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Published November 24th 2020
Barangaroo Reserve: Home to history, nature & views galore
Wedged between Darling Harbour and The Rocks, is a stunning waterfront park, Barangaroo Reserve.
Once upon a time, the area was once home to a bustling container terminal. Today this modern city oasis is home to more than 75,000 planted trees, palms, ferns, shrubs, and other plants, as well as numerous walking paths.
Barangaroo Reserve is home to endless breathtaking views!
The main walking path is Walugul Walk. This walk winds its way around Barangaroo Reserve, connecting to the Darling Harbour or Milsons Point. The trail follows the reclaimed shoreline from 1836 and is named after the Sydney Aboriginal word for Kingfish. The path is shared for walkers, cyclists and joggers.
The Walugul Walk snakes its way through the Reserve passing the spectacular harbourside
The reserve showcases a sense of space inspired by nature, including lush vegetation. Some of the vegetation includes genuine representation of the genera, species and forms of local endemic Hawkesbury sandstone landscape, as well as 923 native trees, palms and tree ferns, 1,935 native shrubs, small trees and Macrozamias.
The lush vegetation that calls Barangaroo Reserve home
Barangaroo Reserve is also a gateway to some of Sydney's best restaurants, shopping, and fascinating Indigenous tours. It also offers spectacular and breathtaking views across Sydney and its surrounds.
This large, beautifully designed manmade reserve is tranquil and makes for a perfect lunch-break office escape or a family-friendly weekend outing. There are several terraced gardens, winding walking paths, as well as an abundance of sandstones that are scattered throughout the reserve.
Another attraction to find at the reserve is the Stargazing Lawn. This can be found at the top level of Barangaroo Reserve and offers spectacular views as well as endless open lawns.
It is also home to The Cutaway, which sits right below the hill and forms Barangaroo Reserve. It is a roof that is constructed similar to a bridge and features a gigantic sandstone wall. The Cutaway is also a cultural venue where a range of events are held, including art exhibitions and food events.
Barangaroo Reserve is also home to a rich history, with the region being used part of the territory of the Gadigal people, the original inhabitants of Sydney. The area was significant to the local Aboriginal people as it was used for hunting and fishing.
In the 19th century, Sydney developed into a major port and wharves were built along the shore. In the 20th century, the New South Wales Government took control of the area and the piers were rebuilt for trade.
The Girra Girra Stairs that lead to the Stargazer Lawn & Waranara Terrace
In 2003, the New South Wales Government redeveloped the area and organised an international design competition, with one of the demands being that Barangaroo had to incorporate the 14km public foreshore walkway from Woolloomooloo to Anzac Bridge.
The area was officially named after Barangaroo, a Cammeraygal woman, who was an important figure in the Sydney Aboriginal community at the time of early white settlement. The official naming took place in 2007.
As you walk around Barangaroo Reserve, it is not difficult to notice an array of sandstone blocks/rocks that hug the foreshore. An interesting fact is that Sydney is a city that is built on, and from, sandstone. Beneath Sydney Harbour, there is up to 6km deep sandstone, making it the reason why for thousands of years Aboriginal rock carvings have survived.
Around 93% of blocks came from Barangaroo itself, to extract from beneath what is now The Cutaway, a massive oversized cultural space beneath the headland. Making Barangaroo Reserve is the only project in history that used more Sydney sandstone; more than 10,000 blocks were used to create the spectacular re-imagined headland.
Other things to do at Barangaroo Reserve include exploring the rich Aboriginal history, including a powerful 18th-century Aboriginal woman who was an interlocutor with Governor Arthur Phillip, the captain of the First Fleet which arrived in 1788. To learn more about her, book a tour with Barangaroo Aboriginal Cultural Tours.
Overall, Barangaroo Reserve makes a perfect spot to enjoy a harbourside picnic, as well as immerse yourself with the surrounding picturesque views, lookouts, idyllic coves, and the many natural wonderlands.