Observatory Hill Rotunda upgrade

The hireable outdoor space, with its panoramic views over Sydney Harbour, underwent a $500,000 restoration to ensure it remains a photographic must for sightseers and marrying couples.

Project Status: Completed

What we’re doing

We have restored a century-old harbourside bandstand – a Sydney institution that today hosts over 100 wedding ceremonies a year. 

The project started in October 2015 from Mondays to Thursdays and the rotunda was reopened to the public on Fridays to ensure it could still be used for events each weekend. 

The work included repairing and replacing the timber balustrades and roof, adding new lighting and treating painted surfaces to protect them from wear and tear, which was completed in December 2015.

The rotunda has hosted performances by The Bondi Beach Band and Brass on the Grass, lighting installations for Vivid Sydney, events for Earth Hour and the Millers Point Festival. It was an official viewing site for the International Fleet Review and Sydney New Year’s Eve. 

The Federation-style octagonal timber rotunda on a brick base was built in 1912 on the northern slope of Observatory Hill Park. It represents a time in history when park-going became a large part of people’s leisure time and music played in bandstands for the public was a regular event.

At over 40m above sea level, Observatory Hill is the most elevated point in Sydney. The hill was named Flagstaff Hill Reserve and dedicated for community use in April 1884. It was renamed Observatory Hill Park in 1887.