A park in the city centre
Hyde Park is Australia’s oldest park. It’s also one of the most well-known. With just over 16 hectares of wide open space in the heart of central Sydney, there is no shortage of lush grass if you want to claim a small piece of land for an impromptu picnic, or simply have a seat and take a breather. You’ll always be able to spot sunbathers clustered around in twos and threes, lazily soaking up the sun’s rays. There are also plenty of benches in the park if you want to put your feet up without ruining your Sunday best!
As well as some serious grass acreage, Hyde Park is home to hundreds of big, leafy trees that offer cool shade for a break from the sun. All paths lead to Central Avenue, so follow your feet and discover some of the oldest planted trees in the local area. The big guys are grand old figs and may be the most majestic you’ll see in Sydney, some stretching as tall as 25 metres. The light trickling through the canopy will be perfect no matter the time of day, and it’s nearly impossible to take a bad photo here!
Park Street splits the park in half and the 2 sections are officially referred to as Hyde Park north and Hyde Park south.
Several monuments stand guard in Hyde Park north, the most notable of which is the Archibald Fountain, a gift from JF Archibald, who also gave Sydney the Archibald Prize for portraits. You can’t miss the fountain. Look for the big water feature dripping in ancient mythology. A bronze Apollo is surrounded by horses’ heads, dolphins and tortoises.
History buffs, veterans and their families should head to Hyde Park south, where they’ll find the Anzac Memorial and the Pool of Reflection, among other monuments and statues.
Parties and special events find a spot in the park throughout the year. It has hosted the Sydney Food and Wine Fair, the launch of NAIDOC, the week-long Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander celebration, and quite a few pop-up events for the renowned Sydney Festival.
Hyde Park is accessible and public toilets are available. You’re also spoilt for choice when it comes to public transport options to the park. Museum and St James train stations are beneath the park, and you can take your pick of many bus routes, as the park is bordered by several major roads. If you’re cycling in, bike parking is also available. There’s a café if you need a caffeine fix or want to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Sydney NSW 2000
Last updated: Tuesday, 21 May 2013