Media Release 23 September 2011
PARRAMATTA PARK WELCOMES COMPLETION OF COASTAL WALKING TRACK NETWORK
Parramatta Park Trust welcomed the launch in Parramatta today by NSW Premier the Hon. Barry O’Farrell MP of the 275-km Sydney Harbour & Coastal Walking Network and the Parramatta River Walk. The launch sees the completion of a continuous network of walking tracks along Sydney’s waterways – its beaches, harbour and the Parramatta River - after eight years of cooperation between almost 50 NSW government agencies, local councils and community groups. Parramatta Park Trust has accepted care, control and management of the new Governor Phillip Walk with funding assistance of a $75,000 Sharing Sydney Harbour Access Program Grant. The funding has enabled Parramatta Park Trust to construct a walking track from Parramatta Park to the head of the Parramatta River through Cumberland Hospital as part of the Parramatta River Walk. The Trust is part of a group of agencies and community representatives involved in the planning and construction of the track, including the Walking Volunteers, Western Sydney Local Health District, Children’s Hospital Westmead, Planning & Infrastructure, Corrective Services, Catchment Management Authority and Parramatta City Council. The Parramatta River Walk opens up access to the nationally significant confluence of Toongabbie Creek, Darling Mills Creek and the Parramatta River. It was here on 24 April 1788 that Governor Arthur Phillip camped after discovering desperately needed and well watered fertile land which was critical to the survival of the First Fleet and Colony of NSW, from which the Nation was created. By November 1788, Phillip had established a fortified camp and a Government Farm on the riverbank on the land now called Parramatta Park. Parramatta Park Trust Director Christopher Levins said today that the new track along the riverbank gives an unrivalled experience through World Heritage Listed Parramatta Park to the head of the river, visiting the core tribal land of the Darug people which Governor Phillip first witnessed in April 1788 and which led him to establish a government farm and house
Parramatta Park, Parramatta NSW
and town. “The walk from Parramatta Park to the head of the river includes major historical sites such as Phillip’s 1788 Government Farm; Government House (Old Government House; which contains archaeological remains of Phillip’s original house); The Crescent (a landscape feature named by Phillip which remains today), the government domain (Parramatta Park) and Phillip’s campsite of 24 April 1788.” “The land had been managed by Aboriginal people for tens of thousands of years. Phillip was attracted to the open landscape characterised by tall trees spaced evenly apart with tall, lush grasses between. After establishing farms, Phillip planned the town of Parramatta along two main streets – George (then called High Street) and Pitt Streets - below the domain.” “Old Government House and its Domain, Parramatta Park retains the original landscape setting, views and historical relationship with Parramatta. Today, with the opening of the Parramatta River Walk, the connection to the head of the river is re-established”, Mr Levins said.
Information: Christopher Levins 0407 620 669
Parramatta Park, Parramatta NSW