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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.