Callan Park

Located in Sydney’s inner west on the Parramatta River, historic Callan Park offers parklands, sporting grounds and green space.

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.

Under NSW Health stay-at-home orders, visitors are only permitted to enter Callan Park for essential purposes. This includes for personal exercise (limited to 2 people, excluding members of the same household), for takeaway food and beverages, for medical care or compassionate needs and for essential work (including construction).

Residents of Greater Sydney must stay within their local government area or within 5 kilometres of home for essential exercise. No carpooling is permitted between non-household members. Mask-wearing is mandatory when outside your home for all Greater Sydney residents, except when exercising.

From 12.01am Monday 13 September, gatherings in groups of up to 5 fully vaccinated adults (excluding children under 12) will be allowed in Callan Park. There are no time restrictions for these gatherings but they must take place in a person’s local government area or within 5 kilometres of home. 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, mask-wearing and social distancing.

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

Callan Park is part of Greater Sydney Parklands, which also manages some of Sydney’s most iconic parks: Centennial Parklands (including Moore Park and Queens Park), Western Sydney Parklands, Parramatta Park, and Fernhill Estate.

Combined, Greater Sydney Parklands oversees more than 6000 hectares of parklands across Sydney and hosts over 40 million visits each year.

Within Callan Park, Greater Sydney Parklands manages 38 hectares of the 61-hectare site, including the waterfront and central park areas (see Callan Park Management Precincts map [PDF 2.3MB]).

Callan Park is on Gadigal Wangal country and holds important connections to country for First Nations peoples. As a significant heritage place, Callan Park is cherished for its rich architectural heritage and history as a psychiatric hospital. It contains many diverse landscapes of heritage significance, as well green spaces and sporting grounds, and remnant bushland areas for visitors to enjoy.

The park also provides health, education and not-for-profit community services in various buildings across the park including Ambulance NSW, Sydney Local Health District, University of Tasmania Rozelle campus, and Writing NSW.

Activities in Callan Park are subject to the Callan Park (Special Provisions) Act 2002 which ensures that the site remains in public ownership and is managed to provide ongoing public access to the open space and foreshore.

Callan Park $14 million waterfront revitalisation

As part of a $14 million investment, Greater Sydney Parklands has commenced a program of waterfront revitalisation. The works are informed by the Landscape Structure Plan, which proposed a series of improvements to ensure the unique heritage and picturesque waterfront setting of Callan Park is celebrated and enhanced. You can view more about this work on the project page.

The Landscape Structure Plan has been endorsed by the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces as the blueprint for the park's transformation, Further community engagement will be included in the next phase of planning and design of works to achieve this transformation.

You can view the final Landscape Structure Plan and read a summary of community feedback and how it informed the final Landscape Structure Plan on the Callan Park Landscape Structure Plan webpage.

Buildings In Callan Park

Greater Sydney Parklands has been making great progress in restoring heritage buildings in Callan Park. Gradually more buildings will be restored and adapted as outlined in the Callan Park Landscape Structure Plan. To see what is happening, go to Activating Callan Park.

Sporting grounds in Callan Park

Inner West Council manages Callan Park's Balmain Road, Glover Street and Waterfront Drive sporting grounds and their associated buildings, B499 toilets (the Pavilion), B498 (Air Raid Shelter), B504 (Refugee Centre), B696 (Public Toilet Block) and B703 (Electrical Store), under a 10-year lease with the Health Administration Corporation. The lease also allows community and sporting clubs to use the sporting grounds.

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

Getting to Callan Park

The main vehicle entries to Callan Park are from Balmain Road into Wharf Road, and gate A from Balmain road opposite Cecily Street.

Callan Park is easy to reach on public transport – see Transport for NSW.

Callan Park map

The map below shows entry points, street names, and the location of government and non-government organisations, sporting grounds and amenities.

To view a larger map, download the map (PDF 2.1MB).

Callan Park site map

Dogs in Callan Park

The Companion Animals Act which stipulates that dogs must be leashed in public places and sets a maximum of 4 dogs per owner (or person in charge) in public places, has applied to all accessible areas of Callan Park, including its open space and foreshores, since the Act’s introduction in 1998. Inner West Council, as the relevant local authority, is the body responsible for administering this Act in Callan Park.

Designated off-leash areas in Callan Park are available at the three sporting grounds – Balmain Road Sports, Waterfront Drive Sports, and Glover Street Sports when organised sporting activities are not taking place and following the council off-leash maps at these areas.

