Discover Barangaroo Reserve (A Modern Sydney Foreshore Park and Walk)

Last updated: August 17, 2021

Located on the western side of the Sydney CBD, Barangaroo Reserve is a modern Sydney Harbour foreshore park, characterised by beautiful landscaping, open grassy areas, and a myriad of walking paths.

The new reserve was constructed as part of the Barangaroo transformation project, which has changed an ugly and old industrial site into a thriving business, entertainment and leisure precinct.

Let’s have a closer look at this beautiful new park in Sydney Harbour, and also the Barangaroo Foreshore walk that takes in the reserve.

Barangaroo Foreshore Walk
Distance: 1.5 km
Time: 1 hour
Grade: Very easy
Dogs: On a lead

How to Get There

Getting to Barangaroo Reserve is easy. You can catch a train, bus or ferry, or you can go by car and park underneath the reserve.

1. Train:
The two closest train stations are Circular Quay and Wynyard, both around 1km away from the reserve.

From Circular Quay station, you can follow the shoreline under the Harbour Bridge and past Walsh Bay to the reserve. Or otherwise, you can walk through The Rocks and Millers Point.

From Wynyard station, walk through the new underground pedestrian link to the Barangaroo foreshore, and walk to the reserve from there. Read further below for a description of this brand new walking path.

2. Bus:
There are various bus routes travelling to and from Town Hall, Wynyard and Circular Quay in the city, from where you can walk to Barangaroo.

Bus routes 311, 324 and 325 have a direct connection to Barangaroo Reserve from Town Hall, Walsh Bay and Millers Point.

Check the Transport NSW website for detailed travel information.

3. Ferry:
Travelling by ferry is an excellent option too, with a couple of ferry wharves close by, such as King St Wharf and Barangaroo Wharf.

4. Car:
Barangaroo Reserve has an underground car park available that is open 7 days per week from 6AM til midnight.

Visit the Wilson Parking website for more information.

Harbour Bridge views from Barangaroo Reserve
Harbour Bridge views from Barangaroo Reserve

History of Barangaroo

The Barangaroo area used to be part of the territory of the Gadigal people, the original inhabitants of Sydney.

The area was a very important hunting and fishing region for the local Aboriginal people.

Port

In the first half of the 19th century, Sydney developed into a major port, with many wharves built along the city shore where Barangaroo is located today.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the NSW Government took control of the area, rebuilding the wharves as trade further intensified.

Historical photo of Barangaroo South
Historical photo of Barangaroo South

In the second half of the 20th century, Sydney became increasingly less suitable as a modern and sustainable port facility. Ships were getting larger and Sydney’s freight rail infrastructure simply could not cope with the increased demand.

With the construction of Port Botany as the new major port in Sydney, the Barangaroo and Darling Harbour precincts became redundant as industrial shipping sites.

Redevelopment

In 2003, the NSW government decided to redevelop Barangaroo and organised an international design competition to generate ideas and concepts.

One of the demands of the government was that Barangaroo had to incorporate the 12 km public foreshore walkway from Woolloomooloo to Anzac Bridge. This walkway officially opened in 2021 as a beautiful continuous walking track.

In 2007, the area was officially named Barangaroo, after a Cammeraygal woman who was an important figure in the Sydney Aboriginal community at the time of early white settlement.

Scenic Harbour views from Barangaroo Reserve
Scenic Harbour views from Barangaroo Reserve

Barangaroo is still under construction as we speak, but the Reserve at the northern end of the Barangaroo area was officially opened to the public in August 2015.

The opening was quite a significant event, because up until that point, the area had been closed to the public for more than 100 years.

Today, Barangaroo Reserve is widely considered to be a fantastic green addition to the city of Sydney, and is a popular destination for locals as well as for tourists.

Barangaroo Foreshore Walk

The Barangaroo Foreshore Walk, or otherwise simply referred to as the Barangaroo Walk, is a 1.5 km shared walking and cycling path between King Street Wharf and the north-eastern tip of Barangaroo Reserve.

Also named the Wulugul Walk, this continuous path follows the reclaimed shoreline from 1836. Wulugul is the local indigenous word for kingfish, a popular catch in this area back in the day.

