Parramatta as a city has plenty to see and do, its quite a normal type of city to be honest. Parramatta translates itself as “where the eels lie down”, it is an aboriginal word. The dominant sport here is Rugby League. And without attending a match I have become a fan of the local rugby league team, the Parramatta Eels. I’ve just been to the stadium and bought a wee banner, that’s all and sadly since I’ve lived in this area, the rugby season is over and won’t start again until March.
The Parramatta Eels finished second in Australia last year. They play in blue and yellow at the Parramatta Stadium, a pretty big ground on the other side of the bridge from where I live. The Parramatta Stadium is beside a park, a cricket pitch and the excellent outdoor swimming centre here.
The stadium is also near the Parramatta River, which leads all the way down to Sydney harbour and has a rivercat service (which we took on New Year’s Eve as the party boat). The Eels are known as the blue and gold army. The stadium holds 21,000 odd. I’ve been inside the stadium and my housemate Daniel watched a match at the cricket pitch one day (I was at work and missed it).
The Eels lost 23-16 in the final at Melbourne against Melbourne Storm in 2009 and are favourites for the 2010 NRL Premiership. A massive parade was held in the city the day the Eels
Another local sport is baseball, and the local team play in orange and black: The Fairfield-Auburn Orioles. The Orioles play their home matches at Fairfield Park, and are sponsored by PJ Gallagher’s – the Irish Pub I’m working in. Every Sunday the guys from the Baseball team come in for food and drinks. So I’ve got to meet all the players, yet haven’t had a Sunday day time off to actually watch a match. Hopefully I’ll get to see them play.
Then there is the whole sightseeing aspect to Parramatta. The city is quite nice – we live beside a golf course, full of Eucalyptus Trees. The trees smell so sweet, you can literally sniff and smell the eucalyptus in the air as you walk up. We live here 10 – 15 minutes from from the city centre, strictly speaking we actually live in the area called Westmead, under Holroyd City Council rather than Parramatta.
PARRAMATTA GOLF COURSE
A 9 hole golf course next to our flat, at Belgian Street. We’ve already picked up a few stray golf balls and a club we found. Every day while walking to work or into town we pass through the golf course. We enjoyed a drink on one of the greens on Christmas Day.
From the top of the park on the other side of the path from the golf course, you get a great view of the city of Parramatta, its a lot bigger than Bangor in Northern Ireland where I grew up, it also has quite a few high rise buildings. When I move away from this area I’ll miss those walks through the hot sun and by the sweet smell of the Parramatta Eucalyptus trees.
LOCAL SHOP – GOOD STREET
Our local shop is a small yellow building on the next road – its over priced so we don’t shop there, but for an essential, its is only a 2 minute walk onto Good Street. Its known as your Handimart. The streets around the flat are typical Australian. Our flat is part of a bigger blocks of 3 storey flats. Its a nice place to live at the moment.
The only real problems are the heat of the flat – its often very hot and we need to constantly use the fan. There is also too many cockroaches lurking by and on one day I found a lizard in the bathroom. Living in the heat of Australia you need Cockroach killer! I hate the horrible little creatures that climb into the bins and through the windows into the kitchen.
SUPERMARKET – WOOLWORTHS
We do all our shopping at Woolworths. They may have gone bankrupt in the UK, but here in Australia Woolworths PLC is booming. From Kangaroo steaks to Vegemite to Canola Spread, I go to Woolworths once a week. The nearest competitors seem to be Coles, Franklins and Aldi.
I’ll write more about Parramatta – the sightseeing, the Irish Pub, the nights in and nights out. Its a great wee place to live, for now…
Population of Parramatta – 18,448
Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parramatta,_New_South_Wales
Parramatta City Council Website