About 20 kilometres, 12.5 miles, west of the Sydney city centre is Parramatta, where Australia's colonial history can be discovered. Parramatta, with its fertile soil, was Australias first European market town, developed to supply residents of Sydney with fresh produce.
It is an excellent place to visit to gain an insight into the citys early European history. In the early days of the colony, Parramatta outshone Sydney Cove as the cultural and social centre. Today, Parramatta is the commercial centre of western Sydney.
Parramattas Heritage Buildings
There remains some excellent examples of colonial architecture including the Old Government House, Governor's Bath House, Tudor Gate House, Elizabeth Farm, Lancer Barracks and the regimental museum Linden House.
Dating from 1793, Elizabeth Farm is the oldest surviving home in Australia. It was the first farm to breed merino sheep, a vital industry to Australia's economy. Elizabeth House is now a museum, with 1820-50 period furnishings.
Old Government House, built in 1799, is the oldest intact public building in Australia. The building is protected through its National Trust listing and houses early 19th-century furniture.
At St Johns Cemetary rests many of the settlers who arrived on the First Fleet.