Greater Sydney Parklands is currently preparing a Companion Animals Management Plan (CAMP) to provide clear direction on managing dogs in Callan Park, so that everyone can enjoy Callan Park equitably and safely. Thank you to everyone who provided feedback during the recent consultation. Your feedback is being used to develop a CAMP that will clearly identify on and off-leash areas and provide appropriate facilities for dogs and their owners. There will be an opportunity to have your say when the CAMP is formally publicly exhibited in September this year. The plan will be refined using this feedback with a final plan to be endorsed and operating by the end of the year.

Activities, events and ceremonies in Callan Park

Private non-commercial and non-for-profit community events and ceremonies in Callan Park will be considered on application.

You can complete the application form (DOCX 71KB) and email it to callan.park@environment.nsw.gov.au.

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

For further information about activities and events in the park, you can:

Callan Park, sporting ground club house, Lilyfield NSW

Purpose

The guideline provides direction for the application, approval and management of booked activities and events at Callan Park.

The guideline has been developed to ensure approved activities and events align with the Callan Park (Special Provisions) Act 2002 (the Act), appropriate risk, safety, traffic and management planning is undertaken, and the conditions of use which form part of the activity approval process are met.

Where necessary, activities and events will need Inner West Council DA approval, consistent with the requirements of the Act.

Aims and objectives

The Act protects and preserves the existing open space, historical buildings and landscape and ensures public access to Callan Park, including for active and passive recreation.

The Act restricts activities in Callan Park to education and community not-for-profit uses, as well as health uses.

Proposed activities and events in Callan Park will:
  • encourage fair community access, use and enjoyment of Callan Park
  • be non-commercial and aligned to the Callan Park Act
  • respect and protect the heritage buildings, gardens and landscape features
  • be considerate and minimise disruption and impact to other park users, including NSW Health-related tenants across the site
  • have appropriate risk and management plans in place, and approvals from all other relevant authorities.

Approval

All activities, regardless of scale, must have written approval from the landowner NSW Health, or the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment as the agent acting on their behalf. This includes activities and events that are based in the sporting grounds under lease to Inner West Council, and in Health managed precincts, where any part of the proposed activity will take place on Department managed land.

The Department may refer the applicant to Inner West Council for advice on whether the activity or event will require Planning Approval by Inner West Council's Development Assessment and Regulatory Services team.

Approval for an activity or event in Callan Park is at the absolute discretion of NSW Health.

Activity application

A minimum 3 months is required to process all activity applications, including for repeat or annual events. The applicant should seek early advice from the Department on whether DA approval will be required, and make appropriate allowances.

Applicants must complete the Callan Park Event application form (DOCX 71KB), and complete the Callan Park Conditions of Use form (DOCX 54KB).

The application review process considers

  • compliance with the Callan Park (Special Provisions) Act 2002
  • event scale and activity type
  • management plans for traffic, risk, safety and security
  • event schedule, including contact details of the event coordination team
  • relevant certificates of currency
  • DA consent and conditions, or other approvals (i.e. Roads and Maritime Services) where required
  • scheduling conflicts with other events or activities
  • site conditions, including alternative weather plans.

A recommendation of approval is made by the Department to the landowner, NSW Health.

Where the event starts and finishes outside Callan Park, or on a part of the Park not managed by the Department, organisers must also seek approval to access Callan Park by completing and submitting the Callan Park Event application form.

Fees

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

Separate fees may apply if the proposed activity is also on leased land, for example, the sporting grounds leased by Inner West Council, or is in a part of Callan Park managed by NSW Health. Extra fees will apply if the event requires DA approval by Inner West Council.

Event organisers are responsible for operational costs and other fees.

Responsibilities

The Department assesses applications for events and activities on behalf of NSW Health.

The Department will refer activity applications to Inner West Council for further planning approval assessment as required.

The applicant is responsible for managing the event, including risk and safety, waste management and site security.

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-commercial filming, including by students, may be possible in Callan Park for exteriors only. Filming inside buildings is not permitted.

A written application for non-commercial, not-for-profit or student filming is required for all filming requests, with a minimum notice period of 3 weeks before your preferred date.

Please complete the application form (DOCX 71KB), filling out all details and providing a copy of your current certificate of currency for public liability (minimum $10 million cover) and submit to callan.park@environment.nsw.gov.au.

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

For more information please contact us by email callan.park@environment.nsw.gov.au.

Speed limits and parking

Pedestrians and cyclists have the right-of-way at all times in Callan Park. The speed limit is 25 kilometres except in the shared zone at Waterfront Drive (the Bay Run), where a 10 kilometres speed limit applies.

There is free parking in designated parking areas. Vehicles must not be parked on grass, or where they will affect pedestrian and cyclist safety or other traffic.

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