Located 23 km west of Sydney, the City of Parramatta is known for a lot of things. It is:
- Sydney’s second Central Business District (CBD);
- the sixth largest CBD in Australia;
- the CBD of the third largest economy in the country;
- renowned for its excellent dining and cultural events; and
- a hub of dining, shopping, commerce and entertainment.
Parramatta offers a rich mix of dining, cultural, entertainment, retail and leisure experiences.
It has something to cater for every taste. It is where people come together to enjoy a unique cultural life that is both proud of its past, and excited about its future.
The Heart of Greater Western Sydney
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History of Parramatta
The Darug people had lived in the area for many generations, and regarded the area as rich in food from the river and forests. They called the area Baramada or Burramatta (‘Parramatta’) which means “head of waters” or “the place where the eels lie down”. To this day there is a plenitude of eels and other sea creatures attracted to the profusion of nutrients created by the saltwater of Port Jackson meeting the freshwater of the Parramatta River’s catchment. The eel has been adopted as the symbol of the Parramatta Eels Rugby League club.
Parramatta 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 only enough food to support itself for a short time and the soil around Sydney Cove proved too poor to grow the amount of food that 1,000 convicts, soldiers and administrators needed to survive. During 1788, Governor Arthur Phillip had reconnoitred several places before choosing Parramatta as the most likely place for a successful large farm. Parramatta was the furthest navigable point inland on the Parramatta River (i.e. furthest from the thin, sandy coastal soil) and also the point at which the river became freshwater and therefore useful for farming.