This family-friendly festival celebrates the namesake of Parramatta – the eel, and its significance to the local Darug people known as Burramattagal, who would gather and feast, share stories and trade around the time of the eel season. 

The program includes eel-based demonstrations, talks, tours and tastings, as well as an outdoor market with stalls from the Blak Markets selling affordable arts, crafts and produce including wood carvings, bush weaving and refreshments.

Eel trap weaving and sculpture –  Dgila-Nung (Dharawal)

Eel traps. Photo © Sydney Living Museums

Galamban weavers are coming to Elizabeth Farm on Burramattagal Country so you can participate in an ancient southeast tradition of weaving using local natural materials and technologies passed down through thousands of generations. Galamban will teach the specialised technology developed for gathering Burramatta (eels) and weave into our lives the extraordinary tradition of connecting to country and promote the cultural resources that make Burramatta significant within this landscape.

Bush tucker and cultural cook-up

In this ‘cook-up’ event with Fred’s Bush Tucker, you will gain an understanding and appreciation of Australian Indigenous culture through traditional bush foods, medicines and culture. Fred’s Bush Tucker promotes the acceptance of quality, authentic, Australian Indigenous bush foods by encouraging everyone to try ‘Just a Taste’.

Eel fishing and water quality with Georges River Aboriginal Riverkeeper Team

As well as being a source of food, eels are a critical indicator of river and ecosystem health. Members of the Georges River Aboriginal Riverkeeper Team are coming to the Eel Festival to help you learn all about the habitat of the eel and the Riverkeeper’s work in monitoring river health. This is a chance to get hands on with water quality testing and even ‘meet’ an eel face-to-face.

Tour, taste and talk – 1816 Eel with The Cook and the Curator*

Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

Step inside the colonial homestead with Curator Scott Hill and learn more about the connections between John and Elizabeth Macarthur, who built Elizabeth Farm, and the local Aboriginal people. Join SLM’s own colonial gastronomer Jacqui Newling as she demonstrates how to prepare collared eel using an 1816 recipe.  

The Cook and the Curator - Jacqui Newling and Scott Hill

Jacqui Newling and Scott Hill are The Cook and the Curator. Together they explore SLM’s food history, combing through old cookery books, deciphering handwritten recipes, experimenting with heirloom produce, rediscovering lost culinary arts and revealing family stories. Each month their blog visits one of our extraordinary properties to introduce you to its past residents and look at what, where and how they ate.

*Offered at 10.30am and 1pm, sessions limited to 20 people, register for sessions at the entry tent

Blak Markets

Logo with white lettering on black background

The Blak Markets, usually held on the first Sunday of every month in La Perouse, has developed a reputation as a destination for Sydneysiders and travellers alike to shop for Aboriginal paintings and designs, tuck into bush tucker-infused meals and see authentic Aboriginal cultural dance and music performances. This special one-off event will be held at Elizabeth Farm, with ten stalls selling traditional and contemporary Aboriginal products and two special bush tucker stalls. 

The Little Blue Bean Coffee Co

The Little Blue Bean Coffee Co was born out of a strong passion to deliver a unique coffee experience to coffee lovers. Serving boutique roasted beans, sourced from all over the globe and are hand selected by our master roaster into our beautiful house blend. We believe coffee can take you places and bring you closer. It's to be shared with people who can tell a great story. Pop by sometime and tell us yours.

Elizabeth Farm Tea Rooms

Elizabeth Farm Tearooms will be selling wattleseed scones with lilly pilly jam. 

Uncle Greg Simms carving a piece of wood

Image courtesy of Uncle Greg Simms. He will have a stall at The Eel Festival.

Weather update:

We expect this event to go ahead as scheduled, however in the event of heavy rain we recommend checking our website or social channels for any updates.

When & Where

Saturday 23 April 2016 10AM–4PM

Elizabeth Farm

70 Alice Street, Rosehill, NSW 2142
+61 2 9635 9488

Gold coin entry

Includes general entry to Elizabeth Farm, shuttle bus transfer from Parramatta Station and all activities.


Shuttle bus operated from Parramatta Station to Elizabeth Farm.

First departure from Parramatta Station, Darcy Street: 10am to Elizabeth Farm, Alice Street

Last departure from Elizabeth Farm, Alice Street: 4.15pm to Parramatta Station, Darcy Street

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Image of painted objects

Image courtesy of Kamiliroi Collection. They will be at the Eel Fetival on Saturday with their beautifully hand-painted products.