20 Best Parks in Sydney You Need to Visit

This guide takes you on a journey through the best parks in Sydney, showcasing tranquil green spaces perfect for picnics, short walks, and family fun.

Sydney-siders have 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 in and close to the city.

To help you find a destination park where you can wander around, go for a run, enjoy scenic views, or have a picnic with family and friends, we have compiled a list of 20 beautiful parks in Sydney.

We have listed these parks in geographical order, from North Sydney to the city, the inner city, the Eastern Suburbs, and Sydney’s west.

1. Carradah Park

Carradah Park in Waverton
Carradah Park in Waverton (map location)

Carradah Park in Waverton is a large public open space built on a former industrial site, now home to various interconnected walking trails, stairs, and lookout platforms.

The park is also home to one of Sydney’s prettiest lookout points, Berrys Bay Lookout, which offers superb views of the Harbour Bridge, the Sydney CBD skyline, and Balls Head Reserve, located next to the park.

Street parking is available on Larkin Street next to the park. If you’d like to learn more about this beautiful spot in Sydney, read our Carradah Park and Balls Head Reserve article.

2. Lavender Bay Parklands

Lavender Bay Parklands
Lavender Bay Parklands (map location)

The Lavender Bay Parklands is a unique collection of parks and other green spaces in the Lavender Bay area. It includes Watt Park, Clark Park, Quibaree Park, and the Lavender Bay Foreshore.

These parks are all quite different, so it’s worth spending a few hours in Lavender Bay exploring all of them, including the beautiful foreshore trail.

One of the most prominent green spaces here is Wendy’s Secret Garden, a beautiful urban park with native plants, fig trees, flowers, and a thriving community of birds.

The best way to visit this spot is by doing the Lavender Bay foreshore walk from the Milsons Point ferry wharf. The views along the way are stunning.

3. Barangaroo Reserve

Park area in Barangaroo Reserve
Park area in Barangaroo Reserve (map location)

Barangaroo Reserve is a modern, 6-hectare Harbour-side park that is home to more than 75,000 planted trees, palms, ferns, shrubs, and other plants.

Featuring various multi-level walking paths, Barangaroo Reserve is the perfect spot close to the city to go for a leisurely walk while taking in beautiful Harbour views.

Barangaroo Reserve is easy to walk to from Cockle Bay and Barangaroo in the south and from The Rocks and Circular Quay in the east. The closest train station is Wynyard, which provides direct pedestrian access to Barangaroo.

4. Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
Royal Botanic Garden Sydney (map location)

Established in 1816, the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is a 30-hectare large oasis, beautifully situated right next to Sydney’s CBD.

The park is Australia’s oldest botanic garden and scientific institution, home to a great collection of plants from all around the world.

The easiest way to explore the beauty, heritage, and plant diversity of the Royal Botanic Garden is by simply walking around. The picture-perfect views of the Habour and the city skyline are a bonus.

With its location so close to the city, the Royal Botanic Garden is easily accessible by train, with St James, Martin Place, and Circular Quay train stations nearby.

5. Hyde Park

Hyde Park in Sydney
Hyde Park in Sydney (map location)

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 along the park’s boundaries, 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.

Hyde Park is easy to travel to, with Museum and St James train stations next door, and Town Hall Station and Martin Place stations a bit further away.

6. Pirrama Park

Pirrama Park in Pyrmont
Pirrama Park in Pyrmont (map location)

Award-winning Pirrama Park in Pyrmont is a stunning Harbour-side green space with exceptional landscaping as the stand-out feature.

This popular park is now home to grassy areas, wide walking paths, a large playground, BBQ and picnic facilities, public toilets, and a handful of cafes.

The Pirrama Park area used to be a base for the water police, but the City of Sydney purchased the site in 2005 and subsequently transformed it into a gorgeous Sydney park.

While the park has (limited) street parking available, it is very easily accessible by public transport, with bus stops and a light rail station nearby.

7. Victoria Park

Victoria Park in Sydney
Victoria Park in Sydney (map location)

Victoria Park is a beautifully maintained, 9-hectare urban park situated on the corner of Parramatta Road and City Road in the inner city suburb of Camperdown.

