Callan Park

Where history and nature take centre stage.

Update

Safeguarding the health and safety of our visitors and staff is core to what we do at Callan Park. We are closely monitoring and responding to Government health advice in this rapidly changing environment and putting in place measures to protect our community during these challenging times.

Proof of vaccination and a valid photo ID will need to be shown if asked by Police who will be patrolling the Park to enforce COVID-restrictions, including gatherings and social distancing.

We urge visitors to ensure they stay informed and comply with the latest NSW Health orders.

Callan ParkGreater Sydney Parklands manages some of Sydney's most iconic parks including Centennial Parklands (including Moore Park and Queens Park), Western Sydney Parklands, Parramatta Park, Fernhill Estate, and now a large section of Callan Park in Sydney's Inner West.

Callan Park is located on the foreshore of the Parramatta River, spanning 61-hectares Greater Sydney Parklands manages 38 of the 61 hectares, including the waterfront and central park areas (see Callan Park Management Precincts map [PDF 2.3MB]). The remaining 22 hectares are owned by NSW Health who manage a range of education, community and health functions on the park's periphery.

Callan Park is on Gadigal Wangal Country and encompasses several important cultural heritage sites with a strong connection to Country for our First Nation people. Callan Park is also cherished for its rich architectural heritage and its history as a hospital for the treatment of mental health disorders, which began in the 1870s and continued until the hospital closed in the early 2000s.

Activities in Callan Park are governed by the Callan Park (Special Provisions) Act 2002 to ensure the site remains in public ownership and the community have ongoing access to the park's open spaces and foreshore.

Nature Play, Callan ParkFrom Saturday 18 December, Callan Park will host a temporary nature play space adjacent to Waterfront Drive Sporting Ground for families to enjoy. The play space has been designed by Centennial Parkland's Education team in collaboration with the team at Callan Park. It is available for free community use throughout the summer school holidays.

Renewable and nature-based materials are provided for stimulating play, sensory experience and learning activities for children of all ages. Key features of the play space include:

  • sensory trail
  • cubby house village
  • obstacle course
  • log circles
  • rope labyrinth
  • climbing tree
  • log xylophone

The Education team have created a library of activities and fun ideas for kids to enjoy while visiting the play space. This can be viewed at Nature Play in Callan Park and accessed through QR codes located on the signs around the space.

Waterfront revitalisationIn January 2021, a Landscape Structure Plan was endorsed by the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, the Hon Rob Stokes MP, as a blueprint for how Callan Park will be transformed into an iconic urban parkland. The State Government has committed $14 million to deliver the Landscape Structure Plan, including the removal of dilapidated buildings on the waterfront to make way for picnic spots, landscaped areas, accessible amenities and better carparking.

As Greater Sydney Parklands progresses projects identified in the Landscape Structure Plan, we will be seeking further community feedback on detailed designs. Find out more on our dedicated project page.

Bringing Callan Park’s buildings to lifeWe have been making great progress in restoring heritage buildings in Callan Park, for community use, including Bonnyview, the Summerhouse and the former Repatriation Ward (Building 497) Over time more heritage buildings will be brought to life for the benefit of park users. Keep up to date on the project page for Restoring Heritage Buildings.

Protecting our living heritageCallan Park contains more tree species than New York's Central Park. Many of the trees hold important connections to Country, while others are significant historical specimens for their age and type.

Protecting the living heritage of Callan Park is a priority of Greater Sydney Parklands. From time to time, areas may be closed off to allow species to recover or to promote the growth and health of young plants. Staying off sensitive areas will ensure the park's living heritage will thrive for years to come.

Greater Sydney Parklands has closed off access to the giant bamboo grove and the dragon trees near North Crescent. Please work with us by staying off these areas to allow them to recover from recent damage.

Through the nature play space, we want to encourage kids to explore nature within Callan Park by providing an alternative to the heritage and sensitive environment within Callan Park, allowing the dragon trees and giant bamboo in Kirkbride Gardens to regrow.

Callan Park BushcareCallan Park contains rare remnant bushland which is being painstakingly regenerated by Callan Park Bushcare volunteers.

