Location: South Western Suburbs
Cabramatta, a suburb in south-western Sydney, is colloquially known as 'Cabra'. The presence of a migrant hostel alongside Cabramatta High School was decisive in shaping the community in the post-war period. In the 1960s and 1970s, the migrant hostel - along with its peer in Villawood - hosted a wave of migration from south-east Asia as a result of the Vietnam War, leading to Cabramatta now having the largest Vietnamese community in Australia.
During the 1980s, Cabramatta and the surrounding Fairfield area was something of a melting pot, characterised by a diversity of Australian-born children having migrant parents. Cabramatta was transformed into a thriving Asian community, displacing many of the previous migrant generation. Across that decade, many of these migrant parents and their children - now adults - were to settle and populate new housing developments in surrounding areas such as Smithfield and Bonnyrigg that were, until that time, mainly market gardens operated by the previous generation of migrants.
In the 1990s, Liverpool grew into a bustling commercial and consumer centre of the region, taking much of the shine away from Fairfield which to date has never seemed to have recovered its former glory. In between these two, Cabramatta developed its own identity. Today the bustling city centre of Cabramatta could be confused with the streets of Saigon and historic Chinatown. Here you can visit the colourful Pailau Gate or some of the ten fabric shops offering one of the widest ranges of fabrics to be found in one location, watch herbalists preparing their potions and see durian and pennywort drinks, rambujtan and jackfruit, chicken beaks and feet and ducks roasting in shop windows.
Cabramatta is Sydney's best kept gourmet secret, where you can buy all the exotic ingredients needed for authentic Asian cooking. Wandering through Asian supermarkets shopping for food becomes an adventure rather than a chore. Discover an exotic new world of pastes and purees, noodles and herbs, grass jelly and instant natural jellyfish irresistible to anyone with a taste for adventure!
Cabramatta Creek: The names of the suburb and the creek that flows through it are tken from the name of the local Aboriginal tribe, the Cabrogal. The name was first recorded for the 100 acre grant to Irish political prisoners, one of whom was Joseph Hole, who were the first colonists to settle here by the creek. The small village of Cabramatta, which emerged around 1814, took the name of Hole's property, Cabramatta Park. Click on or tap an attraction or locality to read the description. Click or tap again to hide the description.
With a tempting array of restaurants, food stalls, supermarkets and specialty stores, Cabramatta is a bustling marketplace capturing the vitality and diversity of South-East Asia. Choose from a wide range of Asian foods, herbs and spices, fresh seafood, meat and vegetables, quality fabrics, clothing, jewellery, electrical goods, herbal medicine and food specialties. You will always find someone eager to explain how to use Asian produce in your cooking, or sew beautiful fabrics into fabulous fashion. Here, among more than 60 eateries, are the authentic cuisines of Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, plus several Chinese styles and an excellent choice of vegetarian eateries influenced by the Buddhist communities in the area.
Neighbouring Canley Heights is Sydney's newest outdoor dining destination, and together with Canley Vale, the town centres offer great shopping and dining options with accessible parking.
Developed in the 1950s, Lansvale appears to have received its name as a result of a common practice of the day; to take the first part of a place name on one side and the last part of a place name on the other and come up with a new name for the suburb in between. Hence, in creating the name Lansvale, the Lans from Lansdown was added to thevale from Canley Vale. A subdivision here was sold as River Heights but there is no evidence to suggest it was ever considered as the name for this suburb.
A major feature of Lansvale is Mirambeena Regional Park, which consists of a string of parks and nature reserves on the banks of the Georges River and Prospect Creek stretching between the suburbs of Lansdown and Georges Hall. It caters for a variety of outdoor leisure activities, from model boating to sport and bushwalking. It was here that explorers Matthew Flinders and George Bass camped during their voyage of exploration up the Georges River in the early days of Sydney. Their visit is remembered in the name Flinders Slopes, one of the Park's five sections.
The names of Canley Heights and Canley Vale originate from Canley Grange, the name of a property occupied by Sir Henry Parkes' which he named after his birthplace, Canley Moat House, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire. His was the first house in the district. Canley Vale came into being in January 1900 and from that time slowly grew to the suburb it is today. Aboriginal people from the Cabrogal tribe, a sub-group of the Gandangara tribe, have lived in the Fairfield area for over 30 000 years. Canley Vale was once a woodland area and was originally part of the Male Orphan School Estate.
Cabramatta and Canley Vale were regarded as a single community and from the 1920s it was known as Cabravale. In 1899, the municipality of Cabramatta and Canley Vale, which had been established in 1892, was redivided, and the two separate wards were gazetted on 8 January 1900.
Orphan School Creek: one of two creeks of that name in the Sydney region. Much of Canley Vale, like neighbouring Cabramatta, was a woodland area, sloping down gently in a shallow valley that the creek ran through. In 1803 Gov. King rented out 12,300 acres in the valley, and the funds thus accrued were assigned to support the orphan schools at Sydney and Parramatta.
Carramar, a nearby suburb in south-western Sydney, takes its name from an Aboriginal word meaning 'shade of trees'. Its name indicates the area was once covered in forest. Land here was to be leased for farming in August 1803 though it appears it remained in the hands of a single owner until its subdivision into smaller farms in 1885. When the railway between Sydney to Campbelltown was built in 1856, the area was already known as Carramar. Its station, however, was first called South Fairfield and it wasn't until 1926 that its present name was officially adopted. In that same year the Villawood Post Office had its name changed to Carramar as it fell within the boundary of the newly created suburb.
