Sydney harbour and Barangaroo Reserve

Has anyone told Sydney it is the middle of winter in Australia?

Paul and I have come to visit my brother and sister-in-law in Sydney. It is mid-winter in Australia, and we left our home in Canberra very early in the morning, frost melting on the grass. Four hours later, here we are sitting in Barangaroo Reserve, peeling off jackets and coats, and reaching for hats and sun cream, and looking at Sydney harbour.

Paul and I sat on a bench eating our lunch looking at this view…..

It is always a miracle when a prime piece of real estate is partly given over to parkland and public use, and this beautiful, relatively new piece of green space in Sydney, is one such miracle.

The former Prime Minister, Paul Keating, a long term resident of Sydney, was an early advocate for a public reserve. His vision was to return the area, known as Miller’s Point, to a ”naturalistic park”.

One of Sydney’s oldest industrial sites on the Harbour has now been transformed into a six hectare headland of open spaces. The planting and landscape is designed to replicate the vegetation before European settlement, making it as natural as possible.

Views of the harbour, on this glorious winter’s day.

Huge blocks of sandstone re-create the original harbour foreshore, and the sandstone is weathering and changing with time.

Over 76,000 plants and native trees, palms and tree ferns, native shrubs, small trees, native ground covers, grasses and ferns, have been planted in the last few years. Needless to say the native birds love this natural habitat.

The Barangaroo Reserve stands on the land of the Gadigal clan. Barangaroo is named after an indigenous woman who was married to Bennelong. She was a spokesperson between indigenous Australians and the new British penal colony… and was, from all accounts, proud of her culture, and a feisty character at a time when she needed to be so!

The Rainbow Lorikeets feeding from the Banksia bushes

Many years ago I lived in Sydney, near Balls Head Reserve, and Paul has taken a photo of me with a view of my old ”stomping ground” in the background.

Happy memories!

As you can see around this area, there is plenty of construction work going on with apartments, hotels, restaurants, being built on the right hand side of the harbour.

Buildings around the harbour with the distinctive Crown Sydney Casino looking very like The Shard in London.

The walking and cycling pathways take us to the edge of the city, not far from The Rocks (where you can see some of the original houses of early Sydney.) It is possible to walk to well known parts of the city, from here, for example, Darling Harbour and The Rocks and Circular Quay.

We chose to take the steps to the top of the Reserve, and have one last view of Sydney Harbour.

Salute to Paul Keating and many others who persisted in this vision, we now have a wonderful reserve for everyone to share.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog today, and may your day be as bright as a winter Sydney day!

Copyright Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved.

18 Replies to “Sydney harbour and Barangaroo Reserve”

  1. I remember walking around Barangaroo in its early days, and it’s lovely to see just how much everything has grown. A favourite pastime of ours is to walk around the park and then stop for lunch by the water at one of the restaurants in Walsh Bay.
    Sydney is often stunning in the winter!

  2. Thanks for your good wishes, what a beautiful place thanks to the vision of others. I wish I could be there with you.

    1. Yes, the developers and real estate agents are very busy in Sydney, so it is nice to see green spaces. Thanks, Paul took that photo, a rare one that looks good these days!

  3. What a lovely place, Gerrie. I love all that green space with the birds and the gorgeous water views. The weathered sandstone is so beautiful too. I really would love to see Sydney. This was a place we almost emigrated to from England in 1970. Chris’s uncle owned the local Chrysler dealer there, but he didn’t want to live near to his spoilt brat of a cousin, so we chose South Africa instead. 😯

    1. That’s interesting Sylvia… my parents and I immigrated to Australia (from Zambia) in 1970. Mum had been brought up in Cape Town and wanted to go there, but my brothers had already gone to Sydney and loved it there…You would love Sydney, but now it is VERY expensive.

  4. I did enjoy seeing this beautiful space in Sydney again, goodness, how quickly it’s changing! Loved the flora and fauna too. To think it’s winter!!!! Wonderful post Gerrie.xxx

    1. Yes winter in Sydney is better than summer I think. Hope all goes well and you are able to see your granddaughter now.

  5. Such a magical spot! This reminds me of how lucky we are in Chicago that almost the entire lakefront was kept for public parkland. In most cities it was used primarily for industry – mostly rusty and unused buildings today in cities like Cleveland and Milwaukee.

    1. Chicago is fortunate to have had forebears with foresight, keeping the entire lakeside as public land is exactly as it should be, but doesn’t often happen. We had a long term plan to visit Chicago, for many reasons, but one being that Chicagoan Walter Burley Griffin, designed Canberra. However, who knows if that will ever happen now!

    1. Thanks Brenda, the sandstone blocks had an unbelievable amount of patterns on them. Yes, we did have a lovely visit, and so good to be in the sunshine.

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