Barangaroo Reserve is Sydney’s newest park, located on the north-western tip of Sydney’s Central Business District. What was once a flat strip of concrete that was used as a container wharf has been transformed into a six-hectare waterfront parkland on Sydney Harbour, with 6,500 sandstone blocks placed along the foreshore and 75,000 100% native trees, shrubs and plants.
Underneath the reserve is a giant new cultural space called the Cutaway, two levels of car park and two of Australia’s biggest water tanks (so Barangaroo Reserve can be a self-watering park).
The new reserve is named after an important Aboriginal women at the time of early colonial settlement, Barangaroo. One of her husbands was Bennelong, after whom Bennelong Point (where the Sydney Opera House sits) was named. The Barangaroo precinct was use for fishing and hunting by the Gadigal people, the Traditional Owners of the Sydney city region.
While the park is not yet complete, visitors can enjoy the first two sections of the Wulugul Walk that are open to the public. Wulugal is the local indigenous word for kingfish, a fish with a golden band on its green-blue skin – similar to the appearance of the new foreshore at Barangaroo.
When the Barangaroo precinct is completed in 2022, the Wulugul Walk will run for the entire 2kms of foreshore from Walsh bay to Darling Harbour. At the moment, the walk has two sections open to the public – Barangaroo Reserve at the north of the precinct and a second section in Barangaroo South linking up to King Street Wharf.
With the opening of the reserve, this particular part of Sydney’s waterfront district is open to the public for the first time in over 100 years.
The entire of Barangaroo is very accessible to wheelchairs and strollers. It really is the perfect stress-free outing for families with elevators, gently sloping paths from top to bottom, plus clean bathrooms that have baby changing facilities.
A visit to Barangaroo to take a walk or picnic is already a great day out, but if you visit over the next week you’ll have a chance to experience the Sydney Festival’s Ephemeral City in the Cutaway. French artist Olivier Grossetête is overseeing the construction of a city of boxes, built by volunteers of all ages, using a whopping 9,000 boxes – or more than 10 tonnes of cardboard. The buildings will be demolished on Australia Day, January 26, so get in and stick together a box or two before they go.
We had a fantastic time at the BOXWARS section of the city, where kids can build their own tiny city out of cardboard.
You can see our little homes above!
Older kids and adults will also enjoy the free Flying Fox at ‘The Ephemeral City’. Zip-line over the box city and, upon landing, grab a roll of sticky tape and get building.
Open: 8–24 January, 2pm–8pm (closed Mondays), at The Cutaway. Price: Free.
Minimum weight requirement for the Flying Fox is 30kg.
Getting there: Walk The most enjoyable way of arriving on foot is from Circular Quay. The direct route is to walk through the Argyle Cut and along Argyle Street to the reserve entrance at Munn Street Reserve (1.2km).
Wilson Parking operates a public car park at Barangaroo Reserve between 6am – midnight, 7 days per week.
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!