Heritage and Visitor Information Seasonal Calendar

January - June 2019 Programs


Come and join us for one of our educational and interactive activities to connect with and learn about Parramatta's rich heritage, history and precious natural environment.

Our program features a range of fun and hands-on experiences for all ages. Online registration is essential. 

For more information, contact the Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre by emailing discoverparramatta@cityofparramatta.nsw.gov.au,  calling on (02) 8839 3311 or by viewing the details of each activity below:

Handful of Heritage
Dairy Precinct Tour
Step into Parramatta's Past
Step into Parramatta's Past - Chinese Language
Connect with your City
Connect with your City - Chinese Language
Connect with your City - Korean Language
Parramatta Unlocked
Urban Dynamics Walk
From Sawbones to Specialists – The evolution of medical practice in Australia
Women's History Month - Heritage Safari
Women's History Month - Aboriginal Women's Weaving Workshop
Women's History Month - Stitching A Community
 

Stitching A Community - Women's Textile Circle
Waves of People Walk and Eat
Environmental Treasure Hunt 
Aboriginal Cultural Activity - Bush Tucker Walk
Aboriginal Cultural Activity - Ochre Painting Workshop
Bush Babies Nature Ramble
The Source of Life Bush Walk
Building Bridges
World Oceans Day Special - Riverkeepers
Bush Detective School
Bats, Birds & Beasties
Warami Mittigar - Aboriginal Cultural Walk
Minibeast Safari


Handful of Heritage

This abridged walking tour focuses on the highlights of Parramatta’s rich cultural and heritage offerings.  It introduces the hidden gems and interesting stories of Parramatta’s CBD, revealing how Parramatta played an important part in Australia's formation.

This tour is aimed at those on a schedule - adults, families with children 7 years old and up, and is suitable for both locals and visitors.  Bookings are essential.  For a more in-depth tour see “Stepping into Parramatta’s Past”

Dates:

  • April 8, 29
  • May 13, 27
  • June 24

Time: 11am-12pm
Meet:  Gateway, St Johns Cathedral, Centenary Square
Suitable for:  Adults
Cost: $5 per person

Register here 

handful of heritage

Dairy Precinct Tour 

Grab this chance to explore one of Australia’s oldest buildings. Take an exclusive tour at the Dairy Precinct in Parramatta Park to delve into the site’s fascinating stories and uncover its historical, social and architectural importance to Australia.  Examine original construction details, including lathe and plaster walls, colonial brickwork and a shingle roof.
The Dairy Cottage is located on the site on the first Government Farm.  Built in 1796, it was home to George Salter, an ex-convict turned cattleman.  It later became part of Governor Macquarie's Domain, now included on the World Heritage list. 
In the early 1800s, the cottage was enlarged and converted to a dairy, and a sunken milk-processing room was constructed. The milk room can be viewed beneath the adjacent Ranger's Cottage.
In addition to touring the two cottages and their gardens, you will be able to witness the story of Parramatta Park – the People’s Park - unfold in an engaging new audio-visual exhibition.  It’s a fascinating glimpse into our colonial past and Parramatta’s significant Aboriginal history.

This tour is suitable for adults and children over 7 years of age.  Due to the fragile nature of the buildings, entry is limited to groups of no more than 15.  

A number of areas in the Dairy Precinct have limited accessibility. There are also uneven surfaces inside the cottages and surrounding gardens, with paths and entries that may cause trips, slips or falls.  If you have special access requirements, please contact the Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre 02 8839 3311.

Bookings are essential. Purchase your tickets now!

Please note there are no amenities at the Dairy Precinct; the nearest facilities are located at Coleman Oval.

