The western Sydney suburb of Rydalmere sits on the northern side of the Parramatta River, diagonally opposite the city of Parramatta itself. From Sydney’s CBD, it’s about 24km to Rydalmere.
Rydalmere looks straight across the river at one of Sydney’s best and most famous racecourses - Rosehill, home of the Golden Slipper. Rose Hill, in fact, was the fledgling colony of New South Wales' first food bowl.
The colony's first major wheat crop was planted and harvested at Rose Hill in 1789 and a year later pioneer settler James Ruse took up his first grant alongside the government farm.
Rose Hill was subsequently renamed Parramatta and ex-soldiers, ex-convicts and small land-holders mingled with prominent officials and free settlers on their much bigger riverside holdings.
One of the delights of the Parramatta River is the ‘rivercat’ ferry service which operates between Parramatta and Sydney Harbour, a service that provides its users with a unique perspective of some often overlooked riverside suburbs and an excursion that is highly recommended to visitors.