Feature: Enjoy Parramatta's Heritage — on your bike!
- Where is the bath house Governor Brisbane built himself to soothe his arthritis?
- Where are two of the five clocks given to the colony by King George IV in 1822?
- Where is Australia's oldest publicly-owned building?
- Where did Governor Fitzroy's wife die, after her carriage overturned when the horses bolted?
- Where can you find Australia's (arguably!) oldest licensed hotel?
The answer to all these is Parramatta, a place wonderfully rich in history in the very heart of Sydney.
Parramatta Heritage Ride Site
You can find much more detail in CAMWEST's new Parramatta Heritage Bike Ride website, at http://camwest.pps.com.au/heritage/. The site outlines 57 historic locations, with descriptions and 309 detailed photos. A self-guided tour guide can also be downloaded and printed for the ride. The website and printable guide are designed to work together, with the website showing many detailed colour photos and allowing free browsing of the sites, and the guide being an easy to use resource to take on your ride. Also included are information on how to get there, riding tips, and links to other relevant sites.
The route was carefully designed for cyclists and trialed on our community rides. It starts at Parramatta station, heading West to Parramatta Park, and then North to Parramatta Gaol. It then returns to the CBD, and follows East to the Female Orphan School, near James Ruse Drive. The Harris Park area is then covered, including Elizabeth Farm, Experimental Farm Cottage, and Hambledon Cottage. Lastly, the route heads back to the CBD, covering the Old School House, beautiful Kia Ora, and Town Hall, ending at the station. Shorter alternatives are suggested in the guide for those with less time (or energy!). Options include taking the Rivercat from Sydney CBD, enjoying one of many great choices for breakfast or lunch at Church Street, or taking a picnic break at Parramatta Park.
The many photos in the site are organised into themes such as architecture, churches, war, education, and even quirky Parramatta! This serves as a kaleidoscope into the area's many faces.
The resource developed over time. It all started with a little dream of Paul Bowyer's, long-time CAMWEST member and keen amateur of Parramatta history. He organised a community ride touring the area's key historical sites, with commentary from his research. This was a wonderful way to let others experience Parramatta's heritage, but we were keen to produce a self-guided resource that could be used by riders at their leisure. The idea stayed in our collective backburner until Rob Catford, CAMWEST secretary, suggested we apply for a grant offered by Parramatta City Council. We were glad to receive nearly $3,000 and Marty Olmos, CAMWEST web master, quickly got to work. Many web pages and photos later, the site was ready for action.
CAMWEST would like to thank Parramatta City Council's funding and assistance of this project. We recommend to other BUGs that they investigate grant opportunities, as there are often many available , and can provide sorely needed resources to implement some of the many great ideas that are out there.
Visit the site now: CAMWEST's Parramatta Heritage Ride