Enjoy a brisk walk and learn about Aboriginal art & history
Parramatta Riverside Walk
One of the great places to see Aboriginal artwork and learn about Aboriginal history in Australia is through The Riverside Walk, along the northern side of Parramatta foreshore.
Lennox Bridge (one of the oldest bridge in Australia) on Church Street
If you plan to visit Parramatta by ferry, you can begin the walk from the wharf but you can also start from Church Street near the Visitor Information Centre. From the visitor centre, instead of crossing Lennox bridge (one of the oldest stone arch bridge in Australia), walk down a small flight of stairs to access the aboriginal themed riverside walkway.
Aboriginal artwork by Jamie Eastwood, 2000
The artwork on the footpath was designed, hand-painted and installed by Jamie Eastwood, a descendant of the Ngemba people of far northwestern NSW.
Different colors depicting different chapters of the history
The paintings featured Aboriginal history from early beginnings with different colours depicting different chapters of the history. I love the use of bright colours like yellow, blue and red.
Interpretive signs explaining the significance of the artwork were installed at the start of each section. Reading these signs were very helpful in understanding the interesting stories behind these paintings.
The Native Institution section describes the failure of Australia's first school for Aboriginal children in Parramatta known as the Native Institution, established by Governor Macquarie in 1814. Painting on this section represents Aboriginal children struggling from being taken away from their parents and homeland by officers from colonial authorities.
Artwork depicting sea creatures
My favourite section is the one that showcases various sea creatures.
A flock of ducks getting some sunshine
Next section, The Invasion, represents the arrival of the First Fleet which also resulted in conflict and hostility between the people.
Pemulwuy was an Aboriginal warrior who fought to protect his land but was ambushed and killed. The painting on the footpath represents Pemulwuy's stand off with colonial authorities on the streets of Parramatta.
The painted walkway ended with closing chapter called The Reconciliation where Australians come together to share, learn and understand Aboriginal culture as well as its heritage.
Barry Wilde Bridge Fountain
Continue walking along the footpath and you'll see the Barry Wilde bridge fountain which operates seven days a week from 12pm - 2pm and 5.30pm - 9.30pm.
Parramatta Ferry Wharf
Just a few meters away from the fountain is the Parramatta Ferry wharf where you can catch a ferry back to the city or have a cup of coffee at a cafe nearby. Otherwise, you can burn more calories by walking back to the Visitor Information Centre at Church Street which is only 500m away.
This is an easy walk of about 1km (500m each way) from Visitor Information centre to the wharf and vice versa. Take a stroll here next time when you are at Parramatta if you haven't done the walk yet.