With great fanfare, the Barangaroo Headland Park was today opened by premier Baird in company with Paul Keating, former PM and prime mover for the restoration of the natural attributes of the area, and Malcolm Turnbull who tweeted that he came by Route 333 bus with his grandson (subtext: Not by helicopter, so not costing taxpayers very much).

When it was safe after the politicians left, I decided to take a ride over to the dark side in the mid-afternoon to see what there was to see. It is rather impressive and looks like it will be a very popular attraction for locals and visitors alike. 

According to news bulletins, something like 75,000 native plants have been installed on the hill recreated with massive piles of sandstone blocks quarried from the site. Most plants are well advanced already but in another few years, it will appear like a natural area of bush and will match the headlands opposite on the enlightened side of the harbour.

Cyclists are catered for with parking rails and shared paths everywhere. Not that they will be travelling anywhere at speed. Like Pyrmont Bridge, the area offers pedestrians total freedom to wander aimlessly and there is no real direct through route for commuter riders anyway.

It's a motor-traffic-free area for relaxed riding and a fair proportion of the riders I saw felt safe enough to consider it a helmet-optional area.

Go and check it out!

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Comment by markysharky on August 22, 2015 at 8:57pm

Thanks for posting

Comment by herzog on August 23, 2015 at 11:22am

Thanks Neil - is the entire foreshore open all the way back to King St Wharf?

Comment by Neil Alexander on August 23, 2015 at 11:36am

Not at the moment, which is why I mentioned that there is no direct route through to anywhere (useful). It may happen in the future as the foreshore paths past the various developments are linked up, I hope. Currently you have to exit to Hickson Rd roughly opposite and below the Observatory. That's pretty much in the directly opposite direction to which the helmet-free riders pictured are riding.

I should have mentioned the ritzy portable toilets just near there, too. I've never seen such well appointed porta-potties, not that I am a connoisseur or anything. Featuring electric lights, exhaust fans, freshwater flushing and proper bathroom basins, they are so comfortable and welcoming you mightn't want to leave. When I was there the whole pod of a dozen or more were vacant. I don't know how permanent a feature these temporary toilets are but they are almost worth a visit by themselves. Especially if you NEED to go, if you get my drift.

Comment by herzog on August 23, 2015 at 11:53am
Thanks Neil good info. I'm thinking of taking the kids down there with our scooters. I imagine train to Wynyard and find our way from there?
Comment by markysharky on August 23, 2015 at 12:37pm

Might be best to get off at the Quay, then around under the bridge and straight along Hickson Rd. to the north entrance to the park. Level and scenic route, me thinks. 

Comment by Neil Alexander on August 23, 2015 at 1:05pm

It'd be a bit further via the Quay but you have virtually no road crossings and can ride pretty much all the way around the foreshore, which is attractive. You have to deal a bit more with road crossings and the general motor traffic cesspool if coming from Wynyard. I came down from the SHB cycleway and entered the site initially from the top via Clyne Reserve. Can't quite remember if I went back down to enter at the Towns Pl gate because there were steps otherwise or just because I felt like it.

Comment by Bob Moore on August 23, 2015 at 10:47pm
Will be including Barangaroo on our next Bike Leichhardt EasyRide on 6 September. Leaving Bar Italia, Norton St, Leichhardt at 815 am. Also visiting Circular Quay, Woolomoolloo, returning via Bourke St, Redfern, Newtown, Stanmore. Details on Bikeleichhardt.org in Events.
Comment by Scientia et Labore on September 11, 2015 at 4:41pm

I enjoyed it. It is nice. But small. I hope when all is done the parkland is both a useful route and a lot more park.

 

The corporate casino jungle seems quite dense

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