A free-spirit studying psychology at the University of Sydney.
Published July 9th 2013
Discover the parkland marked by Sydney's old chimney towers
There have been countless occasions where I have gone past the monumental chimney towers, wondering what really lay behind this face of Sydney Park. The other morning I was close to St. Peters station, and having realised that it was pretty much just across the road from this park, decided to take up the opportunity to finally explore. My meander across the extensive parkland upon this cloudless winter morning (all of which I am yet to cover) was immensely enjoyable, peaceful, and full of pleasant surprises.
The park is accessible by car - there are three car parking facilities within the grounds. It is also convenient for non-drivers like myself to get to. The entry I used was on the same side as the chimney towers. This entrance is located alongside the Sydney Park Road, Princess Highway junction, directly across from St Peters train station. Buses such as the 370 and 422 may also be used to commute to the park.
It was very exciting to take my first step onto the former brickworks site. This north-western corner of the grounds made me feel as though I had either taken a step back in time, or into a fictional world. The silence across the brick surfaces, the large gated chambers with signs reading "danger" and the skeletal trees of this mid-winter period, really enhanced this mystical feeling. I imagine the eeriness would be taken to a new level under the night sky - ensure you take company and tread carefully if you so choose to visit at this time.
Old chamber in Sydney Park's former brickwork site
Beyond the brickwork laid what looked like an endless field of lush green grass and pretty plantations. This together with the also seemingly endless blue sky of this particular morning made my wander feel all the more calming and carefree. There are also a couple of fairly steep hills that provide a nice surprise upon reaching the top. I say "surprise" as I had not anticipated having such a lovely, spanning view of Sydney city. The first hill from the brickwork that I climbed had a sculpture that I'd describe as a wavy 'fence' with cut-outs in interesting shapes. I later found out that this is Michael Snape's 1990 artwork entitled "The Trail". Peaking through the cut-outs provided a unique perspective of Sydney tower and the landscape around the main city area.
The second and taller of the hills I climbed provided an even more sprawling view of the city, the airport, and even some of the coast. From this hill I observed that it was possible to wander over to a couple of small lakes, and an awesome playground that I see being fun for kids and grown-ups alike - in fact, I have read that it is considered to be in the running for the title of Sydney's most entertaining playground. From the hill I also spotted a few creeks flowing throughout the grounds, accompanied by native trees, which would be pleasant to follow or relax alongside.
There are certainly plenty more places to explore extending in different directions from the hills. On a side note, feel free to bring your dog along for the adventure. I had lost count of the number and diversity of cute companions that I saw accompanying their owners. Just make sure that you don't lose them in their frenzy of chasing the park's many birds!
Looking toward the airport from a Sydney Park hill
There are benches atop the hills and all throughout the park. I would consider these to be some of Sydney's top locations for reading, chilling, or just simply marvelling at your surroundings. Any sunny patch of grass (really, take your pick from the 40 hectares!), or shady spot beneath the trees, would be ideal for picnicking, snoozing, thinking about life, or whatever. The park also has Cafes and barbecue facilities if food is involved in your plan, function centres, sporting ovals and the cycling centre for those desiring a space to develop their skills.
Sydney park has many options for leisure, and can be enjoyed alone, in company of friends and family, and/or in company of your pet pooch. I look forward to many more adventurous yet refreshing visits to this park.