Parramatta Park

November 19, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Posted in Australia, Experiences, Gardens, History, Nature | 2 Comments

The Parramatta River runs through the park

I visited Parramatta Park on Thursday. It is the first time I have been there, although I had been to Parramatta before. Do you like the name? It derives from the language of the Dharug who inhabited the area around Sydney: ‘Barra’ meaning ‘eel’ and ‘matta’ meaning ‘river’. The people around the river called themselves the Barramattagal.

The town, about fourteen miles west of Sydney city centre, was established very soon after the first settlement of Australia (1788) at Sydney Cove. Explorers had found the land along the Parramatta River to be a fertile area for growing food – something the fledgling colony sorely needed.

Old Government House

Parramatta Farm was established and, by 1790, vegetables, cattle, fruit trees and other food crops were doing well. Cottages sprung up and a residence was also built for the governor. It was later re-built and then enlarged as the town grew.

The park is very large, though its website doesn’t give an area. But I do know that I walked in and around the park, often in a drizzling rain, for about four hours. There were other walkers too, and these and the joggers increased in number when the lunch period came – workers getting their exercise endorphins for the day.

Lovely jacaranda tree

The good rains in the last year or so have given the park a beautiful green that usually disappears through summer. The jacarandas were in full bloom, with carpets of mauve flowers all around them.

Ducks, ibis and pigeons vied with each other to get the bread that one small boy and his mother tossed to them. The ibis, about the same size as the little boy, actually took the bread from his hand. The bird’s long curved beak made it all rather scary for him. 

The old Dairy

I saw Old Government House and several other historic buildings in the park. Two large, strangely shaped stones also remain. These supported the transit telescope at the observatory that was built by Governor Brisbane in 1822.

I left the park reluctantly, but with my shoes, socks and the bottoms of my jeans saturated. I didn’t mind at all. I’d had an educational, enjoyable and relaxing time, and I had gotten some much-needed exercise into the bargain. And I hope I can go there again before too long.


© Linda Visman

Blog at
Entries and comments feeds.


Our species is evolving. But will we ever be smarter than crows?

Helen Armstrong - writing on the move

I write when I travel but not always about travelling. It doesn't have to be a quiet corner...

Rosella Room

Socio-cultural comment on a range of issues, including literature, music and mental health


Exploring the Past to Improve the Future

Foxgloves and Bumblebees

A Nature Journal

L.T. Garvin

Eclectic blog: short fiction, poetry, humor, occasional dreams and wild book schemes.

Echidna Tracks

Australian Haiku


art. popular since 10,000 BC

Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry

Colleen M. Chesebro: Prose-Metrist, Novelist, & Word Witch


Thel's Sketchings: Art, Photography, Musings & Short Stories

Learn Fun Facts

An Archive of Curious Facts for the Curious

A blog about writing and reading


Life in a flash - a weekly writing blog

Half Baked In Paradise

Searching, settling, sauteeing and spritzing

The Curry Apple Orchard

A blog designed to remember the past and celebrate the present.


A site for the Barsetshire Diaries Books and others

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.