Eel Festival 2019

Discover the Indigenous heritage of Parramatta, on Darug country.

On Sunday 3 March the annual Eel Festival returns to Elizabeth Farm. This family-friendly event celebrates Parramatta’s namesake, the eel, and its significance to the local Burramattagal people, who would gather in autumn to trade goods and share stories and food.

Enjoy the performances and entertainment as community comes together to celebrate Indigenous culture and connect to country. Join the fun and engaging activities on offer, with storytelling at the yarning circle, weaving, boomerang painting and more.

The festival program includes the opportunity to get up close with eels, attend talks and tours, and taste delicious food. Learn about bush foods and traditional cookery techniques with Uncle Fred from Fred’s Bush Tucker.

Take a tour of the colonial homestead and hear about the connections between John and Elizabeth Macarthur and the local Aboriginal people.

We pay respect to the First People of this land that Elizabeth Farm sits on, the Darug people, and acknowledge their ongoing connections and custodianship.

Eel Festival 2019 is supported by City of Parramatta. 




Welcome ceremony & performances

Welcome to Country


Join us at the start of the day with a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony, followed by Nulungu Dreaming performing the corroboree. 

Music Performances

12–12.45pm & 1.15–2pm

Enjoy music by contemporary Aboriginal performing artist and award winning poet, Gumaroy Newman.


Gumaroy Newman playing the Yidaki (Didgeridoo) at the Eel Festival

Photo © Alex Wisser for Sydney Living Museums.

Talks & Workshops

Darug language workshops

11.30am, 12.45pm, 2.15pm 

Learn about the Darug language and try out some words. 

Colonial connections

12pm, 1pm, 3pm

Hear about the connections between John and Elizabeth Macarthur and the local Aboriginal people. 

Eel cookery

10.30am–12pm, 1–4pm

Disocver the way colonists adapted their tastes and cooking styles to preparing native eels in the 1820s kitchen. 

Boomerang painting with Muru Mittigar


Drop in throughout the day and paint a boomerang with eel motifs – yours to take home as a keepsake. 

Touch table and art stall 


Observe, touch and learn about Aboriginal tools and objects. See beautiful artwork from local Darug artists.

Live eel display


Meet live eels up close and learn about their habitat.

Yarning circle, weaving and storytelling


Join the yarning circle, learn weaving techniques and hear Indigenous stories.


Maya Jovanic with her young cousin, Lexie Bacci, enjoying the Eel Festival

Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums. 

Food & Tastings

Fred’s Bush Tucker 


Watch as an eel is wrapped in paperbark and cooked the traditional way, and afterwards enjoy a taste. 

Kallico Catering

From 10am–4pm

Treat yourself to some delicious bush tucker foods. 

Nomadic Cafe

From 10am–4pm

Treat yourself to something scrumptiously different, made from bush tucker foods used in innovative ways.

Elizabeth Farm Tearoom

Enjoy freshly made Devonshire Tea and more


When & Where

Sunday 3 March 2019 10AM–4PM

Elizabeth Farm

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

Getting here

There is free but limited on-street parking on Alice Street.

Due to unforeseen circumstances the return shuttle bus from Parramatta Station to Elizabeth Farm has been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

The 909 bus from Parramatta Station stops near Elizabeth Farm. This bus departs from Stand B at the Parramatta Bus Interchange. Hop off on the corner of Alice and Alfred streets and we’re only about 100 metres away. Plan your trip at

Register now