History and Heritage
Centennial Parklands is not only one of Australia's best known and loved Parklands, but one of its most historic.
Originally a swamp and then set aside as land for the water source for Sydney, Centennial Park was reconstructed as a public park and opened in 1888. Sir Henry Parkes vision was to create a "People's Park" in which the citizens of Sydney could "take in the air" away from the Sydney town centre.
While the first set of Parklands' regulations in 1889 included: "No person shall walk on the grass...." and "No person shall engage in any game, or train for any race..." the Parklands have come a long way to becoming one of the most popularly visited and vibrant green spaces in Australia.
Learn about the fascinating and - at times - quirky history behind these public lands through the following links:
- Centennial Parklands history: stories and anecdotes from the history of the Parklands
- Centennial Parklands Timeline: an extensive historical timeline from commissioning to today
- Origins of Names: where did that name come from? Find out here.
- Heritage buildings and structures: find out more about the Parklands heritage buildings
- Statues and Sculptures: find out more about the Parklands iconic statues and sculptures
- Memorials and Gates: find out more about the Parklands memorials and gates
- History of Tree Plantings: find out who planted what, when and why