The Bushcare group have worked for over 20 years to remove noxious weeds from areas surrounding North Crescent and Callan Point, allowing the native bush to recover, establishing Callan Park as a unique biological hotspot in the Inner West.

Callan Park Bushcare holds several working bees per month and welcomes new volunteers to join in their efforts to preserve and expand this precious patch of urban bush. To get involved, please send us an email at:

callan.park@environment.nsw.gov.au

Getting to Callan ParkCallan Park is located at Balmain Road, Lilyfield. There are 2 main vehicle entrances to Callan Park:

Pedestrians can enter the park from these entrances or from Ambulance NSW, King George Park, or from Glover Street or the Bay Run. Callan Park is easy to reach on public transport – see Transport for NSW.

Download the Callan Park map to navigate your way to a place or facility in Callan Park.

Callan Park site map

Download the map (PDF 2.1MB)

Sporting grounds in Callan ParkInner West Council manages three sporting grounds in Callan Park. Bookings for the use of these grounds may be made through Council's booking facility or for further information see links below.

You can view the Inner West Council lease boundaries in the boundaries map (PDF 573KB).

Dogs in Callan ParkThank you to everyone who provided invaluable feedback during April and May this year on how dogs should be managed in Callan Park. Your feedback has helped shape the draft Companion Animal Management Plan (CAMP) which will be on public exhibition from 6 December 2021 to 9 February 2022.

Draft plan

The draft CAMP provides direction for Greater Sydney Parklands to support its management and regulation of companion animals in Callan Park, including clearly identifying on and off-leash areas for dogs and the required infrastructure, amenities and experiences for dogs and their owners.

The draft CAMP aims to balance the interests of all park users, including dogs and their owners, while minimising the potential for conflict between dogs and other users. Essentially it is a plan whereby all who visit and use Callan Park can share the space equitably.

You can now view and make a submission on the draft plan.

For any questions and information about the plan, please visit the draft Companion Animal Management Plan page.

The draft CAMP has been developed for the 38 hectares of land managed by Greater Sydney Parklands. It does not apply to the 22 hectares of land owned by NSW Health.

Currently, dogs must be on leash in all accessible areas of Callan Park except for 3 designated off-leash zones in the sporting grounds when organised sporting activities are not taking place.

Callan park activitiesGreater Sydney Parklands does not currently offer a formal booking service for functions, activities and events in Callan Park (for example, wedding ceremonies or corporate functions are not permitted).

Applications for some not-for-profit community events will be considered on a case by case basis (for example, 7 Bridges Walk).

Commercial activities, including professional photography, are not permitted within Callan Park under the Callan Park (Special Provisions) Act 2002.

All activities require written approval from Greater Sydney Parklands or NSW Health. This includes activities and events that are based in the sporting grounds under lease to Inner West Council, and in NSW Health managed precincts. Approval is at the discretion of Greater Sydney Parklands and/or NSW Health. Applicants should allow a minimum of 3 months for approval.

Activity fees, and an application processing fee, may apply. A security bond may also be required.

Callan Park sandstone building verandah exterior, Lilyfield NSW.Our team often gets requests to film in the park. Below is what is permissible filming in Callan Park.

Commercial Filming

Activities in Callan Park are subject to the Callan Park (Special Provisions) Act 2002.

Under the Act, commercial filming or photography undertaken by a business or for advertising or commercial gain is not permitted. This applies to all interiors and exteriors in Callan Park, including buildings and courtyards in the Kirkbride complex.

Non-commercial, not-for-profit and student filming

Non-commercially based and student filming may be permitted in Callan Park on application. Filming inside buildings is not permitted.

A written application is required for all requests, with a minimum notice period of 3 weeks before your preferred date.

A copy of your current certificate of currency for public liability (minimum $10 million cover) must be submitted for assessment with the application.

Applicants will be advised via email of the outcomes of their application.

Getting to Callan ParkPedestrians and cyclists have right-of-way in Callan Park and a 25 km/hour speed limit applies, with the exception of the Bay Run (Waterfront Drive), where the maximum speed limit is 10 km/hour.

Please respect the parkland by not parking your vehicle on the grass. Vehicles may parallel park on roads abutting the kerb, but a two-way traffic flow must be maintained at all times.