A walk along the streets of Lidcombe will give you an insight into just how culturally diverse Western Sydney is. The centre for the Ukrainian community in Sydney, this suburb is also flourishing with a large Korean, Chinese, and Nepalese population.
Located on the land of the Dharug people, Lidcombe is nestled between Auburn, Rookwood, and Sydney Olympic Park. It’s easily accessed by train, making the station a great place to begin a day out in the area.
Make sure you arrive hungry, because the local favourite I Love Manoush will be ready to serve up fresh Lebanese pizza and breakfast plates. Don’t leave without trying the oregano manoush, have it plain or with tasty toppings.
Staying on the southern side of the railway, take a wander down Joseph Street. One of the main streets of the area, the early 1900s architecture is impressively contrasted with the brand-new apartments further down the street.
You’ll find plenty of Korean restaurants, bakeries, beauty salons, Karaoke, and grocery shops. Eye out a place for lunch or grab another snack. We ate at Gwang Hwa Mun and enjoyed a traditional and authentic stew, seafood pancake, and plenty of side dishes.
Remembrance Park is next to the old post office building and is a well landscaped park with a Memorial commemorating veterans who served in the Korea and Vietnam wars. With a well-manicured garden, this is a peaceful stop at any time of the year.
The next stop is Rookwood, which is just up the road and can be entered through the East Street entrance. Spanning 286 hectares with its own postcode, Rookwood General Cemetery opened in 1867 and is the largest cemetery in the Southern Hemisphere.
Open to the public during daylight hours, the cemetery is a truly fascinating destination for a walk or drive. It is one of the most culturally diverse cemeteries in the world and has sections dedicated to many religions, ethnicities, and burial styles.
The Chinese Temple, Russian Orthodox Memorial, Islamic Monument, and the Frazer Mausoleum are just some to name a few. Outside of Israel, Australia has the largest number of Holocaust survivors, and a Jewish Memorial in the centre of Rookwood commemorates the victims of the Holocaust.
Although a day out in a cemetery may not seem like a conventional activity, the diversity of environments and landscapes in Rookwood is certainly worth exploring. Visit during September and October, and you’ll enjoy the annual Hidden in Rookwood sculpture and art exhibition.
Next, head back to Joseph Street for lunch, or head over the train line to the north side. Here you’ll find many more eating options including Tanomi Japanese located in a converted house.
Following an influx of immigrants after WWII, Lidcombe became a centre for Ukrainian immigrants and other Eastern European nationalities. You’ll find religious buildings including Ukrainian, Slovakian, Armenian, and Russian churches, which further add to the area’s rich cultural landscape.
Suburbs like Lidcombe and Rookwood make for an informative and eye-opening experience of how deeply multicultural Sydney is.