“There’s no time to be bored in a world as beautiful as this.” This world is indeed beautiful, and its beauty must not only be seen but enjoyed and taken care of. Amazing places compose our globe, and travelling to see all of them is a hard-to-reach goal. Little by little, it may be achieved, but that would take an immeasurably long time and lots of spent money. To globe-trot is everyone’s dream. There’s something in exploring foreign places/countries that makes it strongly desirable—something no one has to explain; it’s just felt, and we can all agree that no one says ‘no’ to navigating our wonderful world [except for the busy and working people who sadly have no choice].
Sydney’s central city, Parramatta, is certainly a pleasant and friendly city. An upholder of proper dwelling and employment provision for citizens, this suburb is also a cornerstone for cultural and recreational activities and showcasing. Tourists who came to Sydney have reckoned that Parramatta is one of the top must-go-to locations in one of Australia’s largest cities, Sydney.
In this article, regardless whether you are a tourist or a local, you’ll be able to get awesome ideas of the activities that you can do during your short or long period of stay in Parramatta. This is a generous collection of both the famous and the far-out stuff you can spend your precious time on, including specific where-to and how-to suggestions. You may have seen other lists such as this, but rest-assured, there’s no other list as hand-picked as this one, so what are you waiting for?
C’mon, start crossing out your questions on what to do in Sydney’s beautiful Parramatta by dipping into this friendly guide!
Notwithstanding who you are (a local or a tourist), one of the primary and most essential things you must do is to know the background of the place you are in. If you’re a local, of course you’re familiar with it, but there could still be things unknown to you. If you’re a tourist, you may have little to no knowledge about the place even if you researched about it.
Full of pride and honor, Parramatta introduces its city through the Heritage Centre. Aside from other various reading materials about the city’s development, centuries-old archives are also preserved in the Centre; local studies and cultural collections are also accessible. Few of the highly safeguarded and precious artefacts of European colonization are found in the Philip Ruddock Heritage Centre Parramatta.
The medical side of the city’s history is offered by Brislington Medical and Nursing Museum. Because distinguished people were linked to it, rendering a part of state and colonial government in Parramatta, it has been regarded with historical magnitude.
Lots of museums and centres will aid you to discover what Parramatta was, is and probably will be. It’s so much better to go to a place carrying with you information that will be valuable for a meaningful trip. There are many mysteries, secrets and surprising histories which can be discovered, ONLY if you visit heritage and historical buildings. Wow, what a tip!
It may not be something new but Parramatta has lots of parks to show you. You can spend your “me time” or bring your dearest people with you. Prepare for picnics. Bring delicious meals. Bring a mat. Pick a good spot to stay. Just look around and see beauty everywhere. Appreciate the wonderful surroundings. Inhale the peacefulness of the wind. Exhale the stress of the world.
Parramatta Park, Jubilee Park, Parramatta Park, Sherwin Park and Collett Park are few examples of parks that you may consider visiting.
People don’t get tired of parks! They’re classic. They’re also backed with essential links to Australia’s history. They must be well taken care of and not polluted. So if you’ll go to parks, be responsible enough for yourself and for the environment.
Be neat and fresh-looking. You might want to have a brighter look when you take good shots, selfies and groupies as your stroll in Parramatta. You can drop by a beauty parlour or a grooming station, and see how they do it the Aussie way.
Ladies, check out Nailed by Larouge where nail art is manually painted with the hand, styled with cute ornaments like gems, pearls, diamonds and seashells. It aims to “save the world from boring nails”. Gentlemen, a number of barber shops are also present for you. If you’re into vintage and modern haircuts and conventional wet shades, visit Barber Industries. You might also want to try other grooming options like MG’s Men’s Grooming Spa and The Barber Workshop.
This could take a lot decision-making especially if you just got a freshening up back home, but it depends on you. This could be part of your life’s history book of things you tried around the globe.
