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Dawes Point Park

Home > Sydney > Picnic Spots | Parks | Outdoor | Free
by Vanessa M (subscribe)
I am always looking out for new experiences, wherever I may find myself.
Published May 29th 2012
Dawes Point Park is a grassy area that sits underneath the the southern pylon of Sydney Harbour Bridge on Dawes Point. It is the perfect place for a picnic if you have visiting any of the major tourist sites in this area, like the Bridge, the galleries (like the Museum of Contemporary Art), the museums and of course the Sydney Opera House.

The main section of the park, on the side of the Bridge closest to the Opera House, is split into two sections which are separated by Hickson Road. On the water's edge is a flat, grassy area dotted with palm trees where you can lay down your blanket and just enjoy the setting. This is the best area for a picnic.

Have a picnic against the backdrop of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.


Behind the road the park slopes upwards, with more trees and a number of single benches. This area offers the best shade but the steepness of the slope might make a picnic blanket impractical. The trees and street lights also obscure some of the amazing view.

The view on offer as you sit and eat your lunch.


At the top of this slope are a number of cannons from the ships of the First Fleet. These were part of gun emplacements positioned on the site to defend Sydney from naval attack during the 18th century. Dawes Point Battery was part of an extensive network of fortifications on the harbour that included Dawes Point, Kirribilli and Mrs Macquarie's Point Batteries and Forts Denison and Macquarie. The Battery was largely demolished in 1925 to make way for the Bridge.

Dawes Point Park is right underneath the Bridge.


Dawes Point Park is named after Lieutenant William Dawes, an astronomer who constructed an observatory on the site in 1788. It was the diaries of Dawes that provided the inspiration for Kate Grenville's main character, Daniel Rooke, in her novel, The Lieutenant.

Should you visit the site in its current embodiment as an amazing picnic spot, Dawes Point Park will not only provide you with a great view of the Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It will also offer fantastic sights of the Sydney Opera House.

The view of Sydney Opera House.


These are world-class views and this is a site that any Sydney-sider should know about. Weddings have taken place here, so it has to be pretty special!
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Why? A picnic spot with views of Sydney Harbour.
When: Every day
Where: Hickson Road, The Rocks, Sydney
Cost: Free
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