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Published February 26th 2018
Halvorsen Park is a large nautical-themed park adjacent to Parramatta River that stands on the grounds of what were once naval depots. Used by the Royal Australian Navy to store heavy machinery and supplies, remnants of the steel huts have now been turned into a sculpture that one can walk or run through.
The name of the park and the children's playground also reference the history of this area in Ermington. The Halvorsen boat builders were located nearby and were responsible for the building of a number of the navy's ships. A submarine HMAS AE2, which was lost in action in 1915, has provided inspiration for the slides in the play area.
Other items keeping with the theme in this soft fall playground include a sandstone boat, a play gym shaped like the top of a submarine with a periscope, and a wooden bridge with ship rope. Swings, a twirling twister and four rope climbing towers complete the fun for children.
Plenty of paths abound for kids to ride their bikes or scooters and next to the playground is a big grassed area where they can kick a ball around, play a game of cricket or fly a kite. Seating along the foreshore allows you to chill out and watch the ferries go by whilst keeping an eye on the young ones. Alternatively, pop down on the lawn and have a picnic.
The large grassed area is also the place for Market by the River, which now takes place on the first and third Saturdays of each month. Food and produce stalls stand amongst artisan and handmade market stalls full of unique items. Special themed markets occur at different times of the year to coincide with Halloween, Christmas and the like. There is always something different to peruse as stall holders come and go, due to feedback taken from the public.
Halvorsen Park opened in late 2016 and sits amongst a new residential area of apartment blocks that house many defence personnel. It's a great addition to what used to be a barren wasteland after usage of the naval depots concluded in 1990. Now you'll see a shore lined with cabbage palms, red gums, flower beds and children playing happily.
Street parking is available if arriving by car but it is best to get here early when the markets are on. A small car park can be found not far away at George Kendall Riverside Park. Alternatively bus routes M52, 523, 524 and 544 will get you close to the park.