Ballast Point Park - Walama
The $11 million project was managed by the Authority, which included acquiring the site on behalf of the NSW Government in 2002.
The 2.6 hectares of foreshore land, formerly an industrial site for Caltex, was restored to provide walking paths, access for cyclists and green picnic spots with panoramic views to the city and Harbour Bridge.
One of the park's most interesting features is the way the site's history has been brought to life through design, art and poetry, including:
- Tank 101: a structure to symbolise the site's working harbour history , and
- Delicate Balance: an artwork that represents the use of sandstone from the site as ballast for European ships.
Aboriginal history has been recognised in a dual name for the park - Walama - which means 'to return', and highlights the area's transformation from industrial use back to nature.
Ballast Point Park also sets a new benchmark for sustainable park design and includes:
- wetland areas to filter the site's stormwater before it enters the harbour,
- walls, decks and seating made from recycled materials, and
- native trees, shrubs and grasses grown from locally collected seed.
The Authority worked with McGregor + Coxall Landscape Architects to design the park and Landscape Solutions for construction. It also ensured community input into the park design through a significant consultation process undertaken between 2003 and 2005.
Ballast Point Park has received multiple awards since opening, including:
- Australian Institute of Architects Small Project Architecture Commendation 2009
- Australian Institute of Landscape Architects NSW Special Jury Citation for New Directions 2009
- Energy Australia National Trust Heritage Award Highly Commended 2010
- Waterfront Centre (Washington DC) Top Honour Award 2010
How to get there
Ballast Point Park is open to the public and includes a children's play area, barbecues and amenities, and is open from sunrise to sunset daily. It is an on-leash area for dogs.
It is located at the end of Ballast Point Road, Birchgrove, on the Balmain peninsula and is accessible by bus and ferry. There are also a small number of car spaces at the park.
Access for people with disabilities is from Wharf Road for the upper levels, and from Yeend Street for the foreshore promenade.