Located adjacent to The University of Sydney, Victoria Park is home to a large playground, an in-ground public pool, and barbecue facilities.

Victoria Park has a small designated car parking area, accessible via City Road on the eastern side of the park. Otherwise, the park is well-serviced by buses, and Redfern and Central train stations are within walking distance.

Also note that dogs can go off-leash in Victoria Park between 6 pm and 8 am, but are not allowed in the pool, pond, barbecue, and playground areas.

8. Prince Alfred Park

Prince Alfred Park in Sydney
Prince Alfred Park in Sydney (map location)

The 7.5-hectare Prince Alfred Park is another urban park offering lots of green space, a heated outdoor pool, various sports courts (including tennis and basketball), fitness equipment, and playgrounds.

Following several rounds of redevelopment and upgrades, Prince Alfred Park today is a leisure hot spot for many Sydney-siders, enjoying state-of-the-art facilities and open space.

With Sydney’s Central Station next door, getting to Prince Alfred Park is very easy. Also note that dogs are permitted off-leash on the central grass areas.

9. Rushcutters Bay Park

Rushcutters Bay Park in Darling Point
Rushcutters Bay Park in Darling Point (map location)

With a picture-perfect Harbour-side location, Rushcutters Bay Park is a beautiful green space with a foreshore walking trail that continues along the bay to Yarranabbe Park.

The area has everything a Sydney-sider would expect from a park, with a large sports field, a fitness station, a playground, a kiosk, restrooms, and scenic Harbour views.

Dogs are also more than welcome at Rushcutters Bay Park, unleashed between 3:30 pm and 10:30 am, and on a lead at all other times.

The park is also the starting point of the walking trail from Rushcutters Bay to Rose Bay, one of Sydney’s finest Harbour-side walks.

10. McKell Park

McKell Park in Darling Point
McKell Park in Darling Point (map location)

While McKell Park in Darling Point may not be so well-known, it is a stunning and also unique park that deserves a mention on this list of great Sydney parks.

McKell Park is unique because of its beautifully manicured lawns and idyllic location on the Harbour, making it the perfect spot for weddings and other private social events.

Interestingly, the park was built on the foundations of large historical mansions that were demolished in 1983. Some of the walls and stonework in the park are part of the original foundations.

The easiest way to get to this park is by ferry, as the Darling Point Wharf is right in front of the park. Otherwise, ample street parking is available in the suburban streets nearby.

11. Cooper Park

Cooper Park in Bellevue Hill
Cooper Park in Bellevue Hill (map location)

Hidden away in Bellevue Hill just north of Bondi Junction in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, Cooper Park is a beautiful bushland reserve home to several walking trails, bridges, picnic spots, and recreational facilities.

A mostly natural creek runs through the middle of the park, with the hills and cliffs surrounding the creek supporting a wide variety of native trees and shrubs. Walking through Cooper Park feels a bit like you’ve landed in a lush rainforest!

Cooper Park is dog-friendly, but your four-legged friend must be on a lead. Mind you, there is a timed off-leash area in the western part of the park, close to the tennis courts.

12. Centennial Park

Centennial Park
Centennial Park (map location)

Opened to the public in 1888, Centennial Park is Sydney’s playground in the Eastern Suburbs, 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 forms 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.

13. Bronte Park

Bronte Park
Bronte Park (map location)

Nestled behind Bronte Beach along the renowned Bondi to Coogee coastal walk, Bronte Park is a spacious, family-friendly area ideal for relaxing, exercising, swimming, and surfing.

Adjacent Bronte Road boasts various cafes and restaurants, offering dine-in or takeaway options for a scenic lunch in the park with ocean views. Facilities include barbecues, play equipment, toilets, shelters, and a kiosk.

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.

14. Glebe Foreshore Parks

Bicentennial Park in Glebe
Bicentennial Park in Glebe (map location)

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.

