Centennial Park has been voted Sydney’s most loved local park by Sydneysiders. Time Out’s Love Sydney competition saw 3,139 votes, with Centennial Park coming out top for the category of best green space, followed closely by the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.
Standing at 189 hectares, Centennial Park is one of Australia’s most famous parks, and well known as “the people’s park”. This award therefore goes to all the people that choose to spend their time enjoying the Park and our facilities, activities and events on offer. In celebration, we want to share with you our top five favourite spots in Centennial Park.
1. Rose & Column Garden
One of the most popular and picturesque spots in Centennial Park is the Column Garden, which is a stunning, seasonally changing formal garden.
Taking its name from two sandstone columns erected on the Busby Pond promontories in 1890, the area is always filled with beautiful horticultural displays and a rich history. The two columns originated from the demolished portico of the old Australian Museum, part of the original designs of James Barnet (constructed between 1866 and 1868).
Right by the side of Busbys Pond, its one the top picnic spots in Centennial Park. Right next door to the amazing Rose Garden, it’s the ideal place for an afternoon stroll.
2. Centennial Park Labyrinth
Sydney’s first public stone labyrinth, and possibly the most intricately built labyrinth in the world. The Centennial Park Labyrinth is a magnificently crafted pathway designed for quiet reflection and exploration. In many cultures, a labyrinth has been acknowledged for its therapeutic and medical benefits, and so many visitors to the Park use it as a tool for meditation.
Found in a secluded spot near Willow Pond, it is a perfect location for some quiet relaxation from the hustle and bustle of the loud city. There is even music designed specifically for the Centennial Park Labyrinth, to enhance your experience.
Come and walk it on your own, or join a free community Labyrinth Walk, where you will learn all about the history and some simple guidance on walking meditation.
3. The Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden
Recently voted the best children’s play-space in New South Wales, The Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden is a must-see for all families.
The state of the art play space is specially designed to engage the five senses and reconnect children to nature. The ability to run, jump, play, discover and have FUN is just a benefit!
It’s a great excuse to get your kids to visit the great outdoors on the weekend. You can even try out one of our WILD PLAY programs together, where our expert educators will teach you and your kids all about the benefits of outdoor play and how to enhance and enable curiosity, creativity and imagination. Please note the Garden is closed all of August for the winter period, so visit soon!
4. Duck Pond
Why else visit the great outdoors than to see the magnificent wildlife of Australia? But instead of trekking far out into the bush, some of the most interesting and rare wildlife can be found in the Centennial Park at Duck Pond.
Duck Pond has abundant animal life and is a popular spot for bird watching, turtle-seeking and eel-spotting. Right now is the best time to see the new fuzzy cygnets, which have arrived once again this year.
Try and spot every bird on our bird check-list, or if you’re not an experienced ‘twitcher’ just relax by the water’s edge and watch the ducks, swans and other waterfowl go about their daily business. Please remember to not feed the birds – especially bread as it is like feeding them unhealthy takeaway food and it is not good for them!
5. Paperbark Grove
Centennial Parklands has over 15,000 trees, but some of the most iconic are those of Paperbark Grove. The stunning avenue of Melaleuca quinquenervia makes for a scenic photo opportunity. Planted in 1899, Centennial Parklands is the only place in Australia where paperbarks have been planted as an avenue. Right next door there is a popular barbecue location, or if you feel like splashing out, just wander across to the Centennial Homestead for a bite from their seasonal menu.