Newington Armory, Sydney Olympic Park
Visit the world heritage-listed Newington Armory in Sydney Olympic Park. The former Royal Australian Navy armament depot is now a place to enjoy cycling, art, picnics, wildlife and history.
The Newington Armory was built from 1897 by the Royal Australian Navy. It was designated as a world heritage site on 14 January 2011. What was once an industrial military site is now an arts precinct with a theatre, outdoor amphitheatre, artist studios and an exhibition space, as well as a place to cycle/scoot, picnic and play.
There are over 100 heritage buildings at the Armory, across 52 hectares of riverside hills and woodlands. You can learn more about the heritage buildings at the Armory through a heritage interpretation program at the original 1897 gate house.
The Armory usually free exhibitions throughout the year (not in 2020 sadly), plus film festivals, public art, cultural activities and kids activities.
Riverside walking and cycling
Enjoy the Parramatta River by foot, bike or scooter. There are sculptures dotted along the path to enjoy.
You can hire a bike from Bike Hire @ Sydney Olympic Park (open 9am-5pm, last hire 4pm, weekends, public holidays and school holidays.
Armory Wharf Cafe
The Armory Wharf Café in Sydney Olympic Park is a family-friendly, waterfront cafe with a casual vibe and al fresco seating.
Read more about visiting the Armory Wharf Cafe.
Blaxland Riverside Playground
Blaxland Riverside Park is home to the biggest playground in Sydney. Equipment to suit kids for all ages and abilities is set among three hectares of rolling green hills and big open spaces. The playground includes a fantastic water play area, moving play elements, high and steep landforms and hidden and confined spaces. There’s a double flying fox, mega-swing, tunnel slides, scramble wall, spinning play disk, Viking swing and a multi-level tree house to be discovered and enjoyed.
Read more about visiting Blaxland Riverside Playground.
The Armory Gallery is housed in Building 18, one of the largest armament storehouses constructed prior to World War Two. The gallery is a flexible exhibition space which features the longest continuous gallery wall in Australia. While the gallery usually hosts large-scale exhibitions like ArtExpress as well as kids activities and other events, it is currently closed.
The Amory Gallery is accessed by walking through a tunnel along the railway tracks.
Heritage Railway Discovery Tour
While the tour was closed when we visited, the guided Heritage Railway Discovery Tour, “Riding the Rails”, usually runs every Sunday from 9.30am to 10.45am, on the historic railway that was once used to move missiles and torpedoes around the Armament Depot. The tour usually runs every Sunday 11am to 1pm, every half hour. If you have kids, be aware that the tour is suitable for kids aged 10+. There is a tour during the school holidays suitable for younger children. On the first Sunday of every month is the Heritage Railway Discovery Tour.
BirdLife Discovery Centre
Also sadly closed at the moment is the BirdLife Discovery Centre, a great place to learn about birds living in the area. Watch the centre’s resident pair of White-bellied Sea-Eagles on their nest using EagleCAM or take a free guided bird walk around the Newington Armory (they run on the last Sunday of the month at 10am for one hour).
Call (02) 9647 1033 or email email@example.com with queries.
Get more information on the BirdLife Discovery Centre.
Take an exhilarating Segway tour of the Newington Armory. The tours give historical commentary on the site and include a stop at the Building 39 armament exhibition. Segway tours run 10am-3.30pm weekends and school holidays.
Get more information on Segway tours.
Must-know information about visiting the Newington Amory
Opening hours: Daily, 9am-5pm
Free 3 hour parking is available. Parking is limited to arrive early on weekends and during holidays.
There is a kiosk offering basic snacks, drinks and ice blocks open Mon-Sun.
Picnic and barbecue facilities are available next to the Armory Wharf Cafe.
Public restrooms are also located near the cafe.
Jamieson St, Sydney Olympic Park NSW
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Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!