The suburb of Marrickville is located 7 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business district, sits on the northern bank of the Cooks River, opposite Earlwood and shares borders with Stanmore, Enmore, Newtown, St Peters, Sydenham, Tempe, Dulwich Hill, Hurlstone Park and Petersham. The southern part of the suburb, near the river, is known as Marrickville South and includes the historical locality called The Warren. Marrickville is a diverse suburb consisting of both low and high density residential, commercial and light industrial areas. Marrickville has become a much sought out location due to its proximity to the City CBD and suburban lifestyle.

Not so long ago, Marrickville had a strong Greek community, but these days many Greek shop signs on Marrickville and Illawarra Roads have been replaced by Vietnamese one. Today, Marrickville is one of the most cosmopolitan of Sydney's suburbs. Over 50 different ethic backgrounds are represented in the local schools, 60 languages other than English are spoken, the five most common being Arabic, Mandarin, Greek, Portuguese and Vietnamese.

Marrickville prides itself as an example of peaceful ethnic coexistence, which shows itself off annually at the Marrickville Multicultural Festival. This magnificent showcase of tolerance and understanding takes over Marrickville and Illawarra Roads on the third Saturday of September every year. Throughout the year those two streets reflect the cosmopolitan nature of Marrickville, with Greek, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Turkish and Lebanese restaurants and shops lining them. The eatieres are almost without exception no frills establishments where the food is tasty and fresh, and the languages you ll hear spoken, other than English, will be either Greek, or Portuguese, Mandarin or Arabic.

Marrickville has a number of live music venues. The Factory Theatre hosts an array of live music and performances - from international rock concerts to cabaret shows, film and dance. There are also a number of smaller, more intimate entertainment venues such as The Newsagency, Lazybones Lounge, the Red Rattler and the Camelot Lounge. Marrickville has a wide range of cafes and restaurants with cuisines featuring Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, Nepalese, Portuguese, Lebanese, Turkish, Modern Australian, Greek and Japanese. There are also a few notable bakeries and coffee artisans in the area.

The main shopping strip runs along Marrickville Road, west from Sydenham to the town hall. Typical businesses include cafes, grocery and clothing stores. Marrickville Road is well known for the artworks, by Ces Camilleri of Creative Artistic Steel, that adorn the awnings of some of its businesses, which gives the strip a unique style. The shopping strip also extends south along Illawarra Road, past the railway station, to 'The Warren' locality.

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Round She Goes - Sydney's Preloved Fashion Market
303 Marrickville Road, Marrickville NSW 2204, Australia
Trading: Saturday 19 October
Type: Designers, Vintage/Retro, Fashion, Preloved
Phone: 0433 131 864

Stash and Treasure Recycler's Market
303 Marrickville Rd, Marrickville
Trading: Saturdays - 9am - 2pm
Type: Art & Craft, Produce
Mobile: 0415 258 001

Sydney Metropolitan Goods Line

Metropolitan Goods line junction at Marrickville. The left branch is the beginning of the Illawarra Goods Line, the right branch goes to Port Botany. The Illawarra line passes underneath the Port Botany line about 500 metres beyond the station.

The Sydney Metropolitan Goods Line is part of the Sydney Freight Network, a series of dedicated railway lines for the passage of freight trains through Sydney, linking the state's rural and interstate rail network with the city's main yard at Enfield and Port Botany.

Sydney Freight Network lines (right) alongside Dulwich Hill station

The Sydney Metropolitan Goods Line passes through Marrickville, running parallel to the passenger railway line. This arm of the network starts behind the Flemington Maintenance Depot while another starts at Sefton with both merging at Enfield. Services from the state s north and west approach via the former and from the south via the latter. From Enfield the line heads south to Campsie where it turns east and runs parallel to the Bankstown passenger line as far as Marrickville. From here a connection to the Illawarra line provides a link to a sea terminal at Port Kembla, south of Sydney. From Marrickville the line continues on its own alignment to the Cooks River and Port Botany container terminals.

History of Marrickville

The indigenous inhabitants of the Cooks River area were the Cadigal people. Artefacts show they inhabited the area for at least 7000 years.

