These days, Parramatta is much more than Sydney’s western hub. A thriving riverside metropolis in its own right, there’s much to see, do, eat and drink throughout the city. Here’s an itinerary for your next daytrip west.
Breakfast at Lil Miss Collins
The phrase ‘all day breakfast’ is always a welcome one. Parramatta’s Lil Miss Collins provides the classics – bacon and egg rolls, avo on toast, pastries – and some robust dishes like salmon eggs Benedict, breakfast tacos and beef brisket sandwiches, that will keep you going all day. If you get there a bit later in the day, you’ll also find a lunch menu packed with pasta, burgers, salads and sandwiches stuffed with everything from marinated roasted cauliflower to Portuguese chicken. The cafe also has an expansive cocktail list, giving you the option of a long lunch.
Tour Parramatta by bicycle
One of the best ways to explore Parramatta’s many sights is on two wheels. Parramatta Bike Tours, located on Macquarie Street, is a social enterprise that hires out bikes ($15 an hour or $35 a day) and e-bikes ($50 a day). Included are a helmet, lock and map, with child seats, panniers and headlights optional extras. There’s a number of tours available, led by experienced guides familiar with the local road and bike-path rules.
Bike-friendly attractions in the area include Wistaria Gardens, a blossom-filled oasis in the grounds of Cumberland Hospital at the northern tip of Parramatta Park; World Heritage-listed buildings Dairy Cottage, which dates back to around 1800, and Old Government House, built on Burramatta Dharug land by convicts in 1799; Australia’s oldest surviving public building, Lachlans – a great spot for events and high tea; and the impressive Tudor Gatehouse, built in 1885, which marks the park’s George Street entry.
Make sure you take a moment on your travels to survey the Parramatta River, the main tributary of Sydney Harbour and a waterway of cultural significance to the clan groups of the Dharug people, who have lived along its banks for millennia.
Lunch at Camellia Hotel
All that cycling warrants a pub lunch. Leg it along the north bank of the river, crossing to the south bank when you reach the end of River Foreshore Reserve. There you’ll find Camellia Hotel, where a bistro menu features salads, burgers, pizza, steak from the grill, and pub classics including cider-battered barramundi and panko-crumbed chicken parmigiana.
132 James Ruse Road, Rosehill
Stop for a sweet treat at Threefold Pastry
It may not have occurred to you that the humble croissant can in fact be improved – like covering it in shards of white chocolate flavoured with pistachio and orange, for instance. Threefold Pastry considers the pastry a base in which to build artful confections such as chocolate, hazelnut and lavender toppings, or croissants stuffed with apple crumble or Ferrero Rocher. If you’re looking for something to take home, the bakery also has a range of savoury croissants, sandwiches and pies. Think chicken, peperonata, roasted tomatoes, marjoram pies and classic beef pies with red wine, tomato and rosemary.
A final drink at Alex & Co
It’s a sprawling 350-seat riverside venue comprising a cafe, restaurant and cocktail bar. Bright and breezy, Alex & Co is the perfect setting to share a charcuterie platter ($29) filled with cured meats, marinated olives, cheese and a fruity cocktail served by the jug – choose from Mango Breeze, Red Sangria, Peach Please or the Watermelon Cucumber Cooler (all $39). From there, it’s a short walk to the station.
Lot 2-4, 330 Church Street, Parramatta
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with City of Parramatta.