Stretching for more than 15 hectares, Hyde Park is undoubtedly one of the oldest and largest parks in Australia. The park is divided into a northern and a southern section by Park Street. While the southern part of the park boasts of numerous statues, monuments, a pool of reflection and ANZAC Memorial building, the northern part of the park is home to several theme gardens, the infamous Archibald Fountain, monuments and water features. The park also features varied species of exotic trees and plays host to a number of cultural events that take place throughout the year.
Historical facts about Hyde Park
- It was named after London’s Hyde Park
- Busby’s Bore was the first large-scale attempt at a water system, which came after Tank Stream (primary source of water in Sydney during the colonial years) was backed
- Busby’s Bore was built from 1827 to 1837
- Even during the colonial days, part of the modern day Hyde Park was used for recreational and sporting activities including cricket, rugby, horse racing and hurling, thus earning the nicknames ‘Race Course,’ ‘The Common,’ ‘Cricket Ground,’ and ‘Exercising Ground’
- On 13th October 1810, Governor Macquarie separated the southern part of the park that was used for sports from the northern area. He named the northern part ‘Domain’ and used it exclusively for his own purposes while the southern part was named ‘Hyde Park’
- While it was used for sporting activities, the public used it and so did the military for training exercises. This led to a clash of activities by different parties, hence the gradual organization of the park after gaining independence
- More than 200 trees were found to be infected by different fungi in 2005 to 2006, prompting Tree Management Plan to cut them down and replace them over time
Operating hours and admission information
Being a public park, Hyde Park is open at all times of the day throughout the year. There are no admission costs imposed on visitors.
How to get to Hyde Park
Hyde Park is located in the heart of Sydney’s central business district and extends all the way to Sydney Harbour and Royal Botanic Gardens. The park is bordered by College Street to the east, Elizabeth Street to the west, Prince Albert Road to the south and St. James Road to the north. For visitors coming to the museum by public transport, St. James and Museum train stations are below the park. Moreover, there are also a number of bus routes as the park is bordered by major roads. Bike parking is also available if you prefer to cycle your way to the park.
Top things to do at Hyde Park
There are a number of activities to indulge in while at Hyde Park. And they include:
- Explore the monuments of Hyde Park
Hyde Park is home to several monuments; most of them are crafted by famous artists both in and outside the country. The most popular one is the Archibald Fountain that was designed by Francois-Leon Sicard. The fountain was donated by J.F Archibald as a symbol of honour to the country’s contribution during the World War II in France.
At the southern end of the museum, just behind the Lake of Reflections, is the ANZAC War Memorial. The monument consists of 104mm gun from SMS Eden, a German light cruiser. The memorial was built to pay tribute to the Australian Imperial Force of World War II. It was opened in November 1934 by Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester.
The 22metre Obelisk can be found at the Bathurst Street entrance to the park and is intricately decorated in Egyptian art. The monument was unveiled by the George Thornton, the mayor of Sydney, in 1857. Considering that the monument was actually a sewer vent, it soon gained the nickname ‘Thornton’s Scent Bottle.’ A Middle Eastern monument inspired by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows can be found a little to the south of the Obelisk. The monument was erected to pay tribute to the fallen soldiers of Sydney who fought during the Great War. There’s also a Captain Cook’s monument which honours Cook’s contribution to the discovery of Australia.
- Relax at Nagoya Gardens and play a game of chess
Nagoya Gardens are located at the northern end of the park. They feature a giant outdoor chess set where visitors can indulge in the game like chess-playing giants.
- Be part of the Australian culture
A number of cultural events take place in Hyde Park every year. Of great significance is the Australia’s Day which commemorates the first arrival of British troops in 1788, as well as the raising of the British flag by Governor Arthur Phillip.
There are tons of things to do at Hyde Park, all of which are family friendly. Whether you are taking a stroll on a lazy afternoon after church or simply looking to spend some quality time outdoors, Hyde Park has got you covered!