The name Marrickville comes from the 24.3 ha (60 acres) 'Marrick' estate of Thomas Chalder, which was subdivided on 24 February 1855. He named it after his native village Marrick, North Yorkshire, England. The estate centred on the intersection of Victoria Road and Chapel Street. William Dean, the publican of the Marrick Hotel, in Illawarra Road (now the site of the Henson Park Hotel) is credited with adding the "ville" to Marrick when it was gazetted in 1861.

The first land grant in the area was 100 acres (0.4 km2) to William Beckwith in 1794. Thomas Moore received 470 acres (1.9 km2) in 1799 and another 700 acres (2.8 km2) in 1803. Dr Robert Wardell purchased most of this land for his estate that stretched from Petersham to the Cooks River. His estate was broken up after he was murdered by escaped convicts in September 1834.

Thomas Holt (1811 -1888) was a Sydney business tycoon who built a castellated Victorian Gothic mansion named The Warren in 1857 in Marrickville South. It was designed by architect George Mansfield, and contained an impressive art gallery filled with paintings and sculptures from Europe. It had elaborate stables built into imposing stone walls, and large landscaped gardens filled with urns overlooking the Cooks River. Holt gave it that name because he bred rabbits on the estate for hunting, as well as the grounds being stocked with alpacas and other exotics. The Warren was a landmark in the district for some decades; the still-operating Warren View Hotel in Enmore as evidence of this.

As Holt's health began to be an issue, the Warren was subdivided in 1884 with the land around the immediate building's grounds being sold off - and the family returning to Britain for the remaining years of his life. He passed away in 1888. The Warren became a nunnery when the mansion and 12 acres (5 ha) of land were purchased by a French order of Carmelite nuns. The Carmelites were evicted from The Warren in 1903 for outstanding debts. By this stage the grounds appear to be bare with a high wood fence installed on the western side of the building about this time. It then was used during WWI for an artillery training range and this fenced area also appears in photos along with smaller buildings on the grounds nearby. It was resumed in 1919 by the New South Wales government was finally demolished in around 1922 - the land subdivided to build a housing estate for returned soldiers.

The first school opened in August 1864 and the post office opened in 1865. The railway line to Bankstown opened in 1895. The station was known as Illawarra Road during construction. Later, when it was decided that Marrickville was a more appropriate name, the original Marrickville station was renamed Sydenham.

Dulwich Hill

The neighbouring suburb of Dulwich Hill is 7.5 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business district. Dulwich Hill stretches south to the shore of the Cooks River. The suburb takes its name from the area of Dulwich in London. The name Dulwich Hill appears in Sands Directory of 1892. It had been known by several different names prior to this. Following European settlement, it was called Petersham Hill. It later took the name Wardell's Bush, a reference to Dr Robert Wardell, one of the area's early landowners. Other names the area was given were South Petersham and Fern Hill.

The area became part of Sydney's expanding tram network in 1889 and, like many suburbs in the inner-west, experienced rapid growth in the early twentieth century. As a consequence, the suburb has a large number of examples of Australian Federation architecture. It also features examples of Edwardian, Gothic and Italianate architecture. The tramway ran up until 1957.

Dulwich Hill features two shopping areas, a small number of shops on Wardell Road near Dulwich Hill railway station and the main shopping area around the northern end of Marrickville Road and its intersection with New Canterbury Road. Dulwich Hill railway station is located on Wardell Road, in the southern part of the suburb. One station up from Marrickville, tDulwich Hill is on the Bankstown Line of the Sydney Trains network. The Dulwich Hill Line of Sydney's light rail network includes four stations located in the suburb. These are - Dulwich Hill (adjacent to the railway station), Dulwich Grove (between New Canterbury Road and Hercules Street), Arlington (adjacent to Johnson Park near Constitution Road) and Waratah Mills (near Davis Street).


