FAQs for social events park hire

Is a booking for a picnic required?

A booking is only required if you intend to have a sit down function, set up an amusement device or if your group is larger than 20 people (inclusive of adults, children and suppliers).

What is the difference between a picnic and a sit down function?

Sit down functions include any event with low or high setting tables (includes pallets) and seating (such as cushions, benches or chairs). Such events may be permitted for up to maximum 50 guests. Sit down functions are not permitted at McKell Park.

What time can I make a booking?

Bookings are permitted during daylight hours:

  • Summer months 7am – 7pm
  • Winter months 7am – 5pm

Will there be other events occurring at the same time as mine?

A booking does not give you exclusive use of the park. We only allow one booking per park at any given time. However there may be multiple bookings spanned evenly across a day.

Can I ask people to move if they are in the location where I wish to hold my event?

The park is open to the public. The permit holder may request people move, however they are not obliged to do so. This is not usually an issue.

Can I book a playground?

No, playgrounds are for general use by the public. However, you can book a park that contains a playground such as:

  • Rushcutters Bay Park
  • Yarranabbe Park
  • Lyne Park
  • Parsley Bay Reserve
  • Robertson Park
  • Steyne Park
  • Thornton Reserve
  • Trumper Park
  • Rose Bay Park
  • Cooper Park
  • Cooper Park Community Hall
  • Cook’s Paddock (James Cook Reserve)

Can I hang or place decorations on the trees, poles, buildings?

No, we do not permit decorations on public trees, vegetation or council infrastructure.

Can I start setting up before the hire time?

All activity must occur within the hire time.

Can I bring tables and chairs?

Picnic chairs are permitted. A trestle table to serve food and drinks is also permitted. For any low/high setting tables including pallets with seating such as ground cushions or chairs, a booking is required regardless of the number of people (maximum of 50 people).

Can I use a catering service?

Yes, you can either bring your own food or use a catering service at the park during your booking time. We will require their council registration details.

Is alcohol permitted?

Yes, alcohol is permitted in all parks with the exception of Steyne Park and Guilfoyle Park. Some parks may have sign posted restrictions on public holidays.

Can I bring a BBQ?

Yes, you may bring a gas BBQ. Coals and open flames are not permitted. Please note, none of our parks have BBQ facilities.

Is vehicle access permitted?

No, we do not permit vehicle access for social events.

Can I play music or have a band?

Amplified music is not permitted. However you may have acoustic or string instruments. A small portable CD player or Bluetooth speaker may also be used.

Can I stake or peg items into the ground?

No, we do not permit items to be staked into the ground as it may damage underground irrigation systems.

Can I have a marquee or similar structure?

Marquees and other temporary structures are permitted in some of our parks depending on the footprint. Approval is required. Marquees are not permitted at McKell Park and Blackburn Gardens.

Can I set up an amusement device?

Yes, amusement devices are permitted in many of our parks. A permit including park hire is required. Some parks and reserves are not suitable for amusement devices, including:

  • Elms Reserve, Woollahra
  • Plumb Reserve, Woollahra
  • Thornton Reserve, Bellevue Hill
  • McKell Park, Darling Point
  • Blackburn Gardens, Double Bay

Can I invite as many people as I like?

Generally, yes. However there are restrictions at the following parks:

  • McKell Park: max 100 guests
  • Blackburn Gardens: max 120 guests
  • Chiswick Gardens: max 120 guests
  • Duff Reserve: max 120 guests

Are public bathroom facilities available? Will they be open?

Public toilets are available at most of our larger/busier parks and are open every day during daylight hours.

What happens if it rains or in other bad weather? Do I get a refund?

If, sadly, you are unable to use the park as a result of rain or inclement weather, we offer a partial refund. We withhold a cancellation fee from the park hire fee and refund the balance (refer to the application form for the cancellation fee). A request for a refund must be made in writing and forwarded to Council within 10 days of the event. Please note that no refund will be granted if more than 10 working days have lapsed since the date of the event.