Staycation Ideas in Parramatta

By Ashleigh Synnott

Looking to make the most of your weekend? Whether it’s getting in touch with Parramatta's fascinating history, a more active adventure, or the ideal location for a whole family gathering, Parramatta has just about everything to offer for a tops weekend.

Picnic in Wisteria Gardens

Photo by Natalie Popow

There’s really nothing much that beats a long, lazy lunch and Wisteria Gardens is the perfect place for it. Spring is the most beautiful time of year to visit this tranquil space – with an abundance of wisteria and cherry blossoms to enjoy you’ll zen out in no time. After a cracker feed and a laze on the lawn, be sure to wander around the banks of the river to check out the fruit bats sleeping in the trees – albeit noisily! As well as the compulsory game of tip or hide-and-seek a post-lunch walk around the stunning rose garden at the main entry point to Parramatta Park is an absolute must. Wistaria Gardens are located on the grounds of Cumberland Hospital in Westmead. 


Women of Distinction Exhibition

Photo by Mark Bowyer

If culture is your thing, the long weekend is the perfect opportunity to check out this stellar exhibition. Revealing the lives of the ladies, guests and servants of Old Government House, the Women of Distinction Exhibition brings together items from the National Trust’s collection. The exhibition offers a new and moving glimpse into the lives of prominent women such as Elisabeth Macquarie and Lady Mary Fitzroy who lived in, worked at and influenced this place throughout decades of change. After the exhibition, you can treat yourself to an exclusive high tea experience at the historic Gatehouse Tea Rooms or enjoy a picnic in the beautiful Parramatta ParkOld Government House has reopened with timed entry tickets, Thursday to Sunday 10am-4pm. 

Parramatta Valley Cycleway

Photo by Nicola Rutzou

We all know that Parramatta is one of the most cycle-friendly cities in Sydney but this cycleway proves it. The route will take you along the Parramatta River to Morrison Bay Park in Ryde, then west along dedicated bike paths, quiet streets and of course the beautiful river foreshore. There’s also the option to continue to Parramatta CBD or explore the connection to Sydney Olympic Park via the Silverwater Bridge. Let’s face it – you’ve got the time. This is a holiday, people! Grab your helmet, plenty of fluids, a mate or two, and head out for a stunning cycle this October long weekend.

Splasher’s Playground

Surrounded by vibrant colour and lush palms, Splasher’s Playground is a heated, indoor and family-friendly waterworld where everyone can swim, splash, ride and slide all day long. This is a particularly great place to take the little ones – there’s a great interactive playground perfect for toddlers, and a range of other child-friendly slides and features. The giant bucket that fills with water and splashes into the pool below is a favourite for both the young and the young at heart, and there are also a range of spas, spray jets, spurting volcanos, obstacle courses, and a bubble beach to boot. Four hours free parking opposite the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre


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Frog Walk

From the Badu Mangroves to the Narrawang Wetlands there’s no shortage of stunning spaces to explore around Sydney Olympic Park. But for something a little special, consider a Frog Walk this long weekend. Particularly at a time when we’re surrounded by lots of stress and uncertainty, it can be incredibly heartening to hear a chorus of tiny frogs indicating a healthy, happy ecosystem in our city. The Frog Walk covers a range of ponds, frog underpasses, and frog fencing at Wentworth Common and Kronos Hill. This is also a chance to experience the award-winning 550-metre Brickpit Ring Walk, for a bird-eye perspective of the habitat of one of our city’s most endangered residents, the Green and Golden Bell Frog. 


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