Rowing back to colonial times on Parramatta River

Parramatta lord mayor John Chedid plans to use Parramatta River as a theatre for nautical spectacles, not seen since colonial days.

‘‘We’re trying to activate this beautiful foreshore of ours,’’ Cr Chedid said of Parramatta Council’s plan to rent out 10 vintage dinghies and two paddle wheelers for  use on Parramatta River.

A water safety instructor will supervise the goings-on which form part of the mayor’s Healthy City Initiative.

There will be also free wireless internet available and access to board games and totem tennis on the foreshore, as well as deck chairs from which to sit and watch.

Bands and food stalls are also planned.

‘‘At the moment, the plan is to trial it and, if it proves popular, we may look into having a commercial operator run this service permanently,’’ Cr Chedid said.

He said he welcomed ideas from other groups keen to run water activities on the river.

Available for hire: 10 vintage dinghies and two paddle wheelers

When: 11am-2.30pm and 3.30pm-7pm

Where: Parramatta River, southern bank, between Church Street and Wilde Avenue, Parramatta

Cost: $10 for half an hour

Did you know? Row far enough along the Parramatta River and you will notice a broken white column mounted on a rock near the water’s edge at Henley — a monument to professional Australian sculler Henry Searle (1866-1889). The monument marks the finish line where, a year earlier, he defeated the world rowing champion.

View our gallery of rowing on Parramatta River here:

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