History and Heritage

Sydney Olympic Park has an unique legacy of resources, including locally rare ecosystems and species, artifacts, buildings with heritage value or green credentials and a diverse open green space that is suitable for a wide range of programs and activities.

Let's journey through the history of the Park's environs: see rocks 250 million years old in the Brickpit, fast forward to 28,000 years ago when Aboriginal people first came to Homebush Bay, and look at what has happened in the 200 years since Europeans arrived in the area.

To read the unique stories about the area visit one of the historical layers:

Geological History - Look at our timeline of geological formation from over 250 million years ago to the present day.

Indigenous History - Uncover the relationship between Aboriginal people and the local area.

Colonial History - The British first settled in Sydney in 1788. Within 10 days of their arrival, a boating party had travelled up the Parramatta River to what is now Sydney Olympic Park.

Armory History - In 1882, approximately 88 hectares in the north eastern corner of the Blaxland Estate was resumed by the Government for the development of an armaments magazine.

Industrial History - From salt production in the 1820s to abattoirs and brick making! Find out about the Park's of industrial history.

Post-Industrial History - By 1978, much of the area that now comprises Sydney Olympic Park had become an urban wasteland. Industry and rubbish dumping transformed once bountiful wetlands into ugly tips and polluted waterways. Read what steps were taken to Remediate the site.

Olympic History - Sydney's successful bid for the 2000 Olympic Games provided the impetus for the next and most exciting stage of the area's development, with the building of the Olympic venues and creation of public spaces and parklands.

An Oral History of the environs of Sydney Olympic Park entitled "Twenty Twenty Hindsight" was prepared. It included interviews with some of the area's longstanding residents, scientists, workers and environmentalists discussing the history of land use and the subsequent clean-up. This section is currently under review.

Site Remediation - Remediation: 1992-2001. Both controlled and uncontrolled waste dumping around Homebush Bay transformed the once bountiful wetlands into ugly tips and polluted waterways. Sydney's rapid expansion in the 1950s and 60s and the start of the "throw-away" society meant people and industry needed more space to put their waste.