Dates: 

  • April 13, 15
  • May 11, 20
  • June 8, 17

Time:  11am-11.45am or 12pm-12.45pm 
Meet:  Dairy Cottage, Parramatta Park
Suitable for:  Adults, families with children 7 and up
Cost: $12 per person

Register here for Saturday tours

Register here for Sunday tour

Register here for Monday tours

Dairy Precinct Tour

Step into Parramatta’s Past

An engaging historic tour of the CBD, looking at how some of our historic sites have shaped the city, enjoying the city’s early architectural gems and revealing the stories of her early inhabitants.  It visits the Parramatta River, World Heritage listed Parramatta Park and heritage highlights of the CBD, uncovering the city’s hidden history.
This relaxed tour is aimed at adults, seniors and families with children, 7 years old and up, including locals and tourists.  Bookings are essential.  For an abridged version of this tour, suitable for those on a tight schedule, see “Handful of Heritage

Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time, for registration.  Wear comfortable shoes.  Bring water, snack and a hat.

Dates:

  • April 28
  • May 26
  • June 15, 23

Time:  10am-12pm 
Meet:  Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre
Suitable for:  Adults, families with child 7 and older
Cost: $5 per person

Register Here 

Step into Parramatta’s Past - Chinese Language

An engaging historic tour of the CBD, delivered in Mandarin looking at how some of our historic sites have shaped the city, enjoying the city’s early architectural gems and revealing the stories of her early inhabitants.  It visits the Parramatta River, World Heritage listed Parramatta Park and heritage highlights of the CBD, uncovering the city’s hidden history.
This relaxed tour is aimed at adults, seniors and families with children, 7 years old and up, including locals and tourists.  Bookings are essential.  For an abridged version of this tour, suitable for those on a tight schedule, see “Handful of Heritage

Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time, for registration.  Wear comfortable shoes.  Bring water, snack and a hat.

Dates:

  • May 18

Time:  10am-12pm 
Meet:  Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre
Suitable for:  Adults, families with child 7 and older
Cost: $5 per person

Register Here 

Handful of Heritage tour

 


Connect with your City

Parramatta is a vibrant and evolving place to work, live, explore and play.  Now you can discover all that this great city has to offer with free walking tours for new residents and workers.
Led by friendly, energetic and knowledgeable guides, find out what makes living or working in Parramatta such a unique and enriching experience.
The "Connect with Your City" Resident Tour will introduce residents to the city’s rich mix of dining, cultural, retail and leisure offerings, as well as Parramatta’s natural parklands and heritage attractions.  Find out what makes our city such a great place to live and explore the interesting stories that make this place unique. 
For tours in alternative languages please call 8839 3311 (German, Italian and French currently available).
This tour is suitable for new residents; visiting friends and relatives
Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time, for registration.  Wear comfortable shoes.  Bring water, snack and a hat.

Dates:

  • April 6
  • May 4, 19
  • June 1, 16

Time:  10am-12pm
Meet:  Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre, 346A Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150
Suitable for:  New residents; visiting friends and relatives
Ages: Adults, families with children 7 and older
Cost:  Free

Register here for Saturday tours

Register here for Sunday tours

Connect with your City- CHINESE LANGUAGE

This relaxed walk, delivered in Mandarin, informs new residents about the services, events and activities available in the city. 
Parramatta is an exciting place to work, live, explore and play and now you can discover all that this great city has to offer with free walking tours for new residents and workers.
The "Connect with Your City" Resident Tour will introduce residents to the city’s rich mix of dining, cultural, retail and leisure offerings, as well as Parramatta’s natural parklands and heritage attractions.  Find out what makes our city such a great place to live, and explore the interesting stories that make this place unique.   
This tour is aimed at Mandarin speaking new residents, visiting relatives and friends.  Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time, for registration.  Wear comfortable shoes.  Bring water, snack and a hat.  Bookings are essential.

