Parklands

Family bike riding at Blaxland Riverside Park
               Photo: G Fokkema

One of Australia’s largest urban parklands

The parklands at Sydney Olympic Park provide 430 hectares of open space, recreation areas, wetlands and waterways and are located in the geographic heart of the growing metropolitan Sydney.

One of Australia’s largest urban parklands, it is a diverse and special place where protected remnant woodlands, rare saltmarshes, waterbird refuge and mangroves stand alongside places of heritage  significance to create a unique parkland setting.

A lasting legacy of the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the parklands have been designed and built on land formerly used by government industries including the State Abbattoirs, State Brickworks and Commonwealth Department of Defence, and are the result of remediating industrial land – an internationally recognised leading environmental remediation and urban renewal project.

Today, the parklands are playing an increasingly important role as both a local park and as a significant regional park destination as Sydney grows. The parklands are an association of many different parks and places bought together as a single entity for management purposes. They include:

  • 430 hectares of public land, adjacent to the 210 hectares of sporting venues and town centre of Sydney Olympic Park
  • located in the geographic centre of the Sydney Basin, surrounded by the metropolitan area of the largest city in Australia and a rapidly growing local worker and residential population
  • a place providing substantial opportunities for people to engage in health and wellbeing activities and for communities to celebrate and build social cohesion
  • containing remnant Sydney Turpentine forest, rare salt marsh and mangroves alongside constructed places of historical and environmental significance
  • four kilometres of water frontage to the Parramatta River and Homebush Bay
  • a place of cultural significance and historic naval importance
  • the site of one of the largest modern day land remediation projects undertaken in Australia
  • part of the site for the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games and
  • over 2.8 million visits to the parklands each year to engage in a variety of leisure, sport, social, cultural, educational and nature based experiences.

The parklands are an association of many different parks and places brought together as a single entity for management purposes. They include the established Bicentennial Park, the diverse wetland areas south of Homebush Bay, the remnant forests of Newington Nature Reserve, parts of the former Royal Australian Navy Armament Depot, the dramatic landscape of the former State Brickworks, the lower reaches of Haslams Creek, the remediated waste mounds of Kronos Hill and Woo-la-ra, the Olympic legacy of Archery Park, the restored Wilson Park sportsgrounds, and the emerging new Blaxland Riverside Park and Wentworth Common.

The majority of the physical landscape of the Parklands is the deliberate result of remediating waste industrial land, acquiring Naval property of heritage significance and conserving disturbed remnant natural areas - since the mid 1990's - to create a series of different places consistent with a planned concept for the parklands.

The parklands of the future

The parklands are surrounded by a rapidly growing urban community in the demographic centre of Sydney, and are immediately adjacent to the premier major event precinct in NSW and the emerging new township of Sydney Olympic Park.

Increasingly dense urbanised centres around the world, and no less so in Sydney, are resulting in alarming new trends towards childhood and adult obesity, increased mental and physical diseases linked to lack of exercise and the stresses of modern life, and loss of connection with nature.

The parklands at Sydney Olympic Park are in a strong position to facilitate individuals and communities to find respite as the various park places and spaces support exercise, sports, recreation, relaxation and other healthy leisure-time activities essential for well-being.

Within Sydney Olympic Park there is expected to be a daily population of at least 50,000 workers, 14,000 residents, and 5,000 students within the next 10 to 20 years. There are already almost 10,000,000 visitors to Sydney Olympic Park each year for sports and entertainment purposes and demand is growing steadily.