Taking the next steps in the Park – commemorating Reconciliation Week

It’s National Reconciliation Week and here at the Park we have been “taking the next steps”, as this years theme encourages us to do.

Our Indigenous Cultural Advisor and D’harawal Saltwater Knowledge Keeper, Shannon Foster, has spent the week with us and our neighbours, including Sydney Olympic Park Business Association, NRMA and Thales, remembering three important dates in the Indigenous calendar:

  • The Bringing them Home Report anniversary on 26 May,
  • 1967 Referendum 50th anniversary on 27 May and;
  • Mabo day on 3 June.


Shannon gives us an insight into why this week is so important to her:

“The 1967 Referendum is particularly close to my heart as my great grandparents, Tom and Eliza Foster, were leading activists in the 1938 Day of Mourning march which was a key event in the movement that lead to the 1967 Referendum and NAIDOC.

On Monday 29 May, Sydney Olympic Park authority hosted an unforgettable lunch time experience for staff to acknowledge National Reconciliation Week and learn more about the world’s oldest surviving culture. We shared knowledge about our local people, the Wangal, and our Indigenous histories and culture whilst indulging in some of the delicious bush treats harvested from Sydney’s saltwater country.


Work has begun on our Reconciliation Action Plan including a program of cultural immersion events beginning with lunch time yarning sessions and continuing with a range of other knowledge sharing activities such as interpretative wetland walks of our beautiful Badu Mangrove forest. It has been a wonderful way to commemorate Reconciliation Week 2017 with Sydney Olympic Park.”

So, watch this space for more ways you can become a part of our Living Dreaming and read more about our Indigenous history!


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How to celebrate Mother’s Day at the Park

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and if you’re like us, you can’t wait to spoil mum!

But sometimes you can get stuck on how to show her just how much you love her.

Not to fret, though, we’ve got some great ideas on how you can treat mum this Sunday!

Massage at the Aquatic Centre

Has mum been feeling stressed lately? Or maybe just needs to unwind and relax? Then a massage is just the right gift, and Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre does it best!

So grab a voucher and our masseuse will do the rest.

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Image: Hamilton Lund

High tea at Bacar Restaurant

Nothing says “I love you” more than freshly baked scones, mini quiches and other delights.

Treat mum to a high tea experience at the Pullman’s Bacar Restaurant. She’ll be super thankful with a full tummy of delicious treats!

Makeover at Jubilee Hair & Beauty

A fresh hair style and beauty treatment is always a winner.

Book mum in for a session with a highly experienced and educated hair stylist and beauty artist to make her feel a hundred bucks!

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Image: James Horan

Bike ride through Bicentennial Park

With more than 35km of cycleways and scenic routes in the Park, hiring a bike and going for a relaxing rideis a great way to spend quality time with mum.

With magnificent views along the way, it’ll be the perfect start to an amazing Mother’s Day.

Flowers from Lulu Flora

Who doesn’t love waking up to a beautiful bouquet of flowers?

You can’t go wrong with a one-of-a-kind floral arrangement and a home made breakfast in bed, so get your order in now!

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Image: James Horan


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Making Lake Belvedere the perfect picnic spot

Have you ever visited Lake Belvedere?

It’s one of our favourite spots here at Bicentennial Park.

With tranquil waters and towering trees, it’s the perfect spot for a picnic with family and friends, getting the most gorgeous wedding shots, or even just a solitary escape.

With more than one million visitors to Bicentennial Park each year, and a majority of those visiting the lake and Waterview Convention centre nearby, the plantings along sections of the lake were in desperate need of a facelift.

Lake Belevedere eastern aspect March 2017

Eastern aspect of Lake Belvedere in March 2017

With our commitment to ensuring the Park stays in pristine condition for you now, and for your family well into the future, we’ve revamped the lake by planting new native grasses and constructing a pathway near the Jetty for those romantic evening strolls.

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Eastern aspect of Lake Belvedere in April 2017

So grab a picnic blanket, stock up on cheese, and head down to Lake Belvedere to experience its beauty and serenity.

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Ask a Ranger – why is fishing banned in the Park?

There’s a lot to do in Sydney Olympic Park.

Fishing, however, is not one of those things.

Why, you ask?

One of our rangers, John, explains the ban:

Would you feed weed killer to your family?

All fish west of Sydney Harbour Bridge are exposed to high levels of dioxins, which can cause cancer. Weedkillers and defoliants such as Agent Orange and other poisons were at one time manufactured at Rhodes. Contaminated by-products were dumped in Parramatta River, and used to reclaim land for further industrial use. The pollution from such operations has made fish, crabs and molluscs caught in the Parramatta River unsafe to eat. The poisons will take decades to clear from the mud in the river.

For more information visit Department of Primary Industries

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One of the warning signs posted along the Parramatta River

What about our lakes and ponds?