Dates:

  • April 7, 17
  • May 5
  • June 22

Time:  10am-12pm
Meet:  Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre, 346A Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150
Suitable for:  New mandarin speaking residents; visiting friends and relatives
Ages: Adults, families with children 7 and older
Cost:  Free

Register here for tours

Connect with your City- Korean LANGUAGE

You are invited to explore the places and spaces of your vibrant and evolving city with our friendly, professional Korean speaking guide. 
Parramatta is an exciting place to work, live, explore and play and now you can discover all that this great city has to offer with free walking tours for new residents and workers.
The "Connect with Your City" Resident Tour will introduce residents to the city’s rich mix of dining, cultural, retail and leisure offerings, as well as Parramatta’s natural parklands and heritage attractions.  Find out what makes our city such a great place to live, and explore the interesting stories that make this place unique.   
This tour is aimed at Korean speaking new residents; visiting family and friends.  Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time, for registration.  Wear comfortable shoes.  Bring water, snack and a hat.  Bookings are essential.

Dates:

  • April 13
  • May 12, 16
  • June 5

Time:  10am-12pm
Meet:  Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre, 346A Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150
Suitable for:  New mandarin speaking residents; visiting friends and relatives
Ages: Adults, families with children 7 and older
Cost:  Free

Register here for tours

Connect with your city

 


Parramatta Unlocked

This succinct and lively tour will help workers familiarise themselves with the dining and entertainment options, shops, facilities and services available in the Parramatta CBD.  
Swiftly evolving, and with a vast range of events on offer, participants will find out why Parramatta is known as Australia’s Next Great City.    

This tour is aimed at tertiary students and workers.  Bookings are essential.  For tours in alternative languages please call 8839 3311 (Mandarin, Korean, German, Italian and French currently available).

Dates:

  • April 9, 26
  • May 14, 24
  • June 11, 28

Time:  12.15pm - 1pm
Meet:  Meet at Memorial Gateway, St Johns Cathedral, Centenary Square, Parramatta
Suitable for:  New workers and students
Ages: Adults
Cost:  Free

Register here

URBAN DYNAMICS WALK

Parramatta is changing fast! From business to entertainment, accommodation to transport, there are big changes afoot. This lively and engaging walking tour will unearth and investigate current and future developments in the Parramatta CBD.
Led by a friendly, experienced guide, this tour is aimed at adults, both residents and visitors.  
Bookings are essential. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time, for registration. Wear comfortable shoes.  Bring water, snack and a hat.

Dates:

  • May 25

Time:  10am - 11.30pm
Location:  Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre, 346A Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150
Suitable for:  Adults
Cost: $5 per person

register here

From sawbones to specialists - the evolution of medical practice in Australia

Join us as we time-travel through the evolution of Australian medicine, from colonial times - when the convict hospital caused more illness than it cured - to the cutting-edge treatments of today.  
Discover how advances in scientific and medical knowledge have influenced the treatment of patients and their ailments since pre-settlement, and the early days of the colony, through to the current time.  Along the way there were some decidedly odd developments!
This walking tour will visit Aboriginal lands, along with the sites of the Colonial Hospitals, Estella Private (Maternity) Hospital, the George Street and Macquarie Street Asylums and the Parramatta District Hospital. 
Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time, for registration.  Wear comfortable shoes.  Bring water, snack and a hat.  This activity is suitable for adults.      

Dates:

  • April 27

Time:  10am - 12:00pm
Location:  Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre, 346A Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150
Suitable for:  Adults
Cost: $15 per person

register here

 

Parramatta Unlocked

 


Women’s History Month – Heritage Safari

Celebrate Parramatta’s unsung heroines on this relaxed coach tour visiting a wide range of Parramatta's significant heritage sites, including the Female Orphan School, Elizabeth Farm and World Heritage listed Parramatta Park.  Uncover the intriguing and surprising stories of our colonial women and discover the lasting impacts they have had. 

The option of a short, easy-access walking tour at the Parramatta Female Factory site and morning tea at beautiful Lake Parramatta are included in your tour.
Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time, for registration.  Wear comfortable shoes.  Bring water, snack and a hat.  Accessible toilets are available at Lake Parramatta.  

