Best Playgrounds In Sydney’s Inner-City

Sydney’s Green Square is one of the highest density areas in the country, and most of us live in apartments.

So our parks and playgrounds really are important as they function as our communal backyard.

We’re lucky to have some great playgrounds and parks suitable for kids of all ages right nearby. From pocket parks to big leafy parklands, we look at the best playgrounds to explore with the kids (big kids are also welcome).

WATERLOO

Wulaba

Opened in 2016 to high acclaim, ‘Wulaba’ is an Aboriginal word meaning ‘rock wallaby’, and once upon a time rock wallabies called the swampland around Waterloo home. Wulaba is one of the area’s most popular and kid-friendly parks. Tucked between apartments on Mystic Lane and Access Road Waterloo, this park features a challenging adventure playground with public art designs by Sydney artist Nuha Saad. It has a picnic and barbecue area, bike racks, handball and table tennis, and public toilets.

Crowning and Corning Park Playground
Waterloo was once an industrial suburb that housed the Fisher and Duncan Paper Mill and the Waterloo Flour Mills in the 1820s as well as the glass making factories from which this park takes its name. No sign of this here, with this park offering a fenced playground with swings, slide and a climbing fort and a bridge for younger children. There’s also a park bench for adults.

Rope Walk Park

The Australian Rope Works, later A Forsythe and Co, operated near this site for over 100 years. Founded in 1865, the company was the largest rope and cordage manufacturer in Sydney supplying rope for construction sites such as the Hawkesbury Bridge and NSW Railways. This park is nestled between modern apartments on Archibald Avenue Waterloo providing a playground for children, water feature and an off-leash for dogs at all times.

ZETLAND

Mary O’Brien Reserve

Like other green spaces in this area, the site of this reserve on the corner of Joynton Avenue and Tilford Street in Zetland originally featured a lagoon and wetlands which was drained in the early 1900s to create the Victoria Park racecourse. The reserve is perfect for children as it has two playgrounds, a bike and scooter path, and an interactive water play area. Excellent for hot days and summer playtime, it also has barbecue and picnic areas.

Matron Ruby Grant Park

Matron Ruby Grant Park — Photo from https://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/parks/matron-ruby-grant-park

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This park is located at the former South Sydney Hospital site in Joynton Avenue, and is named after Matron Ruby Grant who served at the hospital for 20 years. Part of the Green Square community and cultural precinct, there is the Joynton Avenue Creative Centre, Waranara Early Education Centre, The Banga Community Shed and a community playground. It has an open space and a playground for toddlers.

Tote Park

The NSW Totalisator Act legalised and regulated the use of gambling on racetracks in the State in December 1916. The tote boards were mechanical “totalisator machines” that displayed numbers in racetrack gambling (and other things like elections or telethons), and were invented by a Sydney-based engineer George Julius. Victoria Park Racecourse once occupied land where this park now is. Tote Park has open green space for exercise. The playground has a slide, swings and climbing structures suitable for children of all ages. A public toilet is located nearby. And the popular Tote Park Playgroup runs here too.

ALEXANDRIA

Alexandria Park

Hard to believe, but cows used to graze here in 1885. This quintessential, classic neighbourhood park has it all – sports fields, tennis courts, recreational facilities, the enclosed McKell playground for kids of all ages, and a dog off-leash area. The park also has public toilet facilities with wheel-chair access.

South Sydney Rotary Park Playground

This is where the NSW railways began when the first railway line from Sydney to Granville opened in 1855. This park features playground equipment for toddlers and younger children, and a fitness station that can be accessed via Explorer Street.

ROSEBERY

Sweetacres Park
Rosebery was named after Archibald Phillip Primrose, the fifth Earl of Rosebery, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1894–95. But Sweetacres Park (and Sweet Street nearby) was named after the 16 acre industrial estate owned by James Stedman Henderson Ltd which opened in Rosebery in 1918. Stedman made confectionery – familiar brands like Minties, Jaffas, Fantales and Jubes. The park that was named in his company’s honour offers a barbecue area and playground with shade sails for the playground and sandpit. BYO sweets.

Explore more of our wonderful parks in this article.

Want to know more about life in the Inner City? Contact my team today.

Article by Brendon Clark
‘The details matter - through every part of the process.’ With decades of runs on the board alongside a fresh outlook, Brendon is co-director of Clark - and one half of one of Sydney’s most dynamic and successful real estate duos. Having carved out a reputation for results in the… Read More
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