Go West in July
The Village People knew it and passionately sang about it. Go West! Apparently, life is peaceful there. Well, for our mid-winter adventure, we’re going to explore our own backyard as we uncover the wonders that Western Sydney has to offer.
Western Sydney is one of the oldest settlement areas of Australia and is steeped in history. In modern times, it has also become the go-to place for many immigrants, which makes it a melting pot of diversity and culture.
Did you know?
Parramatta is the second oldest city in Australia. It was founded in 1788, ten months after Sydney’s foundation.
What to see and do in Western Sydney
West Side Story
If you want to know more about the story of the West Side of Sydney, head to Rosehill and visit Elizabeth Farm, Australia’s oldest surviving European building and home of Aussie pioneers, Elizabeth and John Macarthur.
Savour a delightful cuppa Devonshire tea at the Elizabeth Farm Tea Room. The museum is wheelchair accessible for all areas except the cellar and kitchen.
If you prefer a little tipple with a slice of history, spend a day at Gledswood Homestead & Winery and opt for the Seniors Lunch package that offers a welcome drink of Devonshire tea upon arrival, a history tour of the homestead, a sumptuous roast lunch and tasting of up to eight wines paired with food so you’ll fully appreciate the distinct flavours.
For a history class with a difference, you can climb aboard the Nepean Belle Paddlewheeler and enjoy an interesting historical commentary with a lunch or a cuppa as it winds its way through the 50-million-year-old Nepean Gorge.
The boat is walking frame and wheelchair accessible, but spaces are limited so be sure to notify them in advance.
“West End” Entertainment
Right, that’s enough studying for one trip! Now, it’s time to experience Western Sydney’s version of the West End in the form of the Riverside Theatre in Parramatta.
Did you know?
It is considered bad luck to say the word ‘Macbeth’ in theatres (unless, of course, you are on stage acting in Shakespeare’s Macbeth). Many a theatre mishap or tragedy has been attributed to this curse.
The Riverside Theatre is the city’s foremost performing arts centre, located alongside the Parramatta River. It has three venues of different seating capacities to hold a variety of events: from stand-up comedy acts to large scale international productions of plays and musicals.
The theatre is wheelchair accessible and also provides facilities for people with disabilities, such as hearing or visual impairments. Given the challenges brought about by the pandemic, the Riverside Theatre assures audiences that they are strictly practising precautionary measures with their COVID-19 Safety Plan. So everyone can still enjoy the show and stay safe.
A fabulous line-up is in store for you this July! Around 150 young Scouts and Guides are the stars of the Cumberland Gang Show 2021: Rise Up. If you want to support them in their musical variety spectacular, they will be bursting onstage from 2-10 July. There will be an Audio Described performance on 7 July at 11:00 am and an Auslan Interpreted performance on 10 July at 2:30 pm.
If foot-tapping jazz tunes are more to your liking, The Tap Affect brings to life the inspiring stories of Australia’s biggest names in tap dancing. Performances are from 8–10 July at 8.00 pm, with a matinée on 10 July at 2.30 pm.
Did you ever dream of running away to join the circus? Well, the award-winning Chasing Smoke will bring those dreams to vivid colour in front of your eyes. Be enthralled by the inspiring story of Aboriginal survival as performed by Australia’s only indigenous contemporary circus group.
With jaw-dropping aerial and floor-based routines blended with sketch comedy and heartfelt storytelling, Chasing Smoke is truly an unforgettable theatrical experience. The show will run from 14-17 July with an Auslan interpreted performance on 17 July at 7:30 pm.
Finally, let’s loosen up, have a laugh and enjoy some good (not always clean) fun!
Visit the Sydney Comedy Club on 17 July to experience the all-female Yeah the Girls Comedy for a night of laughter featuring some of the best comedians in Sydney.
Did you know?
Aboriginal Australians are the oldest known civilization in the world, with ancestries as far back as 75,000 years!
Go West for a Taste of the East (and Beyond)
Thanks to the tapestry of multiculturalism that Western Sydney has become, you can eat your way through half the world without venturing further than a few neighbourhoods over.
Are you craving some Vietnamese food? Cabramatta has you covered. Moggy for Middle Eastern cuisine? Merrylands is your answer. Itching for some Indian? Head to Harris Park.
Leaning toward Lebanese? Lakemba’s your spot. Balking at anything but Balkan cuisine?
Liverpool will bail you out. Eager for Ethiopian? Blacktown’s Gursha Ethiopian Restaurant and Café will take you as far as Africa.
If the choices are overwhelming, consider joining a Taste Tour that will lead you to the best spots. Take your appetite on a tasteful adventure!
Did you know?
Pho (pronounced ‘fuh’) is the national dish of Vietnam and is a broth with rice noodles, meat and herbs that is heart-warming and delicious.
The Wild West
Western Sydney also provides all the wildlife you’d ever hope to see within a stone’s throw of your front door.
For indigenous animals that are Aussie-born-and-raised since time immemorial, head to Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park. With over 2,000 native animals, the park is home to the world’s largest collection of Australian wildlife. The park is flat and wheelchair accessible and has disabled bathrooms.
For animals from Africa, Asia, Australia and beyond, visit Sydney Zoo. The zoo is wheelchair accessible. If you need a carer to accompany you, you may be able to get a Companion Card that gives your companion free entrance.
West Fests, Fairs and Fun
What better way to embrace chilly July than by having a Chill Fest? Campbelltown is hosting its winter wonderland until 11 July 2021. You can experience a European food village, an Alpine winter market, and get into the spirit of winter with snowfalls. If you are in a wheelchair, be sure to go on a dry day as the festival is held on grass. While it is wheelchair accessible, it may be difficult to use if the grass gets soggy.
Experience the rich and fascinating cultural heritage of Japan at the KAZOKU! event to celebrate Campbelltown’s sister city, Koshigaya. Head to the Campbelltown Arts Centre on 3 July from 11:00 am if you want to participate in tea ceremonies, Bonsai demonstrations and origami workshops, watch drumming and samurai sword performances, and enjoy succulent Japanese food.
After all this activity, it’s time to sit back, relax and watch a good movie under the stars at Skyline Drive In in Blacktown. Running since 1963, it is the only remaining drive-in movie theatre in Sydney. Have a nostalgic night of outdoor movie watching with tasty treats from the diner!
Did you know?
Kazoku is the Japanese word for ‘family’.
From history to arts to food to fauna to fairs, Western Sydney has shown us a fabulous time, without the travel costs. Perhaps the Village People were on to something. Go West, indeed!
Time for a cuppa.
Thanks for joining us on our trip and stay tuned for the next suite of destinations!
Over and out.
Do you need assistance to leave your home? Do you want some company to take you to places? If so, we can help! Contact your Coordinator now and ask how they can arrange assistance for you.