For some time I have been keen to head to the new park that has recently opened as part of the Barangaroo complex near Darling Harbour in Sydney. It being Easter and the weather more than accommodating we took the chance to tick this one off our bucket list.
When you arrive at Barangaroo there are a number of immediate reactions — it is a lot larger than you would expect; the design — which makes great use of the dirt, rocks and stone extracted during the development of the nearby office building precinct - is outstanding; and for something that has only been in place for a short period, how established it already appears to be — and with the ongoing weathering of the many sandstone blocks used in its construction and the natural growth of the trees and shrubs this should become even more noticeable over time.
But perhaps most surprising is how you can't help but feel you are standing in the middle of Sydney Harbour — a large bulk carrier floated by as we wandered around and it was so close you could easily smell the fuel being burned by its engines, the Harbour Bridge is literally a stones throw away and there are many sandstone steps that take you right down to the waters edge. And all the while you are surrounded by Australian native plantings that help to break down the harshness of the stones and the proximity of many — both old and new — buildings.
Having spent much of my life living in places other than Sydney we regularly receive visits from out-of-towners. Given many of these folks are keen to visit the Circular Quay area so they can take in the Opera House, the Bridge and the MCA, Barangaroo, being as it is only a short walk around the headland, must definitely now be added to the list of attractions.
We only pottered around for an hour or so but one could easily have spent a lot more of the day taking in the sights — including the office precinct — or, as many seemed to do, partaking of a picnic.
So now that Barangaroo is off my bucket list why not add it to yours?