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Where to find the best Sydney parks

Where to find the best Sydney parks

Escape the high-rises to one of the most beautiful parks and gardens in Sydney

By Fatima Olumee and Time Out editors 

Whether you’re looking to go for a run, walk your dog, have a sedate picnic or just take a break from your four walls, these are the parks to visit.

They have sprawling open spaces, free barbecues and shaded spots to while away an afternoon or simply catch a break at lunchtime. Some of these parks also welcome horse riding, if you fancy a bit of equestrian exercise.

Find the best picnic spots in Sydney and the best free barbecue spots in Sydney for more ideas.

RECOMMENDED: Sydney’s social distancing rules explained and how to go out safely.

The best parks in Sydney

Centennial Parklands, Moore Park

Photograph: Lawrence Furzey/Destination NSW

1. Centennial Park

Best for: kicking back or working out

It’s not hard to scout out a secluded spot to lay under the shade, read a book, or have your lunch in Sydney’s largest park. The statues, ponds and native flora make this location a pretty place all year round. There’s an outdoor fitness station, places to cycle or horse ride, and ranger-led walks to join onto.

Hyde Park

2. Hyde Park

Best for: lunchtime catch-ups

Australia’s oldest park is found in the middle of the city. Take a leisurely stroll around the historic Archibald fountain, or find a quiet spot for losing yourself in a good book. Hyde Park offers an escape from the concrete jungle and it’s only a four-minute walk from Town Hall Station.

Barangaroo Reserve, Barangaroo

Photograph: Anna Kucera/Destination NSW

3. Barangaroo Reserve

Best for: watching the sunset

Sydney’s newest foreshore park is six hectares of open headland space rich in Aboriginal history. Named after the prominent fisherwoman Barangaroo, the waterfront park is ideal for sprawling across the grass as you admire the sweeping harbour views. There are plenty of walking and cycling paths, shady spots under trees and even free WiFi.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney Harbour

Photograph: Steve Back/Destination NSW

4. Royal Botanic Gardens

Best for: native flora – plus Opera House views

This harbourside botanic garden has colourful flower beds that make excellent still life for budding photographers, or a pretty backdrop for lunchtime runners. Many dedicated yogis can also be spotted mid vinyasa underneath the shady canopies, too. It’s an excellent place to find native flora and birds, and a top Sydney attraction.

Bicentennial Park

5. Bicentennial Park

Best for: family gatherings at the free barbecues

Located in the wetlands of Homebush Bay, this park offers 40 hectares of land teeming with activity. Fire up one of the free electric barbecues for a casual lunch with friends or family and hire a bike to burn off the big feed. There’s a water play area and plenty of secluded areas surrounded with bushland, plus trails for walking your dog on a leash, be mindful of the signposted ‘no dog’ areas aimed at protecting local wildlife.

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