I was thoroughly enchanted by my first visit to Sydney Park. It’s a calming wetland oasis with just the right combination of wide open spaces, well-thought out water features and wonderful winding walking paths.
I was really surprised that this space is so close to the city – a mere 3 stops away from Central Train Station. I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived, so my first impression was completely unclouded by external factors. All I knew was that it was a large natural space close to St Peter’s train station. It really is so close – just across the road.
History of Sydney Park
Reach the entrance to the park clearly marked by a sign and you will note some old-fashioned brick buildings that are the oldest things on site. The rest of Sydney Park is relatively new, only being developed a little over a decade ago, but the brick structures on site are remnants of Sydney’s history.
The area was utilized as a brick works for some time beginning in the late 19th century after which the remaining pits were used as a rubbish dump until the mid 70’s. History of the brick works and other relevant facts about the park are displayed throughout the space on informative panels.
Sydney Park Attractions
When you enter the park, it is the open spaces and rolling hills that strike you. But it is not until you venture further that you start to come upon the lushness of the place.
And it soon becomes clear how that is possible. There is an extensive and well-maintained system of wetlands within Sydney Park.
Not only have they been designed to be sustainable, but they have also clearly been created to be highly aesthetically pleasing.
There are many attractive little nooks that give you a little separation from the rest of the space and are perfect for sitting and taking in the beauty of the surrounds or just taking a break from your explorations.
The flora also changes within the park from area to area and this adds to the charm of the space. A lot of thought has clearly gone into the planting arrangements. Sometimes large sprawling spaces like this can seem too open but the intelligent use of different types of vegetation and the addition of small stone walls to separate space avoids this.
There is a charming wistfulness about this particular glade that is part of a narrow channel and man made waterfall that connects the two large ponds in this part of the lake.
Stones across the water in more than one location give you the secret pleasure you might get from hopping from rock to rock across a bush stream. It’s always nice when man made natural spaces can mimic what you would find out in nature itself.
Speaking of which, this space is an important habitat for local wildlife. Water birds make the place their home as do frogs and other species that like to dwell in wetland habitats.
Spaces like this are often dedicated to more woody native plants which tend to add less colour, but here, in addition to native species, more attractive flowering plants with wider appeal have also been included in the landscaping and add to the beauty of the space.
In saying that, efforts are clearly being made to restore native habitat in Sydney Park, and indeed in the wider Eastern Suburbs area.
If you can, be sure to linger at Sydney Park till the sun begins to descend. The space takes on a calming glow and shows you a slightly different side of itself.
Getting To Sydney Park
It’s easy. Take a train ride to St Peters Train Station and the park is directly opposite the station.