Map of the Barangaroo Foreshore Walk

The walk was completed in 2021, when the last remaining section, between the new casino and the southern end of Barangaroo Reserve, was opened.

One thing you will notice when you do this walk the first time is the very wide paths, which makes for very comfortable and safe walking.

The best way to get to the starting point of the Barangaroo Walk is by walking from Wynyard station to Barangaroo via the underground pedestrian link.

Shared path for cyclists and pedestrians in Barangaroo Reserve
Shared path for cyclists and pedestrians

With the completion of the Barangaroo Foreshore Walk, it is now also possible to walk from the Anzac Bridge to Woolloomooloo along the shoreline.

This 12 km long adventure is one of Sydney’s best Harbour walks, and is an excellent way to see the best of the Harbour as well as the city.

About Barangaroo Reserve

After years of design and development, Barangaroo Reserve is now a 6-hectares waterfront park with a large man-made hill right in the middle.

Map of Barangaroo Reserve

It is home to more than 75,000 planted trees, palms, ferns, shrubs and other plants.

What’s interesting is that all the different species have been native to the Sydney region since the last 200 years.

Sandstone blocks in Barangaroo Reserve
Sandstone blocks in Barangaroo Reserve

The first impression of the park is quite overwhelming, with so many beautifully designed terraced gardens and various walking paths.

And the abundant use of sandstone fits perfectly in the overall design and architecture of the park.

Signpost with directions in Barangaroo Reserve
Signpost with directions

The reserve consists of several walking paths spread over multiple levels. As such, there is no set start and end point, so you can just wander around and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and Harbour views.

To move between the different levels, you can either use the lift at The Cutaway (see below), or otherwise use the many different sets of stairs at different locations.

Barangaroo Reserve as seen from the water

The views from Barangaroo Reserve are absolutely fantastic, with Goat Island, the Harbour Bridge, Balls Head Reserve, Pyrmont, and various other landmarks and destinations clearly visible.

Stairs to higher levels in Barangaroo Reserve

What’s great is that Barangaroo Reserve has introduced 18 official new place and road names, with 40% of these names referencing Aboriginal culture or people.

The Cutaway

Right beneath the hill that forms Barangaroo Reserve, you will find an interesting venue, named “The Cutaway”.

The Cutaway in Barangaroo Reserve
The Cutaway

This engineering masterpiece has a roof that is constructed like a bridge and a massive sandstone wall that opens up to the sky.

The Cutaway is a unique cultural venue and is hosting all sorts of events, such as art exhibitions and food events, throughout the year.

Places to Visit Nearby

With Barangaroo, Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour, The Rocks and Circular Quay literally just around the corner, a visit to Barangaroo Reserve can easily be turned into a full day out.

What’s great is that all of these destinations are within walking distance, and are very easily accessible via the Harbour foreshore walking path.

Park area in Barangaroo Reserve

  • Walsh Bay:
    Walsh Bay is a scenic bay just west of the Sydney Harbour Bridge that is home to various theatres, restaurants and bars. It’s also a nice area to wander around.
  • The Rocks:
    The Rocks is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Sydney and used to be a notorious convict settlement. It is now a top tourist attraction with lots of pubs, cobbled lane-ways, and historic buildings to take in.
  • Barangaroo South:
    Just a short stroll from the reserve is Barangaroo South, Sydney’s newest business, entertainment and leisure precinct, home to a great variety of restaurants, cafes and clubs.
  • Darling Harbour:
    Further south is Darling Harbour, Sydney’s largest recreational and pedestrian precinct, with lots of waterfront dining options, exciting museums and large playgrounds to choose from.
 

Barangaroo Reserve in Sydney

 
 
2 Comments
  1. We certainly appreciate the Barangaroo Park and the maintenance thereof, a wonderful facility!

    However, we find the bicycles on the board-walk as part of the Wulugul Walk are quite dangerous as it is narrow. My wife was hit when a bicycle came up fast behind her and I have had a number of close calls.

    Please consider banning bicycles on the board-walk at Wulugul Walk and insist they use the bitumen walkway as marked for bicycles and pedestrians.

    Many thanks.

    Reply
    • Hello Trevor, sorry to hear about your experiences with bicycles on the Wulugul Walk.

      You’re making a fair point, and it’s best to write to City of Sydney council so that they can take this matter into consideration.

      Reply
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