The Rozelle peninsula contains a complex maze of urban streets, giving way to the occasional patch of green at the water's edge. Bordered by Victoria Road and City West Link Road, the area is an unlikely contender for parklands, and yet residents in Rozelle, Balmain and Lilyfield are able to enjoy a variety of parks, including Elkington, King George, and, on the lower side of the peninsula, White Bay Park.
White Bay is directly opposite Pyrmont Point Park, although not falling directly on the coastline. Within walking distance of Balmain Hospital, White Bay Park is the quintessential urban parkland. The northern edge falls right on Donnelly Street, with a large carpark and dock on the southerly end.
Despite the urban location, there is a haphazard smattering of trees in various spaces, leaving only the section nearest Vincent Street with the open spaces favoured by sporting teams. Nonetheless, the harbour location and the ample shade make the park idea for picnics.
White Bay Park is perhaps best known for its industrial heritage. In 1875, the Australian Gas Light Company was based on the waterfront of White Bay, and the NSW Railway Commission built the White Bay Power Station in the area in 1912.
Since these industrial roots, White Bay has been redeveloped in the Glebe Island and White Bay Master Plan, seeking to enhance the appearance of the port while still maintaining its standing as an industrial hub.
While the idea of visiting a park famed for its role in the industrial heritage of Sydney may seem antithetical to your more environmentally friendly impulses, White Bay has a striking view of both the harbour and the towering industrial works that create a unique and compelling tension in the vista.