Located 23 kilometres from Sydney’s CBD, Harris Park has a large Indian population (about 40 per cent of its residents were born in India), which has fed into its reputation as the place to go for good Indian restaurants and spice markets. But the suburb offers a lot more than this. Over the years, the area has diversified, adding new bars and restaurants that have attracted interest from residents and businesses all over Sydney. One eatery, Courtneys Brasserie, is an institution in the area, having been around since 1984. Current owner Paul Kuipers joined as an apprentice chef in 1988 and worked for two owners before taking it over. He says he’s noticed many changes in Harris Park over time. “It’s always been the quieter side of Parramatta,” he says. “But there’s been a lot of changes, especially around the type of accommodation with a move from houses to more apartments being built.” Kuipers says the area has changed from being a “working” area to more of a “living” area. “Years ago our customers were largely corporates having working lunches,” he says. “Now it’s more tourists and residents, especially families having coffees or meals.” Harris Park’s demographic has also undergone changes. Kuipers remembers when the area was home to a large Lebanese population. “Then they moved out and now it’s home to a large Indian population,” he says. “This migrant mix has been good for the area, especially around the type of food you can get here.” The number of different nationalities has contributed to Harris Park’s cosmopolitan flavour. While known for its Indian eateries, visitors are also spoilt for choice with Italian and Greek restaurants, and Lebanese sweet shops. Harris Park has an interesting history. It’s home to several historic sites such as Experiment Farm – developed by the first convict to be granted land in the new colony, James Ruse. This site, , which sowed the first wheat in Australia, brings hordes of tourists to the area every week, who also come to see other famous sites such as Elizabeth Farm. David Ryan, an agent with real estate agency Harcourts Parramatta, agrees that one of the attractions of Harris Park is that it’s close to all Parramatta has to offer but is a much quieter and affordable suburb. “Harris Park benefits from Parramatta’s many facilities including great shopping centres such as Westfields and entertainment venues such as the Riverside Theatre,” he says. “There is also a number of schools nearby – both private and public – and the University of Western Sydney Parramatta campus is located just down the road.” Ryan says the suburb is well served with transport options and while Harris Park has its own train station, Parramatta station is about one kilometre away. Park has its own train station, Parramatta station is about one kilometre away. “There are also buses that take you all over Sydney and it’s close to the M4. Rosehill racetrack is also down the road,” he says. “Harris Park is a bit of a hidden secret. But it’s going through a regeneration and rebirth, especially with the large number of new apartments being built.” One of the latest apartment developments is Coronation Property’s residential tower, “Charlie Parker”, named for the two streets it is located on: Parkes and Charles. The boutique project comprises 111 apartments including 2 luxurious four bedroom penthouses. The developer has commissioned contemporary artists Gillie and Marc, Elliot “Numskull” Routledge and Shannon Crees to bring even more artistic flair to the area, including a curated character by Gillie and Marc and 80 metre large scale mural, which are being used to promote the discovery of Harris Park and all it has to offer in an interactive competition. The “Where is Charlie Parker?” competition runs until 19th November, and invites Sydney-siders to find the sculptures of Charlie Parker and his nine friends, which have been hidden throughout the neighbourhood. If they take a selfie of themselves with any one of the friends and Charlie Parker himself, they have the chance to win a Samsung Frame television. By presenting the ‘Where is Charlie Parker’ map at a number of local businesses, people can also redeem special offers. Coronation Property managing director Joe Nahas says a visit to Harris Park’s Charlie Parker will be an experience. “And for those that live there it will be an even greater experience,” he says. The development will feature a gym, open-air pool and relaxation area designed by Jamie Durie, as well as an exclusive residents’ lounge that will feature curated works by the artists involved in the campaign. Nahas says the Charlie Parker development will provide an opportunity for many working in Parramatta to purchase a home within walking distance of their work and the CBD, without any of the downsides of living right in it. “Being so close to both Harris Park and Parramatta train stations, it’s actually only 500 metres to Parramatta train station, and just a few minutes walk from the university, Westfield Shopping Centre, and one-of-a-kind “Eat Street”gives Charlie Parker the best of both worlds. It’s the ultimate city fringe living lifestyle.” he says.
Harris Park: Western Sydney’s quiet achiever
While Parramatta’s rapid development has dominated the property headlines in western Sydney, neighbouring Harris Park has been quietly undergoing a transformation.