta

Parramatta is a fascinating place, rich in history and intrigue. The head of the Parramatta River was home to the Burramatta clan (from which the name Parramatta was derived). Captain Arthur Phillip travelled up the Parramatta River searching for arable farming land. When he arrived at what he thought was a suitable location he saw a slightly bushy area of open grasslands and decided to establish a gaol town and farm later to be known as Parramatta. From that early rustic settlement Parramatta has become a thriving commercial and political hub while still maintaining its unique link to the country’s history.

1. Elizabeth Farm

Address 70 Alice St, Rosehill NSW 2142                                                                                                                        
Phone Number +61 2 9635 9488
Opening Hours Wednesday to Sunday 10am - 4pm
Open daily NSW public holidays
Closed Good Friday and Christmas Day                                                                                                                                 

Located only 2kms from the PARKROYAL Parramatta, Elizabeth Farm is the oldest house in Australia and is the most amazing “step back in time” experience. You literally feel like you have travelled back over 200 years and experience how people lived in colonial Australia in the 1800s. The tour guides are very informative and helpful and obviously passionate about the property. And the Devonshire Tea afterwards is delicious.

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2. Old Government House

Address Parramatta Park, Pitt Street, Parramatta NSW 2150
Phone Number +61 2 9635 8149
Opening Hours Daily 10am - 4pm                                                                                                                                                                                   

Australia’s first Government House is a short 2kms stroll from the hotel and is a grand old example of colonial architecture and it is surrounded by the most peaceful and beautiful 200acres of parkland right in the centre of the Parramatta CBD. It is a terrific showpiece of early colonial life, including original period furnishings. The tours are conducted by very enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides. If you are interested in Australian history this is a must see.

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3. Lennox Bridge

Address Parramatta River, Church Street Parramatta NSW 2150                                 

Right in the heart of Parramatta, and literally 500metres from the PARKROYAL Parramatta, surrounded by Parramatta’s soaring skyscrapers is this amazing single arch sandstone bridge built by convicts in 1836. It’s the third oldest surviving masonry bridge in NSW and if you weren’t on the look out you could simply walk across it without even realising that you were treading on a special piece of Australian colonial history.

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4. Hambledon Cottage

Address 63 Hassall Street, Parramatta NSW 2150
Phone Number  +61 2 9635 6924 
Opening Hours Thursday to Sunday 11am - 4pm (last tour 3pm)                                                                                                                          

Step back in time. This cottage gives you the most perfect insight into how people lived in the early 1800s. No electricity, no running water, times were tough and yet this classically built Georgian style sandstone cottage was home to prominent Parramatta identities as well as members of the Macarthur family. The tour guides are friendly and well informed. And as an added treat you can enjoy a delightful Devonshire tea in the gardens after your tour. Situated only 1.4kms from the hotel it is a 3 minute drive or leisurely 15 - 20 minute stroll.

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5. Lancer Barracks

Address 2 Smith Street Parramatta NSW 2150
Phone Number +61 2 9635 6924 
Opening Hours Open every Sunday 10am - 4pm
Tour groups of 10+ catered for on any day with a prior booking.
Entry: $8 (adult), $6 (children under 12 or concession), $15 (family)                
Group bookings $5 per head.                                                                                                                                                      

Located literally around the corner, only 294 metres from the hotel, this stunning historical military facility has been in continual use since colonial settlement and as such is the longest continuously operating military facility in Australia. Anybody with a taste for military history should visit. Built in 1820, it has a terrific museum which contains a large collection of Boer War artefacts as well as original poetry from AB (Banjo) Patterson.

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