The neighbouring suburb of Sydenham lies to the east of Maqrrickville, one station up the Bankstown railway line towards the city. 8 kilometres south of Sydney central business district, Sydenham has a mixture of residential and industrial developments. Sydenham railway station is a junction for three lines on the Sydney Trains network: the Illawarra, Airport and South and Bankstown lines. The suburb suffers from aircraft noise because it is directly under the flight path of Sydney Airport. To alleviate resident noise complaints, many of the residential properties between Unwins Bridge Road and the Princes Highway were bought by the government and converted into a recreational park, which was named Sydenham Green after the park in London.

Sydenham developed after the Illawarra line came through the area to Hurstville in the late 1800s. It was named after Sydenham, a suburb of London, similar for its close proximity to the city and a railway junction. The station was originally known as Marrickville when it opened on 15 October 1884. It was changed to Sydenham on 19 March 1895 when a new line was being built to Bankstown and the first station was to be called Marrickville. The post office opened in April 1899 as Tempe Park and was only renamed Sydenham in 1964.


The neighbouring suburb of Tempe is named after Tempe House. Alexander Brodie Spark (1792 1856), an immigrant from Elgin, Scotland, built Tempe House in 1836. It was named after the 'Vale of Tempe', a beautiful valley set at the foot of Mount Olympus in Greece, which was prominent in ancient Greek legend. Tempe House, designed by John Verge (1772 1861) in the Georgian style, is regarded as one of the great houses of Sydney. It is listed with the Heritage Council of New South Wales[3] as well as the State Heritage Register. Spark also donated money towards the purchase of land and the building of St Peter s Church of England, which gave its name to the suburb of St Peters, to the north of Tempe. Tempe was the gateway to the St George district and its small community serviced travellers on their way south. Development of modern day Tempe began with the opening of the railway station in 1884, though it was then called Cooks River.

Tempe is the site of several large clay quarries used to supply the large brick kilns located on the Princes Highway at St Peters. These kilns supplied many of the bricks used throughout Sydney. Fossils of a very large amphibian were discovered in the clay, and one is now displayed at the reptile exhibits at Taronga Park Zoo.

The pits were used for landfill, known colloquially as 'Tempe Tip', which caught fire in 1988. The tip has been redeveloped into extended parkland which now includes a golfing range. Nowadays, 'Tempe Tip' is an urban nickname for a large Salvation Army-run charity store, located in Bellevue Street Tempe; but despite the suggestion, this store is not a rubbish dump.

Wolli Creek

Wolli Creek is an urban watercourse of the Cooks River catchment. The creek rises south of Narwee, within Beverly Hills Park, Beverly Hills, and flows generally east northeast through Wolli Creek Valley and Wolli Creek Regional Park, joined by its major tributary, Bardwell Creek, before reaching its confluence with the Cooks River near Arncliffe and Tempe. The creek is a lined channel between Kingsgrove Road, Kingsgrove and Bexley Road, Bexley North where it then enters the Wolli Creek Valley. The sub-catchment area of the creek is 22 square kilometres.

There have been active movements fighting for the preservation of Wolli Creek in the face of demands for land. The most successful of these prevented the building of a tollway through the valley, resulting in the road being built as the M5 Motorway tunnel under the valley. In a further attempt to protect the valley, a 50 hectare nature reserve of native bushland and public reserves named Wolli Creek Regional Park, has been planned. When complete, the planned nature reserve offers easy public transport access, family picnic areas, extensive views and bushland, rugged sandstone escarpments with walking tracks, a mixture of parkland, heathland, and woodland forest, and great birdwatching within close proximity to heavily developed residential and industrial landscape.
  • Wolli Creek Reserve

  • Wolli Creek railway station was built in the 1990s as part of the new airport Line. The 10.7 km line passes through a 9.6 km tunnel between Wolli Creek and Central stations. The line was opened in May 2000. The Airport line is an extension of what was originally known as the East Hills railway line, now called the Macarthur Line since it was extended and connected to the Southern Line at Glenfield. The Airport/Macarthur line crosses beneath the Southern Line to Sutherland and Cronulla at Wolli Creek station. Both lines have connecting platforms at Wolli Creek station.