The easiest way to travel to the Glebe Foreshore Parks is via the light rail, with Jubilee Station right next to the parks. Otherwise, parking is available on Chapman Road at Federal Park.

15. Sydney Park

Sydney Park
Sydney Park (map location)

Located in St. Peters, bordered by Alexandria and Erskineville, Sydney Park is a 40-ha large recreational area characterised by open recreation spaces, rolling hills, thriving wetlands, and heritage chimneys.

Surprisingly, Sydney Park used to be a large landfill and an industrial brick-making site, and, as such, the park has been declared a contaminated site. But don’t let that deter you because the park is officially considered safe.

Sydney Park is now home to a large children’s playground, various cycle and walking paths, picnic areas, a cricket and AFL oval, and so much more.

What’s great is that Sydney Park is also dog-friendly, so you’re welcome to bring your four-legged family member along for a fun day out.

16. Rozelle Parklands

Rozelle Parklands
Rozelle Parklands (map location)

Opened in December 2023, the Rozelle Parklands is a multi-purpose, 10-hectare open space with cycle and pedestrian paths, picnic and barbecue areas, sporting fields, playgrounds, and more.

The park is situated on the site of the old Rozelle Rail Yards, and by planting more than 3,000 trees, the area has been returned to the community.

Rozelle Parklands is easy to travel to by public transport, with the Rozelle light rail station located just south of the park area, connected via a pedestrian bridge.

17. Ballast Point Park

Ballast Point Park in Birchgrove
Ballast Point Park in Birchgrove (map location)

Situated at the edge of the Balmain Peninsula in Birchgrove, Ballast Point Park is a 2.6-ha park that blends Sydney’s historical charm with stunning Harbour views.

Opened in 2009 following a seven-year redevelopment project, the park features a fusion of historical elements and modern amenities like walking trails, a playground, picnic spots, and bike access.

Ballast Point Park is easily reachable via public transport, with nearby bus stops and the Balmain ferry wharf close by. The park does have a designated car parking area, but it’s small and usually fills up quickly.

18. Cabarita Park

Cabarita Park
Cabarita Park (map location)

Cabarita Park is beautifully located on the Parramatta River at the northern tip of the suburb of Cabarita, managed by the City of Canada Bay Council.

The park features a small (natural) beach, picnic and barbecue facilities, a large playground, a swimming centre, a marina and kiosk, and a toilet block.

There is ample parking available in Cabarita Park, but it is metered. Alternatively, the park has its own ferry wharf with direct connections to Parramatta and Sydney’s city.

19. Bicentennial Park

Bicentennial Park in Sydney Olympic Park
Bicentennial Park in Sydney Olympic Park (map location)

With 40 hectares worth of scenic parkland, Bicentennial Park is one the biggest and most popular parks in the Greater Sydney area.

Bicentennial Park is an excellent family weekend destination and is one of the big drawcards of living in the growing suburb of Sydney Olympic Park.

One of the highlights of Bicentennial Park is the Treillage Tower, which provides panoramic views of the surrounding wetlands, the Olympic Park residential towers and sports stadiums, and even the Sydney CBD skyline.

With such an enormous size, there is plenty to see and do for the whole family. Enjoy a picnic at the lake, go cycling or walking on the various pathways, follow the boardwalk above the mangroves, or grab a bite at the cafe.

20. Blaxland Riverside Park

Blaxland Riverside Park
Blaxland Riverside Park (map location)

Blaxland Riverside Park is a popular, family-friendly pocket of parkland in Sydney Olympic Park, home to a unique play space with various play areas for children to enjoy.

The park spans over three hectares, and besides the play areas, Blaxland Riverside Park also offers walking and cycling paths, picnic areas, a waterfront cafe, and so much more.

While there is a large car parking area at Blaxland Riverside Park, this area can fill up very quickly on the weekends, so it’s best to get there early.

 

20 Best Sydney parks

 

Published: January 11, 2024
Updated: January 11, 2024

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Author:

AJ Mens

AJ Mens is a digital publisher based in Sydney, Australia, and the editor-in-chief of Sydney Uncovered and Blue Mountains Uncovered.

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