Centennial Park, Sydney

Oxford Street
Sydney, Australia

Submitted by: Robin Grimwade

The "Central Park" of Sydney.

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Why It Works

Covering some 220 hectares, the Park is of high cultural, recreational, scientific, historic and aesthetic significance at a local, regional state and national level. It is a grand park in the European Tradition. It features formal gardens, grand avenues, statues and heritage buildings, picnic areas, sports fields woodlands and natural areas.

What Makes Centennial Park, Sydney a Great Place?

Centennial Park is strategically located between Sydney's central business district and its popular eastern beaches ( Bondi Beach). With adjoining Moore Park and Queens Park, the three parks are readily accessible by foot, bicycle, horse, motor vehicle and public transport. Collectively they receive more than 6 million visits per annum: one of the most intensively used public spaces in Australia.

Acknowledged as a safe, friendly and well cared for venue the park is patrolled 24 hours a day by park rangers. Visitor satisfaction surveys continually reveal exceptionally high levels of satisfaction with park maintenance services. A ten-year program of upgrading built and natural assets has recently been completed, thereby further enhancing the image and appeal of the park to visitors.

Whilst there is considerable activity both on and in the vicinity of Grand Drive (the park's main roadway), park users make extensive use of the entire park. Centennial Park provides for a range of recreational, cultural and educational opportunities. Major activities include relaxation, picnics, walking, jogging, cycling, in line skating, cricket, soccer, football, hockey, musicals, outdoor cinema, theatre, art exhibitions and environmental education programs.

Receiving more than 3.5 million visits per annum visitor surveys have revealed the park is used by people of all ages, abilities and ethnicities and as such is representative of Sydney's social and cultural make-up. Drawing people from all areas of the greater Sydney metropolitan area approximately 70 % of park visitors use the park either daily or at least once a week and the greater percentage of users fall within the 25-44 year age bracket. Autumn and Spring are the most popular seasons followed by Winter and Summer.

Centennial Park is very much in the hearts of the people of Sydney. To Sydneysiders the park is highly successful in that it provides something for everyone, regardless of age, ability, or ethnicity. It provides a sense of space, an escape from day to day demands, a feeling of tranquillity a feeling of excitement. It is a place where national, civic and individual milestones are marked and treasured in landscapes, events, monuments and memories.

History & Background

As the main park of Sydney, Centennial Park is to this city as Central Park is to New York, NY. Its history began on January 26, 1888, when Charles Moore, then director of the Botanical Gardens, enlisted hundreds of unemployed men to shape the land, which was then made up of swamp, scrub and rock, into a beautiful Victorian landscape. Charles Moore dedicated the park to the people of New South Whales, and it was in Centennial Park that the official inauguration of the Commonwealth took place on January 1, 1901, with about a quarter-million people in attendance.

Contact Info:

Mr Peter Duncan, Director, Centennial Park; Moore Park Trust, 15 Paddington 2021 NSW Australia

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