    Discovery Point: In the 1990s, low lying land at Discovery Point near where Wolli Creek enters the Cooks River was earmarked for high density residential development. Essential to the development was the construction of Wolli Creek railway station on the Airport Line, which opened in 2000. Over the last 20 years, the area has been developed in accordance with the plan. Many of the residential towers in the development have been completed, and the units within sold and now occupied, as is the piazza-style Village Square. Facing Cooks River is Discovery Park, which features a BBQ area and childrens' playground.

    The word 'Wolli' is of Aboriginal origin and has been said to mean "black's Camp". This is probably incorrect and more likely the name of a particular Aboriginal campsite on its banks. The valleys of Wolli Creek and Bardwell Creek contain evidence of Aboriginal occupation, with smoke-blackened caves used by Gweagal, Bidjigal and Cadigal clan members. Reuben Hannam, a brickmaker, was granted 100 acres (0.40 km2) of land in 1825 along the banks of Wolli Creek. His son, David Hannam, obtained a 60-acre (240,000 m2) grant near the Cooks River in 1833 directly behind the Tempe estate. Alexander Brodie Spark (1792 1856) purchased the estate on the Cooks River in 1826 and built Tempe House in 1828. This part of Arncliffe is today known as Wolli Creek. Later, both Rocky Point Road and Gannons Forest Road ran through Hannam's grant, now known as the Princes Highway and Forest Road.


The suburb of Earlwood, located 10 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business district, stretches from the southern bank of the Cooks River to the northern bank of Wolli Creek. Marrickville is located to the east across Cooks River. Earlwood is primarily residential with some commercial developments around the main road, Homer Street.

Earlwood began as a land grant obtained by John Parkes in 1827. John Parkes and his sons operated logging camp called Parkes Camp in 1829 and felled the timber on his 50-acre grant. Later it became known as Parkestown. The name was changed to Forest Hill around 1905-06 and changed again to Earlwood in 1918. 'Wood' reportedly commemorated a former mayor of Canterbury and 'Earl' was the name of two brothers who owned a pig and poultry farm on Wolli Creek. The Woodearl' estate was a subdivision in the area of Earlwood Primary School.

In 1828, land grantee Joshua Thorp built a house he called Juhan Munna, an Aboriginal phrase meaning "to go away." The house was later renamed Undecliffe and rented to managers of the Canterbury Sugarworks. The property was bought by the solicitor P.A.Tompson in 1850. In 1854, Tompson built a bridge on the site of Thorp's punt. Frederick Wright Unwin, solicitor and director of the Australasian Sugar Company, obtained land in the Undercliffe area, east of Thorp's property, in 1840, and built his home, which he called Wanstead. Initially, a punt was used to cross the Cooks River. Later, a wooden bridge was built and the road eventually became known as Unwins Bridge Road.

After World War I, a war services subdivision was created west of Wardell Road for retired soldiers and their families. The streets of that subdivision commemorate the names of famous men and battles connected with the war, such as Kitchener, Hamilton, Vimy, Fricourt, Polygon, Thompson and Guedecourt. Between 1912 and 1957, electric trams operated along Homer Street to Earlwood, providing service to the city via Marrickville and Newtown. The service is now provided by buses. Since the 1960s, the area has had an increasing population of Greek ancestry.

Girrawheen Park in Sutton Avenue is a large recreational area along the northern bank of Wolli Creek contained within Wolli Creek Regional Park. It has views over Arncliffe, Turrella and Bardwell Park. This area is heritage listed and covers a large area of rare remnant bushland along the banks of Wolli creek and played a large part in the reasoning behind the construction of a road tunnel beneath the Bardwell valley.

The current KFC outlet is built on the site of what was former prime minister John Howard's childhood home, his parents operated two fuel outlets in neighbouring Dulwich Hill.


