Head due west from Sydney’s CBD along the Western Freeway and, after about 25km, you’ll be at the heart of Merrylands - a densely-populated, blue collar suburb bordering the historic City of Parramatta. Parramatta, in fact, is a destination in itself and the guide books advise visitors to set aside at least one full day to wander the heritage trail which includes such gems as Elizabeth Farm, family seat of the Macarthur family and cradle of the Australian wool industry, the Lancer Barracks built during the Macquarie administration and still used by the Army and Old Government House, built in 1799 and the oldest public building in Australia. Like much of western Sydney, Merrylands is a multicultural place, its diverse ethnic background provided by the many World War II immigrants and refugees from war-torn Europe who sought a new life in Australia. Following the Vietnam War between 1961 and 1975, many refugees from that stricken country added to the mix. The road west from Parramatta and Merrylands leads to Penrith, the Nepean River and Warragamba Dam and beyond to the magical, old world villages and the myriad scenic lookouts of the Blue Mountains.