Date: March 8, 10
Time:  10am-12pm
Meet:  Meet at Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre, 346A Church St, Parramatta  
Suitable for:  Adults, families with children 7 and older
Cost:  $5 per person

Register here

Women’s History Month – Aboriginal Women's Weaving Workshop

Aboriginal women will share with you their culture and story whilst passing on coiled weaving techniques, as passed on to them.  There will be an opportunity to begin weaving your own coiled basket and to learn about the oral history of the coiled weave, the fibres used and their purposes.
Both Julie and Corina’s cultural practices are woven into a contemporary framework by providing a platform for all participants to come together to learn many important aspects of culture. You will walk away feeling culturally enriched.
Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time, for registration.  Wear comfortable shoes.  Bring water, snack and a hat.  Accessible toilets are available at Lake Parramatta.  

Dates: March 9
Time:  10am-12pm
Meet:  Meet at Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre, 346A Church St, Parramatta  
Suitable for:  Adults, families with children 7 and older
Cost:  $5 per person

Register here

Women’s History Month – Stitching A Community - Women's Textile Circle

The nurturing role of women is said to hold our communities together.  Celebrate Women’s History Month and the Taste of Harmony Festival at this special event for our community’s women.  Bring your traditional textile craft, knitting, spinning, weaving, crochet, embroidery, tatting, macramé or mending to work on while you get to know women from your local area.  Share stories and textile techniques with new friends – and maybe bring some snacks to share as well.

Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time, for registration.  Bring snacks to share.  Accessible toilets and a crèche are available.

Date: March 20

Time:  10am-12pm
Meet:  Meet at Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre, 346A Church St, Parramatta  
Suitable for:  Women
Cost:  Free
Booking not required


Stitching A Community - Women's Textile Circle

Around the globe, the nurturing role of women is said to hold our communities together.  Celebrate National Refugee Week at this special event for our community’s women.  Bring your traditional textile craft, knitting, spinning, weaving, crochet, embroidery, tatting, macramé or mending to work on while you get to know women from your city local area.  Share stories and textile techniques with new friends – and maybe bring some snacks to share as well.

Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time, for registration.  Bring snacks to share.  Accessible toilets and a crèche are available.

Date: June 20

Time:  10am-12pm
Meet:  Meet at Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre, 346A Church St, Parramatta  
Suitable for:  Women
Cost:  Free
Booking not required

Waves of People Walk and Eat

Parramatta has welcomed many waves of visitors and migrants.  Discover stories of those who gathered on Burramatagal Aboriginal lands prior to colonisation and the many who have arrived since.  Celebrate Parramatta’s diversity with finger foods from many cultures.

Date: March 21
Time:  10am-1pm
Meet:  Meet at Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre, 346A Church St, Parramatta  
Suitable for:  Women
Cost:  Free
Booking not required

Biodiversity Bushcraft

 


Environmental Treasure Hunt

Bring your children along to explore the bush and uncover a wonderland of natural treasures!  Kids will embark on a hunt for environmental clues in local bushland, discovering and examining many hidden treasures.  

This program is aimed at children aged from 5 to 8 years old. Carers may also attend, but must supervise any younger children in their care.
Bookings are essential.  Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time, for registration.  Wear comfortable shoes.  Bring water, snack and a hat.

Date: April 24
Time:  10am-11.30am
Location:  Third Settlement Reserve, Winston Hills
Suitable for:  5-8 year olds, plus carers
Cost: $5 per person

register here

Environmental Treasure hunt

Aboriginal Cultural Activity -  Bush Tucker Walk

Celebrate National Reconciliation Week with an Aboriginal guide.  

On this relaxed walk along a beautiful stream you will be introduced to the variety of native plants which sustained the traditional Aboriginal custodians of this area, the Darug people. Learn about the many food and medicinal plants that grow in our local bushland and discover some of the other resources provided by our beautiful native trees and shrubs.
This program is aimed at adults and families with children over 7 years of age. Parents or carers must supervise any younger children in their care. Tracks may be slippery, rocky or muddy, and include a creek crossing.
Bookings are essential. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time, for registration. Wear comfortable shoes. Bring water, snack and a hat. 

