Every place has a story. It's these stories that transform locations to a sense of place.

The annual NSW Heritage Festival offers a range of history-focused events. This year, the Australian Heritage Festival will be held between 18 April and 19 May 2019.

We update this page every year to bring you the latest events.

Sydney Highlights of the Australian Heritage Festival 2019

Here are our picks of NSW Heritage Week walking tours.

Walks in Parramatta

Lying 20km west of Sydney's central business district, Parramatta is Australia's oldest inland European settlement. Founded in 1788, there are many historic buildings.

There are three walking events during the Australian Heritage Festival 2019 that sound especially good.

A Walk With Governor Phillip – Parramatta River

This walk takes you past some of the most significant heritage sites from colonial New South Wales – Old Queen’s Wharf, Old Government House, the Parramatta Female Factory, and Aboriginal scar trees (if you're interested in scar trees, here's a canoe tree in Royal National Park).

  • Location: Parramatta Wharf, Parramatta
  • Date: Wednesday 24 April 2019
  • Hosted by: Parramatta Branch of National Trust
  • Cost: $10. Bookings essential.
Pubs of Parramatta

When naturalist Charles Darwin visited Parramatta in 1836 (who knew?), he commented that “every second house” was a pub.

This walk visits 12 of the settlements oldest hotels. But with a 10am kick-off, this tour is more history than drinking.

  • Location: Centenary Square, Parramatta
  • Date: Wednesday 1 May 2019
  • Hosted by: Parramatta Branch of National Trust
  • Cost: $15. Bookings essential.
Discover the Foundations of Parramatta

This walk focuses on a number of archaeological sites located within the CBD of Parramatta. These sites are amongst the most significant remains of the early colonial history

  • Location: Old Government House, Parramatta
  • Date: Thursday 9 May 2019
  • Hosted by: Parramatta Branch of National Trust
  • Cost: $15. Bookings essential.

For Architecture Lovers

While most have heard of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, named after architect Walter Burley Griffin, fewer know of his and his architect wife's vision for the Sydney Harbour suburb of Castlecrag.

The Griffins’ Castlecrag – Hidden House Hop

“No fences, no boundaries, no red roofs to spoil the Australian landscape; these are some of the features that will distinguish Castlecrag.” – Walter Burley Griffin

Learn how Griffin made his houses disappear within the landscape on this two hour walk connecting eight Griffin houses, walkways and reserves.

  • Location: Castlecrag
  • Date: Saturday 4 May 2019
  • Hosted by: Walter Burley Griffin Society
  • Cost: $20. Bookings essential.

Harbour Cruises

These next two heritage events make it on our list – despite not being walks – simply for our love of Sydney Harbour.

Up the Lazy River

A cruising tour of Parramatta River from Darling Harbour to Newington, with a stopover at the Newington Armory Cafe for lunch.

  • Location: Maritime Museum, Sydney
  • Date: Saturday 11 May 2019
  • Hosted by: Sydney Heritage Fleet
  • Cost: $45. Bookings essential.

Image: Sydney Heritage Fleet.

Seven Islands Cruise

The Seven Islands Cruise is a tour of the seven islands west of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It includes Cockatoo Island, as well as Rodd, Snapper and Spectacle Islands.

Image: Sydney Heritage Fleet.

  • Location: Maritime Museum, Sydney
  • Date: Saturday 18 May 2019
  • Hosted by: Sydney Heritage Fleet
  • Cost: $35. Bookings essential.

Bush Walks

Walking Tour of Little Garie Shack Community

A rare peek inside the cabin community of Little Garie in Royal National Park. We've visited in previous years – check out our photos of Little Garie.

  • Location: Garie Beach, Royal National Park.
  • Date: Sunday 28 April 2019.
  • Hosted by: RNP Coastal Cabins Protection League.
  • Cost: By donation. Bookings essential.

Inside one of the cabins at Little Garie, Royal National Park. Image: Sydney Coast Walks.

Baulkham Hills Rifle Range Guided Walk

For sixty years from 1909, the Baulkham Hills Rifle Range trained soldiers for wartime combat. This two hour walk through rugged terrain explores stories from this time and the valley's earlier uses.

  • Location: North Rocks.
  • Date: Sunday 5 May 2019.
  • Hosted by: Boronia Tours.
  • Cost: $15. Bookings essential.

Sandstone stairs lead to the disused rifle range. Image: Boronia Tours.

More Heritage Walks

Check the full Australian Heritage Festival program for more 2019 walking events, including:

  • Haberfield Celebration of Gardens Walk, Haberfield. Sat 27 April. $10.
  • Fantastic Travels of our Parramatta Ancestors (Mays Hill Cemetery). Sun 28 April. $15.
  • A Walk on the South Side, Campbelltown. Sun 28 April. Free.
  • Local History Walk: Making connections in Double Bay, Double Bay. Wed 1 May and Sat 4 May. $10.
  • A Stroll Through St Peter’s Cemetery, Campbelltown. Sat 4 May. Free.
  • Self-guided walking tour of St Thomas’ Cemetery, Enfield. Daily during festival. Free.
  • Haunted Sydney Ghost Tour, The Rocks. Thu, Fri, Sat year-round. $36.

Other Walking Events

Our range of self-guided walks in Sydney emphasise the area's natural and cultural heritage. Find another Sydney walk to enjoy at your leisure, year-round.

If you prefer the camaraderie of a charity event, then pick from our calendar of Sydney walking events, with diary highlights including Coastrek, Oxfam Trailwalker, Bloody Long Walk and more.

If you're a history buff, then try these Sydney cemetery walking tours, available year-round either guided or self-guided.


Tara Wells is a journalist and former TV and radio producer/presenter who’s delighted to combine her love of hiking with story-telling.

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