The air gets even more polluted, and people’s health is put to bigger risks as congested roads and terrible transportation continue to happen. The City of Parramatta is working towards stopping the rapid growth of these conflicts. A Bike Plan is being devised in order to gradually solve them. You can take part in saving the environment by cycling as a means of transportation. Parramatta is good for biking because of its flat surface.
To engage in this advocacy in an invigorating approach, you can rent bikes and develop skills and confidence in biking. Advantageous is a social enterprise that caters to all ages, extending cycling programs as you pay at a modest rate. Another thing that makes this activity meaningful is that the bikes they use are donated. That’s so touching! They also lead discovery rides specifically in Lake Parramatta and other possible cycle ways.
You can easily wander through Parramatta alone just with your bike or together with your mates. You’ll help not only in creating a better environment but also in developing a healthier body and lifestyle.
Flowers grow old and die, but how they make everything more ravishing does not. It’s really amazing that not all flowers existing in a certain country exists in another. Some of the flowers which are naturally found and that rarely grow outside Australia include Waratah, Banksia and Kangaroo Paw. Parramatta has big flower gardens showcasing lovely and notable flower types.
Rumsey Rose Garden is where a large party of fragrant heritage roses are found. It is a stunning garden where pathways lead to shelter of vines. Sometimes, art exhibits are placed there too. Murray Garden was refurbished to improve the environment for everyone’s comfort and enjoyment. Furnishings, lighting, water flows and ponds were refined to better the garden’s features.
If you need a relaxing and vibrant sight after a gloomy tiring day, flower gardens can help! It seems like flowers sprinkle colours to our heart as we see every detail. They look like a colourful paradise from afar. Flower gardens aid in shaping delightful places and functional spaces. They show us how nature’s captivating beauty is art.
Are you tired of seeing human beings? Just kidding (take it seriously if you insist). When was the last time you visited animals? Of course, animals aren’t just the dogs, cats, hamsters and fishes you have at home. Why not go out and check on other animal friends in zoos and other animal sanctuaries?
Featherdale Wildlife Park was a poultry farm of 7 acre-land when it first established. Today, it is one of Australia’s leading wildlife parks. There is a 90-seater amphitheatre which is utilized for its pursuit of educating people about animals’ lives and needs as well as about the environment’s conditions.
There are zoos near Parramatta like Taronga Zoo and animal sanctuaries such as the Koala Park Sanctuary.
It’s not every day that you get to interact with terrific animals. Your last visit might be when you’re in kindergarten. Animals are also humans’ friends! Pay them a visit!
Playgrounds are still a thing. Kids enjoy them a lot. Adults enjoy them even more.
Pavilion Flat Playground is recommended for young kids. You can bring them here to enjoy swings, a play sail boat and spring rockers. Domain Creek Playground has a lovely designed. It blends into the Parramatta Park look. You can see wire-made and branch-made mazes as part of the ‘obstacle course’. There are sand diggers and small trampolines too. It is a cool space where children of all ages would love to spend time. Urban Jungle Adventure Park is the perfect attraction that will make your adrenalin go up! It claims to be an excellent and matchless High Ropes Adventure Park. Enjoy fun and thrilling aerial activities and also swimming!
Regardless of your age, don’t miss the fun and adventure that playgrounds bring!
Aside from linking bodies of land, many bridges are also part of Australian history. Take some time on the walkways of some of them.
Lennox Bridge is a developed sandstone single arch bridge and the third oldest remaining masonry bridge in NSW. Gladsville Bridge is an arch bridge connecting Huntleys Point and Drummoyne.
John Whitton Bridge bears the main Northern railway line across Parramatta River between Rhodes and Meadowbank. When this bridge was first constructed, it only had the railway line. When it was renovated, two tracks were added, allowing bikes and pedestrians.
This activity may not be as grand as any other activity, and it may be subjective too, but it’s really a fulfilling thing to know and realize that you were there, on the ground where great history took place. Crossing a well-known and/or historical bridge feels a lot like crossing an item in your bucket list.