Our lakes and ponds are built mainly on old industrial and waste dump sites. Again, the fish in these water bodies are unfit to eat. Sydney Olympic Park is closed to all types of fishing. It is even an offence to carry fishing gear through the site. Heavy fines apply to discourage people from catching and eating potentially harmful fish.

Wildlife protection is important too

Fishing and nature reserves are incompatible. We regularly find injured or dead water birds with fish hooks embedded in their body, or entangled in fishing line, unable to fly, swim or feed.

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One of the many no fishing signs in the Park

Catch and release?

We are often asked if catch-and-release fishing is permitted. The short answer is NO. The Park is a haven for plants and animals which are protected by law.

Plant collection

Like the animals, our plants are also protected – even the weeds! Many of our plant communities are rare examples of the original vegetation in this area – something to preserve for future generations.

Some weeds, when present in large, dense stands, can provide temporary habitat for wildlife such as birds, reptiles and insects. To minimise the impact of habitat removal on native species, these weeds are removed in stages in conjunction with planting of native plants to provide replacement habitat.

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How to not be a grumpy bunny this Easter

It’s our favourite time of year here at the Park.

Can you guess why?

The Easter Show has come to town!

We can’t wait to feast on deep fried lasagne, pet the piggies and scream our heads off on the Mega Drop.

If you’re with us and can’t wait to get to the Show, then we have some very important messages for you to make sure you don’t become a grumpy bunny this Easter!

Step 1: Catch public transport.

Don’t get caught in all the traffic and road closures in and around the Park – plan your trip and catch public transport.

It’s included in your ticket so make the most of it!

Step 2: Pre-book parking.

If you absolutely, without-a-doubt, not-a-question-about-it, MUST drive, then pre-book your parking.

Don’t get stuck driving around in circles looking for a parking spot that might not appear.

Step 3: Check for road closures.

We don’t know about you, but we HATE getting lost.

You may think you know the Park, but even the most experienced of us can get confused with all the road closures that are in place to make sure you’re safe.

All you need to do is check out our interactive map and you’ll be all set to go!

Step 4: Check the Aquatic Centre’s trading hours.

So, you want to go for a swim…

Don’t we all?

But our Aquatic Centre staff need a holiday too, so the Centre will be closed Good Friday and Easter Monday.

Make sure you’ve checked for Easter trading hours before heading over for a splash.

Step 5: Be a happy bunny!

Put a smile on your dial, follow our how-to guide and hop on over to the Park for the greatest show of the year!

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Transforming Powells Creek

Our friends at Sydney Water have put together a guest blog post to tell you about some work that will be taking place at Powells Creek. Read up on what is happening and how it will benefit Sydney Olympic Park!

Have you ever heard of Powells Creek? It runs all the way from Strathfield, past Sydney Olympic Park to the Parramatta River. All the sections upstream of Sydney Olympic Park were made up of concrete channels, until now!


Powells Creek before the work starts. Image courtesy of Sydney Water

Sydney Water will be ripping out the concrete channels and replacing them with sandstone boulders and native vegetation. We will be doing this between Conway Avenue and Pomeroy Street in North Strathfield.

Our work will transform the area, making it a better place for the community to enjoy. We will be planting over 27,000 new native plants and building new shared paths, seating and board walks.

After - Cooks River

A section of Cooks River recently naturalised by Sydney Water. Image courtesy of Sydney Water.

To celebrate the start of this work, we will be holding a community information day

Where: Powells Creek Reserve, near Conway Avenue, North Strathfield

When: Saturday 8 April 2017 from 11am to 1pm

Event Program
11:15am – Back to basics: reconnecting with our waterways (Dan Cunningham – Sydney Water)

11:40am – Our feathered friends (Phil Straw – Birdlife Australia)

12:15pm – Happy habitat: a touch and feel show for kids (Diver Dave – children’s educator)

12:40pm – A story through time: young and old (Yvonne Kaiser-Glass – Sydney Water)

To find out more, visit sydneywatertalk

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Birds of a feather…head to Sydney Olympic Park!

Ever wondered how we keep track of birds around the Park? It’s no easy feat but our team of experts have gathered all the facts for you in our annual Spring Bird Census.

Our Parklands ecologist, Jenny, gives you all the nitty-gritty details of the survey…

“The Spring Bird Census represents the thirteenth annual survey of birds across Sydney Olympic Park in partnership with members from the Cumberland Bird Observers Club.  The main purpose of this survey is to identify trends and changes in bird populations and to use this information to implement and test habitat management strategies. Thirteen years has resulted in a robust set of data that makes analysis of long term trends possible.  Presented here are some of the preliminary results.”

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So there you have it! Sydney Olympic Park is both home and a holiday destination for over 100 different bird species so grab a pair of binoculars and head over to the Park for a breathtaking bird watching session.

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