Predominantly residential area, Undercliffe was a suburb of Sydney until incorporation into Earlwood in 1993. Undercliffe is located on the peninsula between the Cooks River and Wolli Creek. Bayview Avenue and Unwins Bridge link Undercliffe north over the Cooks River to Tempe. Another bridge links Illawarra Avenue over the Cooks River to Marrickville. Wolli Creek and Turrella are located on the opposite bank of Wolli Creek, to the south, with footbridges being the only direct links to these suburbs. The northern end of the peninsula is characterised by parkland and recreational areas. Canterbury Velodrome is located at Waterworth Park, beside Wolli Creek. Gough Whitlam Park is a large recreational area, beside Cooks River. The popular Cooks River bicycle track follows the river along its northern bank connecting the suburb with Homebush to the north-west and Botany Bay to the east.

The most important surviving Aboriginal artwork site in the environs of Cooks River is at Undercliffe. It contains 23 white hand stencils, two of them with forearms. At the site there are also two foot stencils, which are rare in the Sydney region, and an extensive midden. The site is on private property and has no public access.

Undercliffe takes its name from the heavy sandstone outcrop which is quite evident. The Undercliffe Estate was the name of an 1840s land grant which had a house built on it. In the early days, the quarrying of sandstone between Wolli Creek and Cooks River provided the first industry here.


Lewisham is a neighbouring suburb to the east of Ashfield located 7 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business district. The original residents of the Lewisham area were the Cadigal clan of the Darug tribe. Artefacts found near the Cooks River indicate at least 7,000 years of habitation in the local area.[5] When the First Fleet arrived in 1788, the settlers set up camp in the middle of Cadigal territory. While the first governor Arthur Phillip tried to establish cordial relations with the Cadigals and their neighbours, the two groups were competing for the same food sources and tensions inevitably developed. In 1789, a smallpox epidemic wiped out the majority of the Cadigals.[6] By 1809, all the land within Lewisham had been granted.

Lewisham took its name in 1834 from the estate of Joshua Frey Josephson, a German-born businessman who would later become mayor of Sydney. The estate was named after the London borough of Lewisham, which means Leofsa's village or manor. One of the earliest settlers in the area was John Gambling who took up a grant in 1810. His name was remembered in Gambling Creek, which these days is a covered drain which flows into Hawthorne Canal. Like neighbouring Enmore, it was partly cleared in the 1830s and was part of a much larger district known as Petersham. Lewisham village developed around the railway station in the 1870s.

An important piece of Sydney railway history has been preserved at the site of the Lewisham railway viaduct. The site is a showcase for four different types of bridges representing most of the eras. On the down or south side are a pair of pin-jointed Whipple Trusses on display. Next to them and carrying the local trains are 3 pairs of welded plate web girders, Next, and carrying the interstate trains are 3 Lattice Trusses. On the north and carrying the mains are 3 pairs of Warren Trusses, completing this on site working museum which recalls 138 years of railway bridge construction technology.

The first bridge to carry the railway across Long Cove Creek (known today as Hawthorne Canal) was a tall sandstone structure, constructed as part of the original Sydney to Parramatta Railway, which opened to traffic opened in 1855. One of a series of 27 bridges and 50 culverts built by the biggest single free labour force the colony has seen comprising of 650 men, its stone, and that of other bridges built as part of the project, came from a nearby quarry.

The Long Cove Creek Railway Viaduct was by far the largest construction work on the line and in its day was a major engineering achievement. By the 1880s, the cement which bound the sandstone blocks of the viaduct together was starting to crumble, and a replacement bridge was built to carry the newly duplicated line. Designed by R. Kendall, who retired as State Rail's Engineer-in-Chief in 1922, a the new 3-span Whipple Truss bridge came into service in 1886 when the line was quadruplicated. These were subsequently added to in 1926 by Warren Trusses when sextuplication occurred. The bridge was replaced by a steel girder structure in the 1950s.
Public transport: train to Lewisham. Walk east along Railway Tce.

Long Cove Creek: Like Rozelle Bay, the next major bay on the southern banks of the Parramatta River has two tributaries entering it which were significant watercourses to the Aborigines and early colonial settlers. The bay, known today as Iron Cove, was known as Long Cove until well into the 20th century. Long Cove Creek enters the cove through the eastern arm at its head via the Hawthorne Canal. This uncompleted canal was part of a scheme proposed in 1929 connecting Parramatta and the main western railway line with Botany Bay via a series of natural and man-made waterways.

