Parramatta bucket list top picks

Here are some top picks that should be on your Parramatta bucket list. How many do you have left to experience? 

6 mins read

Tick these off your Parramatta bucket list

There are so many things to do in Parramatta, thanks to the vibrant mix of lifestyles and cultures found throughout the city. Here are some top picks that should be on your Parramatta bucket list. How many do you have left to experience? 

See the New Year in at Nick & Nora’s

Nick & Nora’s is found on the 26th floor of V by Crown. It’s a cocktail and champagne bar with a classic Speakeasy, post-prohibition atmosphere. They serve over 50 champagnes, a signature list of cocktails, and have an impressive back bar of world-class spirits. You can visit any time of the year and enjoy this luxury experience. 

If you go on New Year’s Eve, you’ll find something even more special. Why? Because Nick & Nora’s hosts an unforgettable themed event. Past years have been Masquerade and Great Gatsby themed. With limited space, be sure to book your ticket and arrive early to secure your spot.  

Attend Parramatta Lanes festival

The annual Parramatta Lanes festival is a great bucket list idea. It’s a massive 12-street festival in the heart of Parramatta full of ‘beats, eats and art.’ Each year more than 50 vendors bring their very best to you. From restaurants and food trucks to pop-up bars, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. 

There’s also a range of live music and art installations for your entertainment.

Parramatta Lanes festival - laneways lit up with fairy lights

Attend Warami Festival and Lunar New Year Festival

The Warami festival celebrates and commemorates the First Nations culture in Parramatta. It runs for several weeks each year, so there’s plenty of time to visit. Maybe two or three times! 

Warami is a Darug word meaning ‘good to see you.’ The Warami festival recognises and celebrates the Burramattagal people who have called Parramatta home for over 60,000 years. 

Parramatta celebrates many cultures around the world too. Another exciting festival in Parramatta is the Lunar New Year. There are always gorgeous art installations celebrating that year’s Zodiac animal and lots of fantastic food to eat.

Cycle the River Valley Cycleway (and catch the Rivercat back to Parramatta)

If you’re looking for a simple bucket list idea, grab your bike and ride the River Valley Cycleway. This 20-kilometre path follows the Parramatta River. It’s relatively flat, making it perfect for a leisure ride and some good exercise. The path goes from the Parramatta CBD through the Ermington Nature Reserve to the Morrison Bay Park in Ryde. If you’re too tired to cycle back, you can always catch the Rivercat back to Parramatta!

Wine and dine amongst the vines at Lachlan’s Old Government House

Lachlan’s Old Government House is a great bucket list idea for those who love history and good food. It’s located at Parramatta Park and has been turned into a gorgeous restaurant with seating inside and outside on the long veranda.  

Lachlan’s Old Government House has recently been World Heritage-listed by the United Nations. You can book the venue for weddings, corporate events, and special functions. 

woman enjoying a high tea at lachlan's

Go on a ghost tour at Parramatta Gaol

Only the brave should put the Parramatta Gaol on their bucket list. You can choose from a ghost tour or ghost hunt. The tours focus on the history and stories of the prison. The ghost hunt is interactive and invites you to try to communicate with any spirits who may be lingering there. 

The Parramatta gaol was originally built in 1796. The prison permanently closed in 2011. Whether you visit for the history (or the ghosts), be sure to book a Parramatta Gaol ghost tour

Parramatta Gaol exterior shot

Attend a Warami Mittigar tour

The Warami Mittigar tour is an easy walk along the Parramatta River and Park. Guided by a traditional Aboriginal custodian, you’ll learn about connections to the land, plant uses, tools, hunting and other aspects of local culture. These tours are family-friendly and welcome primary school children. 

warami tour
Image credit: Destination NSW

Parramatta food tour

If you’re a foodie, the Parramatta food tour should be at the top of your bucket list. This tour allows you to experience Parramatta’s multicultural lifestyle is at its finest. 

On this food tour, you will taste cuisines from all over the world. You will meet new people and hear stories about Parramatta’s history. You’ll experience a variety of Australian modern fusion cuisines that have resulted from the cultural melting pot that is Parramatta. Visit the Taste of Australia tour website for more information. 

people on food tour laughing and enjoying food samples

Picnic in Wistaria Gardens

The Wistaria Gardens are available all year round but should be at the top of your bucket list ideas in spring. Located near Parramatta Park, these gardens are full of wisteria and cherry blossoms around August and September. 
It’s a beautiful place to enjoy good weather, have a picnic, and even take some new family photos.

wistaria gardens in blossom

Boating and swimming at Lake Parramatta Reserve

Head on over to Lake Parramatta Reserve for another easy and simple bucket list idea. It’s an easy way to get outside and entertain yourself (and kids) all day. Besides all the bushwalks and nature, the lake itself is full of activities. 

Starting in October every year, the lake has a designated swimming area that is patrolled by lifeguards. If you don’t want to get wet, that’s ok. You can rent boats, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, swan pedalboats, and more.  

mother and daughter on pedal boat

Cheer on your team at CommBank Stadium

If you’re looking to blend in with the locals, go to the CommBank Stadium on game night. You and about 30,000 other fans will be cheering in a stadium that brings the action to you. With the steepest grandstands in Australia, CommBank Stadium offers a unique experience no matter how many games you’ve seen before.

commbank stadium interior