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Parramatta River Walk

Home > Sydney > Free | Historic Houses | Outdoor | Picnic Spots | Walks
by Tim Falk (subscribe)
A freelance writer with an interest in just about everything.
Published September 19th 2012
Mangroves, wetlands, remnant bushland and plenty of history
When Governor Arthur Phillip explored the Parramatta River in 1788, he found much-needed fertile land for the fledgling colony right next to the river's supply of fresh water.

The river has seen plenty of changes in the 220-plus years since then, but it's still at the centre of plenty of Sydney activities.

Completed in 2011, the Parramatta River Walk offers a great way to explore the mangroves, wetlands, remnant bushland and historical spots dotted all the way along the river's course. Starting at either Woolwich Wharf on the northern side or Birchgrove Wharf on the southern side, the walk ends in Parramatta where the Darling Mills Creek and Toongabbie Creek meet.

And there's plenty to see along the way. From large expanses of water in places like Homebush Bay to numerous picnic spots like Putney Park, there's lots of natural scenery to admire.

In historical terms, there are several important sites and monuments along the way, including Quarantine Reserve at Abbotsford, Searles Monument located in the river off Henley, Parramatta River Regional Park and the former Gladesville Psychiatric Hospital. Locations like Kellys Bush, Glades Bay, Parramatta Park and Lake Parramatta Reserve are also home to Aboriginal cultural heritage sites. The Wangal, Wallumattagal and Burramattagal Aboriginal clans lived on the land adjacent to the river for thousands of years before the arrival of white settlers.

The route also takes in historic bridges, former industrial sites and important colonial house museums such as Old Government House.

The walk is split up into several smaller sections, so you can pick and choose how long you want to walk for and what you want to see.

Information on the Parramatta River Walk has been divided into three separate brochures: A Harbour Circle Walk, Parramatta River Walk - Gladesville Bridge to Ryde Bridge and Parramatta River Walk - Ryde Bridge to Parramatta.

With maps, walking times and public transport information, they've got all the information you need to set out on a walk.
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Why? Explore Sydney's history and some great scenery
Where: Start from Woolwich Wharf or Birchgrove Wharf
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