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25 Sep 2023

Rediscover Centennial Parklands in spring

Spring is an exciting time at Centennial Parklands, a season of transformation and the perfect time to rediscover our unique parklands and its offerings. As the days grow longer and temperatures get warmer this urban sanctuary comes alive with vibrant flora, adorable wildlife, and exciting outdoor experiences for the whole family to enjoy.   

If you love a barbecue with friends and family, consider booking one of our 12 picnic sites that are situated in some of the best spots, including One More Shot Pond and Musgrave Pond and are available for large and small groups. 

Here's a quick guide to help you make the most of your visit this spring: 

Wildlife watching 

Yellow-tailed black cockatoo in flight
Yellow-tailed black cockatoo

Spring brings an influx of birdlife to the parklands, with an abundance of native species including colourful parrots, lorikeets, kookaburras and this year the buff-banded rail returns.   

Our flock of yellow-tailed black cockatoo residents are preparing for their annual journey to breed in high mountain forests of the Dividing Ranges. In the Parklands, they eat pinecones, but in the wild, they switch to grubs from trees. If you’re visiting early, you might be able to witness them taking flight for their big journey!  

Buff-banded rails have returned to our lush parklands’ water bodies after several wet years. These elusive birds feast on hidden frogs and insects in tall grass. Listen for high-pitched squeaks from breeding pairs, a heart-warming sign of their resurgence.  

Keep an eye out for fluffy ducklings and goslings as they waddle around the ponds, learning to forage and paddle. Witness adorable baby swans, or cygnets, make their debut in the parklands' ponds and watch as these newcomers learning to swim and interact with their parents. We recently improved black swan breeding habitat with a new pontoon installed at Kippax Lake, ensuring safe nesting and fostering successful breeding for long-term survival. 

**Please remember that dogs are required to be kept on a lead outside of off-leash areas and near bodies of water to help protect our water birds and wildlife. 

Some of our eels will soon take off on their great migration, down the storm water drains and channels to Botany Bay, before swimming all the way to New Caledonia and their deep ocean breeding grounds. In Autumn, a new generation will return to Centennial Parklands.

You can check out the location of various plants and flowers via our online Plant Explorer and discover the different species scattered around the Parklands.

Flowers in bloom

Flower in bloom in the Centennial Parklands Column Garden
Flowers in bloom at the Column Garden

If you’ve been to Centennial Park during springtime, you will know that a highlight attraction is the diversity of flora that embellishes the park's surrounds, creating a beautiful setting for leisurely strolls and bike rides.

Hint: The Column Garden is a great place to check out the diversity of flora on display!

Around the Parklands, deciduous trees like the Platanus x acerifolia (London Plane tree) begin leaf production. These trees will soon provide ample shade for summer picnics. In the Rose Garden, rising temperatures herald the start of the blooming season and become a popular back drop for wedding ceremonies and photography

At the Homestead, our horticulture team recently installed a unique trellis structure. A Mandevilla spp. plant now wraps around it, thriving in full sunshine, boasting a long flowering period primarily with red and pink flowers. 

Centennial Park’s unique outdoor experiences 

Two girls reading in a tent
Camping 101 at Centennial Park

As one of the largest open spaces in central Sydney, Centennial Parklands has plenty of unique outdoors experiences on offer. Our seasonal programs run all-year-round and include children’s educational programs, adult nature and cultural workshops and a line-up of major and charity events. Check out some of the best experiences to try this spring. 

Camping 101 Program 

Our Camping 101 program offers a fantastic opportunity for those looking to immerse themselves in nature close to home. Whether you're a seasoned camper or a first timer, this program provides an exclusive opportunity to spend a night under the stars at Centennial Park. 

  • Learn essential camping skills, including setting up tents, building a campfire, and cooking outdoors with our experienced guides who will be on hand to ensure your camping experience is safe and enjoyable. 

  • Enjoy a night of storytelling, stargazing and marshmallow toasting around the campfire. It's a memorable way to connect with nature and make lasting memories with family and friends. 

Join our upcoming Halloween-themed camping event on Friday 20 October for campfire stories of drop bears, bunyips and other creature that might be found in Australia! Don't forget to dress up and you might be in for a treat! 

Book now

Little Park of Horrors - Sunday 29 October 2023
If you love a themed activity, join us for some good old-fashioned Halloween fun at our Little Park of Horrors program in Centennial Park. Spooky stories, ghoulish games, creepy crawlers and crafts await you. Be sure to dress up in your Halloween-inspired outfit. And of course, there will be a treat at the end! 

Book now

Classics in the Park - Sunday 5 November 2023A returning collaboration between Centennial Parklands and Sydney Youth Orchestras to bring you a captivating musical experience in the park that is suitable for all ages. A splendid blend of classical and romantic orchestral masterpieces, complemented by beloved Disney blockbusters. Dogs are also welcome! 

Book now

Whether you're a nature or a photography enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful urban escape, Centennial Parklands has something for everyone. From blooming wisteria to wildlife moments and the opportunity for unique outdoor experiences, spring promises an experience that celebrates the beauty of the season. 

Check out What’s On at Centennial Parklands this spring.

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