Callan Park

Where history and nature take centre stage.

Callan ParkCallan 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, which manages education, community, and health functions on the park's periphery.

Greater Sydney Parklands also manages some of Sydney's most iconic parks, including Centennial Parklands, Western Sydney Parklands, Parramatta Park, and Fernhill Estate.

Callan Park is on Gadigal Wangal Country and encompasses several important cultural heritage sites with a strong connection to Country for our First Nations people. Callan Park is 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.

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, Glover Street or the Bay Run. Callan Park is easy to reach on public transport – see Transport for NSW.

Pedestrians 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 2-way traffic flow must be maintained at all times.

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)

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. $14 million has been committed by the State Government to deliver the plan.

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), and the Main Gates and Guard House Balmain Road. Over time more of Callan Park's heritage will be restored for the community to enjoy.

Keep up to date via our 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.

Callan Park Bushcare

Callan Park contains rare remnant bushland, which is being regenerated by our Bushcare volunteers.

The Bushcare group has 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 every month and welcomes new volunteers to join in its 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

Dogs in Callan ParkCallan Park is now one of the most dog-friendly parks in Sydney, with over 20 hectares of the park, managed by Greater Sydney Parklands, now designated as off-leash.

These new designated off-leash areas are identified in the Companion Animals Management Plan developed to ensure the 38 hectares of Callan Park, owned by Greater Sydney Parklands, is shared safely by dog owners and non-dog owners alike.

Find out more about the new plan

There are areas of Callan Park where dogs must be on-leash at all times and areas where they are prohibited altogether. These restrictions reflect NSW-wide rules, relating to dogs as well as the new Companion Animals Management Plan, and are in place to ensure our natural environment and heritage assets are protected and so the park can be enjoyed safely by everyone.

See the map below, detailing the on- and off-leash rules, follow all signage and have an enjoyable visit to Callan Park.

A reminder to all dog owners/walkers that dogs must be under effective control at all times, whether in on- or off-leash areas, while in Callan Park.

Callan Park Off leash Map, June 2022

Nature Play, Callan ParkBeing outdoors gives children the opportunity to explore, discover, and learn at their own pace – creating a special connection to their surroundings.  That is why Greater Sydney Parklands is committed to providing nature play spaces at Callan Park. Most recently there was one, near the NSW Writer's Centre, over the Easter school holidays following the great success of the first one that popped up near the sporting fields on the waterfront. 

Callan park activitiesApplications for some not-for-profit community events will be considered on a case by case basis.

All activities require written approval from Greater Sydney Parklands or NSW Health. This includes activities and events based in the sporting grounds under lease to Inner West Council and in NSW Health managed precincts.

For further information, please contact Greater Sydney Parklands directly at callan.park@environment.nsw.gov.au

Callan Park sandstone building verandah exterior, Lilyfield NSW.

The Minister for Infrastructure, Cities and Active Transport gives notice of a proposed licence for part of Callan Park in accordance with section 6 and section 6(6A) of the Callan Park (Special Provisions) Act 2002. Any person wishing to make a submission about the proposed licence must do so in writing before 5 pm 16 October 2022.

Please direct written submissions to callan.park@environment.nsw.gov.au

The Minister’s decision will be published on this website after consideration of all submissions.

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