Dates: June 2 
Time:  10am-12pm
Meet:  Hunts Creek Reserve, Carlingford
Suitable for:  Adults, Children 7 and Up
Cost: $5 per person

Register here

Aboriginal Cultural Activity -  Ochre Painting Workshop

Celebrate National Reconciliation Week with an Aboriginal guide.  

The Darug people are Parramatta’s first people and its traditional custodians. Parramatta’s name comes from their words meaning “the place of eels”.   The eels, symbol of Parramatta, still thrive in the Parramatta River.

Join Aboriginal custodian, Chris Tobin, in this interactive workshop, where you will have the opportunity to hear stories of Aboriginal life, uncover the cultural significance of local plants and animals, and pick up the basics of a traditional cultural practice.  Weather permitting, participants will assist in painting temporary artworks, in natural ochres, on beautiful eucalyptus trees along the river.

This program is aimed at families with children over 7 years of age.  Parents or carers must supervise any younger children in their care.
Bookings are essential.  Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time, for registration.  Bring water, snack and a hat.   

Dates: April 18 
Time:  10am-12pm
Meet:  Don Moore Reserve
Suitable for:  Adults, Children 7 and Up
Cost: $5 per person

Register here

Aboriginal Cultural Activity

 


Bush Babies Nature Ramble

Pre-schoolers discover the joys of the natural world, through engaging activities, storytelling and a pleasant meander in a parkland setting.  Help them engage with the natural world, before they become slaves to the screen!

This tour is aimed at preschool children, 3-5 years, and their carers.  It includes an easy walk, which is stroller and wheelchair accessible.  Younger children may also attend but must be supervised by parents or carers at all times.

Bookings are essential.  Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time, for registration.  Bring water, snack and a hat.

Dates: 

  • May 22 

Time:  10am-11:30pm
Meet:  Meet at Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre, 346A Church St, Parramatta
Suitable for:  Children 3-5 years, with their carers
Cost: $5 per person

register here

Parramatta tales

The Source of Life BUSHWalk

An easy bushwalk to explore some of the ways plants and animals find, use and store water.  Learn how we can protect our urban waterways and safely provide water for the critters that share our suburbs.
  
This tour is aimed at adults and families with primary school children, aged 7 years over.  The track includes uneven terrain, unfenced waterways and it may be slippery.  Carers must supervise any younger children in their care, who must be able to keep up with the pace of the group.

Bookings are essential.  Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time, for registration.  Wear comfortable shoes.  Bring water, snack and a hat.

Date: April 26 
Time:  10am-12pm
Meet:  Vineyard Creek Reserve, Telopea
Suitable for:  Adults, children 7 and up.
Cost: $5 per person

Register here


Building Bridges

Join us during the school holidays for a short walk along the Parramatta River and a range of bridge themed activities.

The Parramatta River was once a major barrier for the expansion of the convict settlement. Come for an easy walk to see the many types of bridge that now provide easy access to the north, and learn about the different methods used to build them.  Then test your bridge building skills as you construct an arch, beam or truss bridge.
 
This program is aimed at primary school aged children. Carers may also attend, but must supervise any younger children in their care.
Bookings are essential.  Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time, for registration.  Wear comfortable shoes.  Bring water, snack and a hat.

Date: April 16
Time:   10am-12:30pm 
Meet:  Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre, 346A Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150
Suitable for:  Children 7-11 years, plus carers
Cost: $5 per person

Register here

Building Bridges

 


World Oceans Day Special - Riverkeepers  

Parramatta’s name comes from the Aboriginal word for “the place of eels”; these fascinating animals still thrive in the Parramatta River.  Celebrate World Oceans Day and this local icon; learn how protecting local river-life will also benefit our oceans.

