I am always looking out for new experiences, wherever I may find myself.
Published May 31st 2015
Macquarie Place Park is located in the business section behind the waters of Circular Quay. It's a triangular space that is quite small, but full of reasons to stop by, being as interesting as it is relaxing.
If you're familiar with the attempts to evoke Sydney's history around here, it will come as no surprise that the park is full of nods to Australia's past. You only have to walk by to see the large, 2.5 metre anchor in the middle of the park's main path.
This anchor is from the HMS Sirius, the same ship that was part of the First Fleet (it acted as the flagship). In front of the anchor, there is also a cannon from the ship, which was brought ashore just after the fleet landed in 1788 (the anchor was salvaged from the ship's wreckage near Norfolk Island).
Over at the Loftus Street entrance, there's a sandstone obelisk, which was erected in 1818. It marks the spot where distances were measured from in the early days of the colony. Back then, this section would have been the centre of the park, before the roads to Circular Quay were constructed.
Today, the obelisk marks the beginning of The Great North Walk, a 250 kilometre walk from Sydney to Newcastle (smaller sections can be done on their own, such as Cowan to Jerusalem Bay or the Place of Winds Interpretive Trail). You can also read the distances to nearby sites like Parramatta on the obelisk's inscriptions.
The obelisk at Macquarie Place is around six metres high and sits of a rectangular base
Other things to look of for here include a statue of Thomas Mort, a canopied drinking fountain brought over from Scotland and the glass dome that was once the ceiling to an underground men's lavatory (but it now filled with sand).
The glass dome of the lavatory is hidden in the corner, but can be seen from outside the park too
Macquarie Place has all the normal elements of a park too; open grassy areas, seats and bins. It's actually the oldest park in Sydney, equal with Hyde Park, having been created in 1810, though it has become a lot smaller since those days.
Macquarie Place Park, also I think, has a lovely fountain in 1 corner, near where the Circular Quay buses pull up. I love wondering around there. The fountain was built by my uncle actually, many years ago. He died in 1962 from a horse riding accident.