Waters from different parts of the world may seem the same because basically they’re ‘water’, but each body of water is distinct and beautiful on its own.
Kayaks, paddleboards and rowboats are amazing features of Parramatta beaches. Parramatta Rowboats is a man-made reservoir within 73 hectares of parkland; once again, the lake is now open for swimming. Waterfalls include Balaka Falls in Hunts Creek Reserve, a hidden pearl in the city which is connected to Lake Parramatta. You can go snorkelling in several beaches accessible near Parramatta like Balmoral Beach, Manly Beach, Fairlight Beach and Clovelly Beach.
You can’t miss all these fun stuff! Let the water take you into deeper adventures!
GET IT DONE: Escape Rooms
Escape rooms somehow bring to life mystery-solving and thrilling games! You need keen sense to detail to spot clues and escape the room. Each room has a specific mission, and players need to decode puzzles and conclude the mission to escape within the time limit! Come in groups because it’s a group-oriented activity. Also, it’s better if there are 3 or more people because if you’ll look it up online, most escape rooms require a minimum of 4 players per mission.
Escape rooms in Parramatta include Labyrinth Escape Rooms and Scram Escape Rooms.
This has become a thing because it truly is a clever and cool idea. If you are looking for a group or family activity that probably will twist your brain and will test and strengthen your relationships, ‘escape rooms’ is a must-try. This is perfect for team buildings, family and friendship bonding. It enhances communication, critical thinking and decision-making skills when faced with time-bound challenges.
Experience thrill, excitement and fun-filled to the brim!
- WATCH OR RACE: Racecourses
Nowadays, people just play a race with their friends online or with a bot in their mobile phones and digital gadgets. Watching races live is a rare and cool experience!
They are places you have to plan and intentionally go to because they’re not easy to find, and there are race schedules too.
Sydney Speedway (Valvoline Raceway) is a well-known attraction and auto race dirt track.
Motor shows and competitions are also held in Eastern Creek Raceway.
Different from the two, Rosehill Gardens Racecourse is a horse racing field. It is notable for its world-class quality and recognition. The track where matches happen is encompassed with pristine flowers and plants making it picture-perfect.
Raceways also provide racing and driving education and training for those who don’t just want to cheer behind the fences and on the bleachers. If you are interested and brave enough to take the challenge, enroll in classes and avail private practicing sessions. Today, races may not be as rampant as they were during the older than old times, but this is a fun and unique activity, whether you want to race or just watch. It could be one of the most amazingly memorable days of your life!
- LEARN, TWIST AND TURN: Circus Arts
Everyone wants to know the trick in amazing magic shows and circuses. Sydney Olympic Park takes you into a magical feeling mixed with excitement and fun as it brings you Circus Arts—Sydney’s first ever and proudly the best “flying trapeze company” since 1999. Provided with complete safety gears and equipment, you and your loved ones will plunge into spectacular set of skills you only see on TV or in circus shows. You will be exposed to swinging, acro-balancing, twirling, hanging upside down, tight-wiring, flipping and catching, using hula hoops, somersaulting, juggling and many other special skills which you can exclusively acquire here. You can pick among its several programs, and join one session or enroll for a 10-week learning and training.
Have a gripping experience with Circus Arts. Let your dream come to reality as you go on air capturing both happiness and fitness!
- WATCH OUT: Seasonal Events
There are lots of happenings in the city that catch people’s full-attention. Make sure you’d be an early bird when ticket-selling is ongoing because you know how quick as a lightning they get sold. Don’t miss peculiar opportunities that interest you so much and that will truly be useful to you. People from different parts of the world and of Australia look forward to aerial hot balloon rides during Australia Day celebration. Appreciate and engage in art galleries/walks/exhibits, live performing arts theatres, cinemas and workshops of any field (music, dance, acting, business, personality etc.).
