Barangaroo is a 22 hectare inner city suburb of Sydney located on the north west side of Sydney’s CBD.
The suburb is named after an aboriginal woman who had a significant influence in early contact between Aboriginal people and British authorities. She has been described as a powerful woman and was a respected provider of food (fisherwoman). Her second husband was Bennelong. Unfortunately Barangaroo passed away shortly after giving birth to her daughter in 1791.
The adoption of the word Barangaroo as the name of this newly created suburb is yet another example of a distinctive indigenous word adding to the richness of Australia’s vocabulary. Many of Sydney’s place names are derived from Aboriginal words (eg , Bondi, Collaroy, Coogee, Cronulla, Curl Curl, Kirribilli, Maroubra, Narrabeen, Tamarama and Woolloomooloo).
The urban renewal of Barangaroo has been a landmark project in Sydney for well over ten years. The area was formerly docklands and known as the ‘hungry mile’. It was a tough, competitive and sometimes violent place. Workers from the 19th Century until the 1940s were known to walk from wharf to wharf searching for low paid work.
Barangaroo includes a 6 hectare headland park (Barangaroo Reserve) which was completed several years ago.
A significant part of the urban redevelopment in this new suburb has already occurred, however a six star resort and several residential buildings are still at the planning stage or under construction. A metro station is planned for Barangaroo.
The reserve is essentially an artificial hill, but it doesn’t look like one. Its contouring with the harbour, terraced plantings and dimensions generally make it fit in with its surrounds. Clever engineering and earthworks have given it the look of a hill whilst allowing a large void, known as the Cutaway, to exist underneath the parkland above.
The roof of the Cutaway required the fabrication, transportation and installation of massive concrete spans, which underpin thousands of cubic metres of rock, soil, grass and trees.
The Cutaway provides a unique area for events, exhibitions, television shoots, concerts and large gatherings. It is 120 metres long, 45 metres wide and the height of a six storey building. Natural light enters the space through a long vent on its east side.
A large scale planting of native plants, shrubs and trees (75 000 in total) has been undertaken at Barangaroo Reserve and the horticulturalists have largely chosen native flora that existed in the area prior to European settlement.
An incredible amount of sandstone has been used around the foreshore and throughout the reserve, showcasing the attractive look of this beautiful local material.
Barangaroo Reserve is a pleasant green addition to the City of Sydney which will improve over time as the trees increase in size whilst providing a unique multipurpose area that can be used by all Sydneysiders.
Sydney Nimble Tours visits Barangaroo Reserve in the Eastern Suburbs, Woolloomooloo, Barangaroo day out. Our half day Sydney Tour or the bespoke Sydney tour can include a visit to Barangaroo Reserve.