Gambling Creek: Gambling Creek recalls John Gambling, who was granted 40 acres in the Lewisham area on Gambling Creek. The creek is now a covered drain which flows into Hawthorne Canal.


Like the surrounding Inner West suburbs of Summer Hill and Stanmore, Petersham is predominantly terrace houses, a far cry from the early colomial days of the late 18th century when Kangaroo hunting was also popular in the area. It was here that the notorious Wild Colonial Boy   bushranger Jack Donohue  terrorised the local residents and travellers on the road between Sydney and Parramatta. The suburb today has a high number of persons born in Southern Europe, mainly from Portugal and also Italy and Greece. Petersham is known for its large Portuguese community which is reflected in the many Portuguese businesses and restaurants.


Enmore is a neighbouring suburb located 5 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business district. Enmore is primarily residential, although there is a commercial strip along Enmore Road, which turns off the more famous King Street, Newtown. Enmore railway station is on the Western/Parramatta Line between Summer Hill and Petersham stations.

Enmore was named after Enmore House, built in 1835 by Captain Sylvester Browne, a master mariner with the British East India Company. Browne named his house after the Guyana estate of a business associate, the head of James Cavan & Co, which in turn took its name from Enmore in Somerset, England. Browne's son wrote several Australian classics, including Robbery Under Arms, under the name of Rolf Boldrewood.

In 1836, there was a report of snowfall in the suburb. Weather observer T.A Browne stated, "the years 1836, 1837 and 1838 were years of drought, and in one of these years [1836] a remarkable thing happened. There was a fall of snow; we made snowballs at Enmore and enjoyed the usual schoolboy amusements therewith". Enmore is home to Sydney's oldest running live theatre. Built in 1908, the Enmore Theatre is a heritage listed building that plays host to many international bands.

The Cooks River

Unwins Bridge, Marrickville

The Cooks River, a semi-mature tide dominated drowned valley estuary, forms the souther border of the suburb of Marrickville. It flows into Botany Bay near Sydney International Airport. The course of the 23 kilometre long urban waterway has been altered many times to accommodate various developments along its shore. It serves as part of a stormwater system for the 100 square kilometres (39 sq mi) of its watershed, and many of the original streams running into it have been turned into concrete lined channels. The tidal sections support significant areas of mangroves, bird, and fish life, and are used for recreational activities.

In 1770, British navigator Lieut. James Cook sailed into Botany Bay and penned the first written description of the river as follows: "I found a very fine stream of fresh water on the north side in the first sandy cove within the island before which a ship might lay land-locked and wood for fuel may be got everywhere." Britain was thus provided with a substitute for America to which it could send its convicts. Cooks River was probably the 'fine stream', promising an adequate water supply, while the description of vegetation held the possibility of good soil on which to base a flourishing agricultural economy. When the white settlers at last arrived, the river and valley were rejected, however they name the river after the great British explorer and navigator who had written so glowingly of it.

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  • Transport: Marrickville railway station is on the Bankstown Line of the Sydney rail network. The adjacent station of Dulwich Hill serves the south-western part of the suburb.
    The terminus of the Dulwich Hill Line of Sydney's light rail network is located adjacent to Dulwich Hill railway station. Access to the city is quicker by train, but the light rail may be used for some cross-regional journeys. The service also interchanges with Lewisham railway station on the Airport, Inner West and South Line.
    Public buses serve all main roads, including Marrickville Road, Enmore Road, Illawarra Road, Victoria Road, Wardell Road and Livingstone Road. These include the 418 bus from Burwood to Bondi Junction via Ashfield, Dulwich Hill, Sydenham and Eastlakes, the 426 bus from Dulwich Hill to Circular Quay via Newtown and the CBD, the 423 bus from Kingsgrove to Circular Quay via Earlwood, Newtown and the CBD, and the 412 bus which runs from Campsie to Kings Wharf via Kingsgrove, Earlwood, Petersham, Camperdown, Parramatta Road and the CBD.

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