Located 24km west of Sydney, Parramatta is Australia's second oldest settlement - Sydney being the first. Parramatta is often referred to as the "cradle city" due to its significant farming contribution to help feed the whole colony. Events which happened first in Parramatta include the first:
successful farm; train line to Sydney (1855); woollen good manufactured; recorded race meeting (1810); agricultural society; vineyard; public fair; ferry (1789); jail; plough used; legal brewery; land grant; orchard; woollen mills; tannery.
Parramatta was founded on 2 November, 1788, first named Rose Hill, later changed to the Aboriginal name of Parramatta, meaning "the place where the eels lie down."
The first market was started in 1792 and sold grain, fish, poultry, livestock, wearing apparel and other articles. Parramatta Town Hall now stands on the original site.
The first land granted in Australia was to James Ruse, and was called Experiment Farm. James Ruse was the first "free" farmer. He grew wheat, maije and corn.
Parramatta was originally home to the Dharug Aboriginal tribe who had inhabitated the area for more than forty thousand years before British settlement in 1788.
The city has one of the finest and most important collections of colonial architecture, including Old Government House, Hambledon Cottage,Experiment Farm and many others.It also boasts Australia's oldest surviving building-Elizabeth Farm House (1793).Also many fine churches such as St Johns (1819).
Today, Parramatta is the geographic and demographic centre of greater Sydney.The skyline is now full of modern buildings, the tallest being Escen on Church, while retaining its rich historic atmosphere.It is Sydney's second most important commercial and retail CBD.