Orphan School Creek flows into Prospect Creek where it borders Carramar and Canley Vale. Orphan School Creek is one of two creeks of that name in the Sydney region. Much of Canley Vale, like neighbouring Cabramatta, was a woodland area, sloping down gently in a shallow valley that the creek ran through. In 1803 Gov. King rented out 12,300 acres in the valley, and the funds thus accrued were assigned to support the orphan schools at Sydney and Parramatta.
Prospect Creek is an urban watercourse of the Georges River catchment. The name Prospect Creek was given to the area through which the creek flows by Capt. Watkin Tench in 1789 whilst exploring, searching for good farming land.
The name of the neighbouring suburbs of Mt. Pritchard recalls William Pritchard, a land speculator who in the 1880s owned land here and elsewhere in the Macarthur district. To honour Mr Pritchard's releasing from debt a number of landowners whom he'd financed who had defaulted in their payments because of The Great War, the estate was renamed Mount Pritchard in 1919. From the early settler days the general area had been known unofficially as Mount Misery, originally because of a story of one of the early settlers and his family camping there whilst travelling, losing their bullocks, and for three weeks remaining in misery until starvation compelled them to beat a retreat, minus bullocks and dray.
Mount Pritchard was originally home to the Cabrogal people who occupied much of the greater Fairfield area. Land in this area was allocated for settlement by convicts who had been transported to Australia for their part in the Irish Rebellion of 1798, one of whom was Joseph Holt. He was the first of many to establish farming which continued here until the 1960s when Mt. Pritchard was included for development as part of the Green Valley housing development project.
Lions Lookout: Located in Finder Park, Reservoir Road, Mt Pritchard, views from this lookout include many suburbs in the Liverpool area. No facilities.
A major administrative centre in Greater Western Sydney, Liverpool located 32 km south-west of the Sydney central business district a few station down the railway line from Cabramatta. Liverpool continues to undergo a rapid transformation into a major CBD in its own right. Liverpool is well served by roads such as the Hume Highway (also known as Liverpool Road), the M5 motorway, the Westlink M7 motorway. Liverpool railway station has reasonable services to Sydney CBD and Campbelltown as well as two morning peak services to Parramatta on most weekdays. The Liverpool to Parramatta transitway provides a bus-only route for buses.
The neighbouring suburb of Warwick Farm was named after the town of Warwick in England by John Hawley Stroud, the superintendent of the Liverpool Orphans School who received a grant covering the site of the Warwick Farm racecourse. He gave the name to his farm and it was later adopted for the whole area.
Among the first European occupants of land here were Irish political prisoners transported to New South Wales because of their involvement in the Irish rebellion of 1798. Grants were made to other transportees, many of whom were not criminals as we understand the term today, having opposed the government on matters of national interest. Warwick Farm racecourse came into being as a result of numerous farms in the area breeding horses and a course was created to race them. The first race meeting was held in 1889. During World War II, huts were built to create the British Navy shore base HMS Golden Hind. After the war the huts were used as emergency accommodation and named Hargrave Park. Shops and houses now occupy its site.
A well known landmark on the Hume Highway at Warwick Farm is a miniature version of Sydney's Harbour Bridge, which stands proudly at the entrance to the premises of motor dealer Peter Warren. First used in a display during half time at the 1987 Rugby League Grand Final at the Sydney Cricket Ground, it was built and assembled by apprentices from Garden Island.
Peter Warren, who was at the Grand Final, decided to purchase it and have it transported and erected at the front of his Warwick Farm motor dealership where it now stands. Numerous engineering modifications had to be carried out to comply with various statutory requirements, eg. road clearance to the bottom of the span to allow semi-trailers etc. to access the dealership under it.
The bridge was officially opened on Sunday 7th February 1988 and was Peter Warren's contribution to the Australian Bicentenary celebrations of 1988. Due to public response and the fact that it became such a recognisable landmark during 1988, permission was sought and eventually granted by all necessary authorities to allow the bridge to remain for perpetuity. The bridge is for display purposes only and cannot be entered or walked across.
Warwick Farm is the location of one of Sydney's abandoned suburban railway branch lines. The Racecourse branch was a 1.6 km line from Warwick Farm to the nearby racecourse, owned by the Australian Jockey Club. The Warwick Farm Racecourse branch line left the Main South line near Warwick Farm station. It then crossed Hume Highway at a level crossing before ending at the Racecourse station alongside Governor Macquarie Drive. The line had a 200m Horse Dock platform, and facilities for storing up to 8 trains. Race day special trains from North Sydney and the city were able to bring racegoers to the racecourse entrance. This 1.63 kilometre branch line was owned by the Australian Jockey Club and operated by CityRail and its predecessors. The Branch was closed in 1991. The platform as well as the gates on the racecourse boundary near where it crossed Hume Highway are all that remain of the line today. A free bus service now operates between the racecourse and the station is available on racedays.
Cabramatta railway station is a junction station on the Sydney Trains network, where the South line and Inner West line merge. Westbus and Veolia buses also service the area and transport residents in and around Cabramatta, from neighbouring the localities of Bonnyrigg, Mount Pritchard, Lansvale and Canley Vale.