Visit the eels’ home, along the Parramatta River, to discover their truly fascinating life cycle and the almost unbelievable oceanic journey each eel must undertake.  Get involved in eel storytelling, puppet fun and song; create your ideal eel habitat and make an eel to take home.
 
This program is aimed at children aged from 5 to 8 years old. Carers may also attend, but must supervise any younger children in their care.
Bookings are essential.  Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time, for registration.  Bring water, snack and a hat.

Date:  June 8
Time:  10am - 11:30am
Meet:  Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre, 346A Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150
Suitable for:  5-8 years, plus carers
Cost: $5 per person

Register here

Wildlife Welcome here

 


Bush Detective School

Make like a detective to find out how the bush works.  We'll be using a range of devices - and all of our senses - to uncover clues as to animal escape routes, hideaways and the wild lifestyles of the niche and fabulous.
  
This program is aimed at primary school aged children.  Carers may also attend, but must supervise any younger children in their care.

Bookings are essential. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time, for registration.  Wear comfortable shoes.  Bring water, snack and a hat.

Date: April 17
Time:  10am - 12pm
Meet:  Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre, 346A Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150
Suitable for: Children 7 - 11 years , plus carers
Cost: $5 per person

Register here


BATS, BIRDS & BEASTIES

The Parramatta River is the lifeblood of the city for a surprising array of creatures with fur, fins, feathers or scales. Learn about them, and maybe even meet some, on this activity based walk along the river.  Expect fun, games and exercise. 

This program is aimed at primary school aged children. Carers may also attend, but must supervise any younger children in their care.

Bookings are essential.  Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time, for registration.  Wear comfortable shoes.  Bring water, snack and a hat.

Date: April 27
Time:  10am - 12:30pm
Meet:  Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre, 346A Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150
Suitable for:  Children 7 - 11 years, plus carers

Register here

Bush Detective School

 

WARAMi MITTIGAR - ABORIGINAL CULTURAL WALK

The Darug people are Parramatta’s first people and the traditional custodians of this land.  Parramatta’s name comes from their word “burramatta, meaning “the place of eels”.   
This easy walk, along the river and in beautiful Parramatta Park, is a wonderful opportunity to spend time on country with an Aboriginal traditional custodian, learning about connections to land, plant uses, tools, hunting and other aspects of local culture.  
This tour is aimed at adults and families with primary school children, aged 7 years over.  The route is partly along unfenced waterways and shared pathways.  Carers must supervise any younger children in their care, who must be able to keep up with the pace of the group.
The activity will NOT be cancelled in case of rain or otherwise adverse weather.  Instead, it will become an interactive cultural presentation in the Heritage Centre, where you meet. Should the weather improve, a shorter walk will take place.
Bookings are essential.  Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time, for registration.  Wear comfortable shoes.  Bring water, snack and a hat.

Dates:

  • April 1, 14
  • May 6, 12, 26
  • June 3, 9

Time:  10am - 12pm
Meet:  Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre, 346A Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150
Suitable for:  Adults & Children 7 and up
Cost: $5 per person

Register here

Minibeast Safari

Explore the miniature worlds that are hidden in plain view in our bushland reserves.

Participants will use a fun range of techniques to get up close and personal with the tiny bugs and beasties that live in the bush, the lake and your backyard. They will discover how they benefit the entire ecosystem - and also help us test its health.  

This program is aimed at primary school aged children. Carers may also attend, but must supervise any younger children in their care, who must be able to keep up with the pace of the group.  Some activities will take place by the water’s edge.

Bookings are essential.  Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time, for registration.  Wear comfortable shoes.  Bring water, snack and a hat.

Date:  April 23 
Time:  10am-12pm
Meet:  Quarry Branch Creek, Winston Hills
Suitable for:  Children 7 - 11 years, plus carers
Cost:  $5 per person

Register here

HOW TO BOOK

Book online 
Call us - 1300 889 714 or 02 8839 3311
Visit us in person - 346A Church Street Parramatta