The Parramatta River Walk is a gorgeous stroll along the banks of the Parramatta River, and whether you’re a long-time local or a first-time visitor, this route is a must-do while you’re in town. It begins at the Ryde Bridge and ends at Parramatta, where you can jump on a ferry to head back downriver.
The walk follows some of the same route taken by then-Governor Arthur Phillip on April 24 1788 when he went searching for fertile land next to the river. His journey saw the establishment of Parramatta, which is why the walk is steeped in history just as much as it is beauty.
Here are three reasons to check out the Parramatta River Walk for yourself.
1. To explore parramatta park
The River Walk is dotted with awesome attractions and sights along the way, one of which is Parramatta Park. This park is 85 hectares, and you could easily spend a day exploring everything it has to offer.
The Dairy and Rangers Cottages is one of Australia’s oldest colonial sites, and you can take a guided tour while you’re there. Nearby is the Old Government House, which is the oldest surviving public building in Australia, and is now open to the public as a museum.
You can also visit the Rumsey Rose Garden and Murray Gardens to view the stunning landscaping on display, and perhaps enjoy a quick picnic.
2. To see the Lake Parramatta Reserve
While you can stop once you reach Parramatta, an extra 30-minute walk will take you all the way to the Lake Parramatta Reserve.
This gorgeous outdoor space is popular with locals, as you can take a dip in the lake (the Parramatta River is not currently considered safe to swim in, so the lake is your best option for a swim!), or even rent a boat to kayak out on the water.
You can also see more history here, as the Darug people are the traditional owners of the land, and you can explore the Bushfoods Garden and Walk to see evidence of their habitation with shelter caves, stone flaking, hand-stencils, and more.
During your visit, stop by the Lake Parramatta Cafe to pick up a coffee or a cold drink to enjoy as you rest your feet and enjoy the beautiful bushland views.
3. To have an excuse to visit Butcher and the Farmer
Butcher and the Farmer’s new location in Meadowbank is close to the starting point of the walk at Ryde Bridge, so by the time you walk from there to Parramatta (roughly 3 hours total), then take a ferry back down the river, you’ll be ready for a hearty meal.
Plus, after all that walking, you’ve earned it.
Pop in for a delicious and filling dinner, or simply stop by for a quick coffee and a starter to share. This is the perfect way to end your day’s adventures – with great food, a refreshing drink, and a view out over the river itself.