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Parramatta & District Historical Group » Blogs » A Day out in Parramatta

  • A Day out in Parramatta

    Posted by Peter Richards May 28, 2014 - 208 views - 0 comments - 0 likes - #day trip  #parramatta  #hambleton cottage 

    I recently had the pleasure of being the guest of the Parramatta and District Historical Group. Where I caught up with Trevor Patrick at Hambledon Cottage, Gregory Place. It takes about an hour from Central Sydney and is accessible by train or River Cat (my preference).

     Parramatta is the Cradle City of Australia and is rich in history. It was founded in 1788, the same year as Sydney. The British Colony, which had arrived in January 1788 in the First Fleet at Sydney Cove, had limited food with which to support itself and the soil around Sydney Cove proved too poor to grow the amount of food that the 1,000 stong party needed to survive. A trip up the Parramatta River revealed an oasis of fertile soil which arguable saved the expedition and allowed them to put down sustainable roots in New South Wales. The only other inhabitants of the area at that time were the Darug people who regarded the area as rich in food from the river and forests. They called the area Baramada or Burramatta ('Parramatta') which means "the place where the eels lie down". To this day many eels and other sea creatures are attracted to nutrients that are concentrated where the saltwater of Port Jackson meets the freshwater of the Parramatta River.

     My visit included a guided tour around Hambledon cottage with commentary from my host and a chat with the research group housed in a separate building who spent much time educating me with their in depth knowledge of the area’s heritage. I was also impressed that the geneology of the group included direct links to both convict, soldiers and administrators of Governor Phillip Georges original party. For $20 you can trace ancestors from the areas rich past .

     Parramatta is well worth a visit and is packed with history and heritage at almost every turn but you do have to know where to look. I made my return to Central Sydney by river and sea – a rewarding experience that took in much of the areas flora and fauna.