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Need a good place to have a relaxing picnic? Hyde Park Sydney should be your destination! Take a break from exploring the bustling city, and cool off at this beautiful public park. It is one of the best places to visit in Sydney if you want to relax, explore historical objects, or watch public events.
History of Hyde Park Sydney
Hyde Park is known as Sydney’s oldest public park. Starting as a marshland, an Aboriginal hunting ground, a place for ceremonial contest, and a soldier assembly area, the land was designated for a public area in 1792 due to its elevated position. However, the true development of Hyde Park only started in 1810 based on the order of Governor Macquarie.
The name was inspired by the grand Hyde Park near Buckingham Palace in London. Governor Macquarie declared the park as a place of public amusement, horse race, and exercise field for troops. He also forbade cattle grazing and vehicles from crossing the area, emphasizing the function of the park as a public space.
Continuous redevelopment happened during the 1900s and 2000s. The park got not only new facilities for the public, but also newly landscaped gardens, memorials, and historical relics. Now, the park covers 16 hectares of area, making it the perfect green space at the heart of Sydney.
Interesting Facts about Hyde Park
Do you know that Hyde Park was a breakthrough in the history of public facilities for women in Sydney? In 1910, Sydney saw its first women-only public lavatory in the park. The facilities were developed into a Women’s Rest Centre, close to the Long Day Childcare.
Hyde Park also had an important place in Australia’s rugby history. On 17 June 1865, Australia held its very first rugby match at this park, played by the one-month-old Sydney Football Club.
What is Hyde Park Famous For?
The most iconic things in Hyde Park Sydney are the various historical monuments, ponds, memorials, and relics, scattered around the park. Surrounded by lush trees, bushes, and landscaped gardens, they add unique elements to the park.
Two of the most famous are the ANZAC War Memorial and Archibald Fountain. The memorial commemorates the soldiers and other supporting figures who participated in World War One. The monument is situated close to Memorial Pond, a popular place for relaxing.
Archibald Fountain is an expression of cultural and diplomatic connections between Australia and France. The name came from the commissioner, magazine owner J. F. Archibald, known for his love for French culture.
Hyde Park is also a favorite picnic place, and office workers from surrounding business areas often spend time there during lunchtime. The park has dozens of tree and bush species, including Hill’s Weeping Figs, which have been there since its planting in the 1930s.
Things to Do and See
Hyde Park offers a nice shade and relaxing atmosphere to take a stroll, walk the dog, have a picnic, or enjoy a quick lunch and water before you return to exploring Sydney. However, it also offers some nice other activities.
Playing Giant Chess
The park has a giant chessboard on the paved surface. You can play them, but only between 11:30 AM and 2:30 PM!
Hyde Park serves as an open gallery because of the number of artworks and monuments placed here. Feast your eyes on the cute Fish Fountain, Polynesian-style Water, Earth, and Fire sculpture, bullet monument to respect indigenous service members, and many more.
Joining Public Events
Hyde Park is a popular space for public events. You can see exhibitions, watch musical performances, food fairs, indigenous art and culture appreciation, and many more. Don’t forget to check event calendars to see what you could experience on your next visit!
Since Hyde Park is located at the heart of Sydney, you can easily find hotels and restaurants within walking distance, from Italian and seafood restaurants to Australia’s beloved bar and grill. The nearest hotels include Hyde Park Inn, Pullman Sydney Hyde Park, The Grand Hotel, and The Great Southern Hotel.
Is Hyde Park Sydney worth visiting? Yes! Its shaded area and open-air gallery make the park a perfect place to rest, have a picnic, and enjoy your meal and water after exploring the city. Make this park your stop before exploring other attractions like the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Bondi Beach, and Queen Victoria Building!