Five new spots to explore this summer
Published 18 November 2021
While the city was in a COVID-induced halt, behind the scenes at Woollahra Council, we have been building, creating and curating a variety of new experiences for you to enjoy. Now that warmer weather is here, it’s the perfect chance to get out (in a COVID-safe way of course) to explore these new spots in our local area.
1. New Playgrounds
With a few weeks of school holidays ahead of us, parents are going to be super excited to discover three new or completely reinvigorated playgrounds.
Dillon Street Reserve, Paddington
Dillon Street Reserve in Paddington is now bigger and better! Woollahra Council received a 1300m2 parcel of land from Presbyterian Aged Care, giving us a unique opportunity to develop this precious open space to provide a range of recreational uses for the community.
The park improvements include:
- The creation of a brighter and challenging play environment on the embankment with play equipment including a tubular slide, a large climbing net, balance beams and timber stepping posts.
- New footpaths, picnic settings, seating and a drinking fountain.
- New garden beds established with extensive plantings of shrubs and perennials.
These improvements are proposed to be followed with a second stage upgrade with available funding determined over coming months. This stage is expected to include tree planting; a swing set, picnic settings and the establishment of garden beds with tree, shrub and perennial plantings in the southern half of the Reserve.
Due to open: mid-December 2021
Shiny new playground equipment at Dillon Street Reserve
Cooks Paddock, Paddington
The playground at James Cook Reserve, otherwise know as Cooks Paddock on Victoria Street in Paddington is a small but well-loved playspace that needed some extra attention to make it a place that kids will enjoy for many years to come. We asked the community to help select the look and feel of the new play area in a ‘People’s Choice Vote’. The resounding winner was a nature-inspired design made of Australian cypress timber, which forms a wonderful setting for kids to have fun playing on the curved slide, scramble net, abacus panel, access stairs, play truck, balancing steps and spinner, along with the existing swing set.
You will also notice landscape upgrades at Cook's Paddock, including new turf, new garden beds with rocks, and hardy planting for nature play. Other improvements include levelling of the existing paving and a wider entry gate without steps to improve accessibility for wheelchairs, prams, and less-abled people.
Active fun at the newly refreshed Cooks Paddock Playground
Plumb Reserve, Woollahra
The popular Plumb Reserve playspace at Fletcher Street, Woollahra has been given a complete upgrade so that it is is accessible, inclusive, modern and engaging for children of all ages, abilities and cultural backgrounds. Features of the improved playground include:
- Rubber softfall flooring for accessibility and safety
- Social, group, solo and nature play elements
- New shade sails
- Accessible pathways
- Central gathering space
- New seating
- New drinking fountain
- New garden beds
- Accessible parking and drop-off zone
Due to open: mid-December 2021
Plumb Reserve Playground was partially funded by the NSW Government’s Everyone Can Play program. This program offers support to councils to build inclusive playspaces that people of all ages, abilities and cultural backgrounds can play in.
2. Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf
The new Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf is now open and if you haven’t yet visited, add this to the top of your ‘must-do’ list. The much-loved 1897 Double Bay heritage building overlooking Blackburn Gardens and Sydney Harbour has been restored and reinvented as a contemporary public art gallery, presenting a year-round program of contemporary art exhibitions, artist residencies and public programs.
Don’t miss the inaugural exhibition featuring the winner and finalists of the 20th Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize. The exhibition features 52 works by artists from Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom alongside the Council’s collection of 19 previous winning works from the Prize.
The downstairs cultural hub situated below the gallery is the new home for the established Woollahra Artist in Residence Program. The program provides rent-free, non-residential unfurnished studios for artists to work in. The first round of artist residencies will feature artists Susan Baird, Penelope Cain, Rox De Luca, Wendy Yu and Sharon Billinge.
Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf
3. Explore the Trumper Park Trail, Paddington
Trumper Park is one of our favourite local hidden secrets to escape the hustle and bustle. A short ten-minute walk from Edgecliff Station, this park consists of a series of walking trails connecting surrounding Paddington streets through regenerated bushland.
We have put together a 1.6km circuit to discover sunset views, magnificient Moreton Bay figs, our famous local cricketer and the tranquil pond.
The trail meanders through the tranquil parklands highlighting five spots along the way. These include the giant Moreton Bay figs, gorgeous scenic views, places to cool down and have fun.
The giant Moreton Bay Fig tree
4. Gap Park Tramway Path
One of the best views in Sydney has to be at The Gap in Watsons Bay. And now there are even more reasons to visit this picturesque location with a new accessible pathway along the historic tramway route through Gap Park, connecting Military Road and Old South Head Road.
The pathway measures two metres wide, making it pram friendly and a great route for families or anyone needing a bit of extra space. The path takes visitors along the historic tram route, a bushland rock escarpment and an exotic rain forest gully – a very different experience to the exposed Coastal Walk path that hugs the cliff tops above.
A raised timber boardwalk has also been constructed over some prominent fig tree roots near the southern end to protect them, and seating has been installed along the route for resting and taking in magnificent views of the Harbour Bridge and the tranquil surrounds of Gap Park.
Gap Park Tramway path
5. Christison Park fitness station
There’s nothing like exercising outdoors, especially in summer. To help you work up a sweat in style, we’ve upgraded the fitness station in the north-east corner of Christison Park, near the coastal cliff walk.
You can now enjoy new dynamic exercise equipment, rubber surfacing, a new drinking fountain with dog bowl as well as new asphalt pathway between Old South Head Road and the Coastal Walkway. The design of the fitness station, including the selection of equipment, was chosen in response to community feedback.
Bring a netball or basketball with you and give the new multi-purpose courts a whirl too.
New fitness equipment at Christison Park
So many reasons to get out and about in our local area. We hope you enjoy these new local attractions as much as we do.
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