Four kilometres west of Parramatta, Wentworthville is part of Sydney’s second oldest settlement. Today the commercial centre of Parramatta serves something like 2 million people.
Mind you, the Parramatta region has played a dominant role a since the early days of colonisation - first as a food bowl and a holding area for convicts, then as an administrative centre and an alternative seat of government.
As a consequence, Parramatta can boast some of Australia’s finest examples of preserved and restored colonial architecture. Parramatta became Australia's first farm settlement soon after the First Fleet of convicts arrived from England in 1788. In a long list of firsts, the region went on to establish Australia's first orchard, vineyard, tannery, woollen mill, steam mill, market place and fair.
Later on, it became a major regional transport hub, providing the first road and rail links out of Sydney. Parramatta’s Elizabeth Farm, built in 1793, is the oldest surviving European building in Australia and played a central role in the social, political and agricultural life of the early British colony. Inside Parramatta Regional Park, Old Government House, built in 1799, is the oldest public building in Australia.