This grassy, UNESCO World Heritage-listed park continues to provide an idyllic space for the Parramatta and wider community to come together, 160 years since it was first declared ‘The People’s Park’.
Discover a park that tells a story
Across the country, parks generally share a number of common features: each might have a playground, a sprinkling of benches and picnic tables, and perhaps a barbecue. Of course, Parramatta Park includes all the makings of an ordinary park, and yet, there’s so much more than meets the eye. Here, walkers will stumble across significant historical sites that tell a unique Australian story.
Sprawling Parramatta Park has now become a popular destination, where locals and sightseers can bask in the region’s natural splendour, yet it once played a significant role in the lives of Aboriginal people and, much later, the European settlers. With its wide-open spaces, picnic and play areas, the park has become a central recreational space for the Parramatta community and visitors to the area. There’s always fun and adventure to be had a the Domain Creek Playground, located on the Westmead side of Parramatta Park, with a flying fox, mini in-ground trampolines, slides and many other activities for young and young at heart.
Today, visitors can also explore the park’s colonial history, observing remnants of 18th-century Parramatta, including the oldest Government House in Australia, Governor and Mrs Macquarie’s landscaped estate and the Dairy Precinct.
The People’s Park is brimming with monumental nods to the region’s past – from its 1820s Bath House, to the Observatory Transit Stones, The Lady Fitzroy Memorial, the Boer War Memorial and the settlement at Rose Hill.
Wander Through Australian History in The Dairy Precinct
It may come as a surprise to many, but within this broad green expanse sits one of Australia’s oldest colonial sites. Overlooking the river, Parramatta Park’s Dairy Precinct is the northern neighbour of Old Government House. Having undergone major restorations in 2016, the Dairy Precinct is now home to an exhibition space, digital displays and striking landscape works.
Tour The Dairy and Ranger’s Cottages
Beyond the picket fence, park-goers can view The Dairy Cottage, which was constructed by an ex-convict by the name of George Salter. The project took nine years, from 1796 to 1805. Today, the small house is one of the oldest standing cottages in Australia.
Half a century later, in 1857, the Dairy Cottage became the home of a park ranger and his family. A Ranger’s Cottage was constructed in the same year, and subsequent rangers resided here until the mid-1990s.
Whether a self-guided or professional tour is the order of the day, visitors will be fascinated by the history hidden within the walls of Parramatta Park’s iconic structures.
Parramatta Park, Pitt and Macquarie Streets Parramatta NSW 2150. For more information call 02 9895 7500 or visit the Parramatta Park website.