Despite Sydney’s strong population growth in recent times, Australia’s most beautiful city is still home to a great number of parks.
Sydney has always had a love affair with the outdoors and the best way to enjoy that outside breeze, fresh air and sunshine is by visiting one of the many parks located in and around the city.
To help you find a destination park where you can wander around, enjoy scenic views or have a picnic, we’ve come up with a list of 9 beautiful parks in Sydney.
11 Best Sydney Parks
In no particular order, here are eleven of the best parks you can find in Sydney!
1. Barangaroo Reserve
Barangaroo Reserve is a modern Sydney Harbour foreshore park, part of a huge transformation project that is changing an old and ugly industrial site into a thriving business, entertainment and leisure precinct.
After years of design and development, Barangaroo Reserve is now a beautiful 6-hectare waterfront park with a large man-made hill right in the middle. It is home to more than 75,000 planted trees, palms, ferns, shrubs and other plants.
The Reserve consists of several walking paths, spread over multiple levels. There is no set start and end point, so you can just wander around and enjoy the pretty surroundings and Harbour views.
2. Royal Botanic Garden
Established in 1816, Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden is a 30 hectares large oasis, located in the heart of the city.
The park is Australia’s oldest botanic garden and scientific institution, home to a great collection of plants from all around the world with a focus on Australia and the South Pacific.
The best way to explore the unique beauty, heritage and plant diversity of the Royal National Park is by simply wandering around. The picture-perfect views of the Habour and city skyline are an added bonus!
3. Hyde Park
Located on the eastern fringe of the Sydney CBD, heritage-listed Hyde Park is Sydney’s oldest public parkland. The park extends to the Domain and the Royal Botanic Garden further north.
Hyde Park breathes history, with several historic buildings situated along the boundaries of the park, such as the Supreme Court of New South Wales, St. James Church, Hyde Park Barracks and St Mary’s Cathedral.
The park is also home to the ANZAC War Memorial, a heritage-listed monument and museum located near Liverpool Street.
4. Centennial Park
Opened to the public in 1888, Centennial Park is Sydney’s playground in the inner east, consisting of 189 hectares of wide open spaces for recreation and leisure.
It was designed as a people’s park for the enjoyment of all residents of New South Wales, characterised by gardens, ponds, statues and wide avenues.
Interestingly, Centennial Park was also used as the site to mark the federation of the Australian colonies and the inauguration of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 January 1901.
The park is part of the Centennial Parklands, which also includes Moore Park and Queens Park. It is one of Australia’s most popular and historic public areas, with more than 30 million people visiting each year.
5. Glebe Foreshore Parks
The leafy inner-west suburb of Glebe is home to four interconnected parks, located along the popular Glebe Foreshore walking track.
Covering more than 16 hectares, Bicentennial Park, Federal Park, Jubilee Park and Blackwattle Bay Park are home to large open grassland areas, playgrounds, picnic areas, sports fields, wetlands and off-leash sections.
The views of the bay against the backdrop of the city skyline and the Anzac Bridge make this area quite a special place to be.
6. Robertson Park
Robertson Park is situated in the center of Watsons Bay, one of Sydney’s top tourist destinations. It’s a family-friendly place with public toilets, tables and playgrounds.
The park offers great views of Sydney Harbour on one side and the Tasman Sea on the other side. And with a couple of secluded beaches and several cafes nearby, it’s easy to spend a whole day in this scenic area.
Be mindful though that Watsons Bay gets very busy during weekends which makes parking your car quite a challenge. Luckily though, Watsons Bay has its own ferry wharf with frequent ferry services travelling to and from Circular Quay.
The best way to experience the beauty of Watsons Bay is by following a 4.5 km circuit walk, from Robertson Park to South Head via Camp Cove, and back via The Gap.
7. Ballast Point Park
Located in Birchgrove on the very tip of the Balmain Peninsula, Ballast Point Park is a recreational 2.6ha park where visitors can wander through Sydney’s rich history while enjoying panoramic Harbour views.
After seven years of designing and constructing, Ballast Point Park was officially opened to the public in 2009.
The unique design of the park combines elements of the history of the area with park facilities such as walking paths, a playground, picnic areas and access for cyclists.
8. Cooper Park
Peacefully tucked away in Bellevue Hill just north of Bondi Junction in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, Cooper Park is a large bushland reserve with various walking paths, bridges, picnic spots and recreational facilities to enjoy.
A small but largely natural creek runs though the middle of the park, with the hills and cliffs around the creek supporting a wide variety of native trees and shrubs. Walking around in Cooper Park feels a bit like you’ve landed in a hidden rainforest!
Dogs are very welcome in Cooper Park but they must be on a lead, with a timed off-leash area available in the western part of the park, close to the tennis courts.
9. Bronte Park
Peacefully tucked away behind Bronte Beach, halfway the famous Bondi to Coogee coastal walk, Bronte Park is a large, family-friendly green space, offering the perfect mix of shaded seating, swimming, and surfing.
Bronte Road next door is lined with a range of different cafes and restaurants, where you can either sit down and relax, or order take away so you can eat your lunch in the park overlooking the ocean.
Note that Bronte’s water conditions can be a bit rough at times, so it’s important to follow the directions of surf life savers. Bronte Baths, at the south end of the beach, has a saltwater rock pool for swimming & sunbathing.
If you’re not walking to Bronte Park via the coastal trail, there is a bus stop right next to the park, in addition to paid street parking options.
10. Wendy’s Secret Garden
Is this perhaps Sydney’s prettiest little park? Overlooking Lavender Bay, Wendy’s Secret Garden is a green oasis of native plants, fig trees, beautiful flowers and a thriving community of birds.
The best way to visit this beautiful spot is by following the shoreline of Lavender Bay from the Milsons Point ferry wharf. The views along the way, and also from the garden, are absolutely stunning.
Wendy’s Secret Garden is part of the Lavender Bay Parklands, a collection of green spaces and parks in and around Lavender Bay, such as Watt Park, Clark Park, Quibaree Park and the Lavender Bay Foreshore.
So if you’re planning on visiting Wendy’s Secret Garden, don’t forget to explore all the other nearby gardens, parks and green spaces.
11. Sydney Park
Located in St. Peters, bordered by Alexandria and Erskineville, Sydney Park is a 40ha large recreational area characterised by open recreation spaces, rolling hills, wetlands and historic chimneys.
The park is home to a large children’s playground, cycle and walking paths, picnic areas, a cricket and AFL oval and so much more. What’s even better is that Sydney Park is dog-friendly, so make sure you bring your four-legged member of the family along!