During the opening ceremony Mr Baird said: “How lucky are we to live in the best city in the world? You cannot help but come to this place today and be filled with this immense pride.
“Everyone else around the world is looking at this city and wishing it was their city, their home, their state.”
The park’s opening marks a milestone in the decade-long process that has gone in to restoring the original shoreline. The $250m park was designed by American Landscape Architect Peter Walker of PWP Landscape Architecture, in collaboration with local firm Johnson Pilton Walker.
Peter Walker states, “One of the elements of the harbour headlands is that in their natural form they were examples of the bush. They still play a strong part of this symbolic meaning of the Sydney Cove area so we were determined to recreate that rich, complicated and more interesting plant composition for the forum of the headland, while adding a dimension of naturalness to the overall park.”
Used primarily as a shipyard from the mid-19th century, Barangaroo is now a public domain that features walking and cycling paths, lookout points, grassed and landscaped areas and tidal pools that can be enjoyed by all.
Named after an indigenous Cammeraygal woman of the Cadigal people, the reserve is a six-hectare parkland that incorporates a large cultural space called The Cutaway - a spectacular space that is as long as the SCG and as tall as a six-storey building – which can accommodate up to 5000 people; a new foreshore promenade, the Wulugul Walk, that extends from Walsh Bay to King Street Wharf; and two new harbour coves, Nawi Cove and Marrinawi Cove.
The extensive design of the park incorporated 10 000 sandstone blocks, which were excavated and cut from the sandstone onsite. 6500 of these sandstone blocks have been placed around the foreshore. 72 000 native plants, of 84 different native species, most of which are native to Sydney have been planted in the park.
In celebration of the opening of the reserve, the Barangaroo Delivery Authority will host a program of ongoing festivities from September to November. The celebrations planned are designed to bring the rich and varied history of the reserve to life. Each month a different theme will be explored through various ceremonies and indigenous programming that reflects the many incarnations of this historical site – Stone, Sky, Sea – starting with a Giant Picnic on September 6.