Be sure to keep yourself updated so you won’t miss the boat!
- TASTE AND TOUR: Taste Food Tours
What’s travel and adventure without food? Australia is big. NSW is big. Sydney is big. Parramatta is big. There are lots and lots of choices! It wouldn’t be easy to pick where and what you want to eat.
Well, that daily dilemma is made easier to solve by Taste [Cultural] Food Tours. It’s still food but with a twist. The thing that separates it from the usual food selection is that you eat at the same time you learn culture, history and local accounts. It’s a charity and social enterprise gathering the community in small tour groups. They look forward for a well-built cross-cultural understanding among people. Their tour guides are migrants, refugees and Australian youth who are supported by the company to achieve their goals.
Eat in a way you’ve never done before! It’s more than your tummy’s pleasure and more of your heart’s joy and your mind’s wonder.
Does this make you a TOUREAT? (Get it? Please get it.)
You may also like Asia meets Parramatta! 6 Asian restaurants to visit in Parramatta
- MARK IT: Markets
Parramatta has several markets which will truly tempt you to put your wallet out of your pocket.
Good quality goods, meat, fruits, veggies and flowers can be found in Parramatta Farmers Market with 50 plus stores composing it. If you want loving pre-loved items and antique products, North Rocks Market has to be your destination. Great news for bookworms because great arrays of books are sold there. Donations are appreciated too because the market doesn’t just sell to simply earn but to earn for a cause. Dreamers Market is the right stop if you love handmade products because they sell 100% handmade items which are authentically Australian; however, Dreamers Market is held only on Mother’s Day eve.
Going to markets in the area is good especially if you aim to try fresh goods which can only be found in the city. You may also find the products cheaper than those in the malls. An amazing facet of markets is you can bargain for lower prices unlike in malls. Unique items, fun activities and skills showcase are found there too. Buy souvenir items you can take home and share with your friends! You’ll be able to save a lot and get a lot.
If you’ve found a product or a good market of your interest, mark it so you won’t forget about it! It’s alright to leave the place with no more free hands.
There are innumerable possibilities as you journey in Parramatta. This guide hopefully tried to avoid listing too much of what other “what-to-do-in-*insert place*” guides already have done. It could have listed some, but it tried to veer away from what common lists say. If you noticed, some are mainly specific activities (circus arts), and others are basically mentioned in general types (like parks) but with included venue suggestions.
Parramatta is indeed a wonderful city. It treasures culture, history and heritage. It has a lot of great sites that make way for people to be familiar about a foreign land [if they’re tourists] and to be more well-informed [if they’re locals]. It showcases various forms of art, and shows how it’s done in their home. There is a number of mesmerizing sceneries, land and water bodies. With its great deal of nature sites, it highly values environment and nature. It offers innumerable sumptuous food while it is also concerned with human health and comfort. It pays attention to beauty and hygiene. It cherishes knowledge, discoveries and new adventures. The city values people’s worthwhile, unforgettable and meaningful experience, and that’s what you should also do.
Parramatta has gotten all these and probably more. Remember that whatever you choose to do, make sure it’ll be worth your time, efforts and money! But of course, check first if you got all of those three. Be wise in making decisions and spending what you have. Take photos, videos and souvenirs. Weave amazing memories and note great stories to share and look back to. May you experience a marvellous, never-before life episode of your life in Parramatta’s wonders!
Nicole Ann Pore is a daytime writer for Holiday Inn Parramatta, a five-star hotel in located in Parramatta, New South Wales (Australia). Travel is one of the things that interest her the most. Nicole enjoys reading and writing lists like must-visit places, famous places to eat and what-to-do’s. She is amazed at the historical relevance of places, the diversity of cultures and the showcase of arts in different parts in the world. For Nicole, the beauty of this world is just breathtaking, astounding and something worth-sharing. | Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts. “To God be all the glory”