Family Tour of The River: Burramatta to Cockatoo

Bring the kids on our special family tour of Old Government House's new exhibition, The River. Children of all ages and their guests are invited to uncover the history of the Parramatta River over its centuries of use for transport, food, fun and indigenous culture.

During the school holidays take a special family tour with our expert guide who will reveal some great stories of the Parramatta River. Kids of all ages welcome!

Just near Old Government House the confluence of Darling Mills Creek and Toongabbie Creek form the headwaters of the Parramatta River. This area was used by the local Burramatta people as a gathering place before the arrival of the British, and it was chosen for the settlement of Parramatta as the land was fed by the freshwater of the river.

“The River” will tell the stories of centuries of use of the River, including by the Burramattagal, and explore the impacts of colonisation and industrialisation on the River, its use for recreation and the current campaign to clean up the River to allowing swimming.

Explore the story of Subiaco House, a once grand colonial mansion demolished for an industrial site, learn about the early ferries, delight in the swimming spot of “Little Coogee”, and become involved with the campaign to make the River swimmable again. View objects from the National Trust collection and on loan from the Maritime Museum, Naval Heritage Centre and Parramatta Council.


Images (L-R): Family entering Old Government House; Subiaco by Frederick Charles Terry, c. 1860, published by Degotardi & Co., courtesy of National Library of Australia; Bayview Park Baths Launch, courtesy of Parramatta River Catchment Group.


Tour details

This tour runs from 11am – 12pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays from:

  • Tuesday 26 Sept – Thursday 5 October 2023

Access: Please note this exhibition is located on the top floor of Old Government House, up a flight of stairs.


How to book your tickets

Tickets include entry to the exhibition and also grants full access to the house.

Spaces limited.

Book via Eventbrite where possible, to guarantee a spot.



Please contact the property direct using the details below.


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Plan your visit

Old Government House


Parramatta Park, Pitt Street Entrance, Parramatta NSW 2150


Tuesday to Sunday, 10am - 4pm. Last entry 3:30pm
Australia Day
Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday


Saturday 23 December 2023 to Wednesday 10 January 2024
Public holidays: Good Friday, Anzac Day, King’s Birthday, Labour Day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day

(02) 9635 8149
Entry Fees:

National Trust Members – FREE
Adult - $15
*Concession/child - $12
Family - $42
Children under 5 years – FREE
* Concession applies for full-time students, seniors, pensioners and children aged 5-15 years.

How to book your tickets
Tickets can be purchased at visitor reception or booked in advance to guarantee your spot. Booking fees apply.
Book a ticket now.
Terms and conditions of entry apply.

What we offer:




Learn More
Images above (L-R):
  • Goal Bridge in 1826. Horses stand behind where the Parramatta Riverside Theatre now resides,Vue d’un pont a l’entree de Paramatta by Louis Auguste de Sainson, c. 1860, courtesy of National Library of Australia
  • Little Coogee. A popular swimming and picnic spot on the river, image c.1920, courtesy of Parramatta Park and Western Sydney Parklands Trust
  • Lake Parramatta in 2020, courtesy of City of Parramatta
Images below:
  • The landing place at Parramatta, Port Jackson by George William Evans, c. 1809, courtesy of State Library of New South Wales
  • Lake Parramatta in 2020, courtesy of City of Parramatta
  • A view of Government Farm at Rose Hill, New South Wales 1791

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