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Explorers Park

Home > Sydney > Parks | Places of Interest
by Rota (subscribe)
Still out and about
Published May 28th 2014
A big journey through a small park
At the turn off to Ashfield, along Paramatta road, there is a little park. It's the kind of spot you always notice out of the corner of your eye - but never actually stop to visit.

I soon discovered that this unobtrusive spot was called Explorers Park, but beyond that I could find out nothing else. Passing it, over the years, I had also never seen anyone in the park. My curiosity was piqued. It was time for me to go exploring.

The first thing you notice when you enter the park is the sprawling green tunnel, partly supported - partly weighed down - by creepers. The space invites you in, where sunlight and shade mingle above you as both vie for space on the arches.

I found myself on a wide concrete walkway littered with dried leaves. And it's then that I noticed the circular plaques set onto the shadowed walkway at my feet, every few metres apart.

I then came to realise why this place had been christened Explorers Park. The green tunnel leads you on a journey of exploration with some of Australia's most influential explorers. The walk of plaques begins it's story in 1813 and describes the various achievements of these pioneers through until 1848.

Here I learnt of the accomplishments of Freidrich Leichhardt, who braved three expeditions and contributed to natural sciences in Australia, Thomas Mitchell whose studies took him across the Great Dividing Range and Charles Sturt - often known as "the father of Australian exploration".

As I moved slowly from plaque to plaque clearing aside the leaves as I went, the green tunnel provided the perfect setting for a journey back through the history of our land. More information boards on the sides of the tunnel also revealed more about the Aboriginal people of that time, British colonisation and the early local history of Sydney.

A few benches close by allowed for reflection.

What I loved about this modest park was that it took me on a journey - just like the explorers of old. In the shelter of the enveloping creepers I came closer to experiencing and appreciating the pioneering spirit in our history.

And fittingly, my journey ended at the triumphal dome with flags flying.

Explorers park, dome, Ashfield, green tunnel
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Why? Walk back in time with the explorers
Where: Corner of Parramatta road and Liverpool road, Ashfield
Cost: Free
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