Tags: cycling, dog friendly, horse riding, park
Centennial Park has a distinctive and special place in Australian history and culture. It was once a huge catchment of creeks, swamps, springs, sand dunes and ponds fed by ground water, and was traditionally home to the Gadi people.
In 1811, Governor Lachlan Macquarie designated the area as the second Sydney Common and it was used for grazing, lime burning and timber clearing.
In 1825, convict labour was used to build a 3.5 km underground aqueduct, known as Busbys Bore, from the swamps to Hyde Park. This bore supplied Sydneyâ€™s main water supply from 1837 to 1859.
In 1888, Sir Henry Parkes dedicated Centennial Park as a public open space for the enjoyment of the people of NSW. Hundreds of unemployed men were enlisted to turn swamps, scrub and rock into a grand park in the Victorian tradition with formal gardens, ponds, statues and wide avenues for Sydneysiders to drive their carriages around to â€˜take the airâ€™.
On 1 January 1901, Centennial Park became the focus of the nation as the site of the inauguration of Australian Federation (this event is commemorated today by the Federation Pavilion).
More than 100 years later, Centennial Park remains a peopleâ€™s park â€“ a beautiful recreation area in the middle of Sydneyâ€™s densely populated eastern suburbs. It is also home to diverse flora and fauna and many significant tree plantings, including spectacular Port Jackson figs, Holm oaks and Norfolk Island pines dating back to the early 20th century.
Today Centennial Park is a playground for adults and children of all ages and is one of the few inner city parks in the world to offer horse riding facilities.
Centennial Parklands has one of the biggest off-leash areas in Sydney, and dogs can socialise with members of the Eastern Suburbs Dog Training Club weekly.
Centennial Parklands is one of the most dog-friendly public parks in Sydney- in fact approximately 43 per cent (or 154 hectares) of its open space as off-leash areas!
Dogs are very welcome, however we ask dog owners and professional walkers to be considerate of other park visitors and make sure dogs are under control at all times.
Centennial Parklands offer areas for both on- and off-leash dog walking. Sandstone Ridge and Federation Valley are both popular locations for off-leash dog walking.
So while we enjoy the opportunities offered by the Parklands, dog walkers must pick up after their dog - so we recommend you bring some dog tidy bags with you on your walk or pick some up from our Visitor Information Counter.