Barangaroo – Australia’s New Playground
As if Sydney didn’t have enough temptations, along comes Barangaroo – it’s latest 22-hectare waterfront playground for working, living and enjoying life!
Barangaroo sits just beyond the CBD, and takes this waterfront city’s working, living and entertainment precincts to another level. The area consists of three precincts – at the northern end is the Barangaroo Reserve – a massive parkland ideal for walking, cycling, picnicking and outdoor events. At the southern end is a foodie’s paradise, featuring 30 restaurants and bars, and in-between is a civic and cultural area, still under construction.
Both day and night, the area is overflowing with families, singles and couples, indulging in the eating spots, catching ferries to Circular Quay and beyond, and exploring the new foreshore.
The Barangaroo Reserve’s six-hectare park features Australian natives, spectacular views, walking and cycling paths, unique event spaces and inviting picnic spots. The foreshore is an innovative design feat, developed by Australian companies Lendlease with engineering support from Aurecon, and constructed out of 10,000 sandstone blocks dug from underneath the water’s edge.
The dining precinct is a buzzing area with a multiple of choices for eating and drinking. Connected to the CBD via a tunnel from Wynyard Station, called Wynyard Walk, as well as ferries from Circular Quay, it is easy to access.
The under-construction Central Barangaroo Project will include a Sydney Metro station, and combine community, civic and cultural spaces and attractions with residential, retail and commercial uses. The project will complete the transformation of this former port and industrial precinct to a trendy place to live, work and visit.
When we visited on a Friday night, we headed to Banksii (named after the botanist Sir James Banks, for the botanical nature of the food and drink), to try out the Vermouth Bar and Bistro. My Sydneysider companions couldn’t believe it was possible to purchase an alcoholic drink in Sydney for $5, but there it was – the Banksii Rosé Vermouth – a crisp, dry aperitif rosé with hibiscus, rose geranium and lemon aspen, ice and a slice of orange. And delicious it was! A new generation is discovering the delights of this resurgence in botanical infused wine that has been around for centuries, but sadly overlooked in recent times.
Our table overlooking the harbour and tucked into a private nook was the perfect scene to catch up over some delicious food and wine, including prosciutto, fennel salumi, mortadella, fresh fig and pickled chilli; vermouth glazed duck, plum and cavolo nero; followed by Banksii trifle – vermouth and strawberry gum sponge, vanilla custard and rosella jelly.
By this time, the whole precinct was buzzing – particularly the architecturally eye-catching, tri-level, Barangaroo House, which boasts the Matt Moran-engineered House Bar on the ground level, Bar Smoke on the rooftop and signature restaurant, Bea, in-between.
The following Sunday, we visited again, to walk along the sandstone-lined foreshore. It was a perfect sun-drenched day, as only Sydney knows how to deliver, and the stroll along the reserve, admiring the native flora and listening to the water lapping beside us, was restorative!
It is easy to see how this area will become a popular hub for residents and visitors, just when you thought Sydney couldn’t get more inviting!
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