Parks & Playgrounds
Park: Bicentennial Reserve
Location: Small Street, Willoughby
Bicentennial Reserve comprises of a baseball diamond, sports oval, netball courts, bike path, Willoughby Leisure Centre and Hallstrom Park Playground. Facilities also include a BBQ and picnic area, and a small fenced play area next to the netball courts. There are toilets (including a unisex toilet for people with disabilities) under the Leisure Centre next to the netball courts, which are open on netball competition days. Public toilets are located next to Hallstrom Park Playground and the BBQ area including a unisex toilet for people with disabilities.
Named after the Bicentenary of Australia 1788-1988. The land was claimed in 1933 as a ‘garbage destructor and sewerage dump’ for the community’s waste. In 1934 the reverberatory incinerator designed by Walter Burley Griffin opened and material from the waste operation was used to fill the Flat Rock Creek valley and create level areas for playing fields. After 1983 more fill was added to create a regional park.
There is a wide bike/pedestrian path in the reserve that is one of Willoughby’s major “shared use” pathways and links the reserve to Artarmon Reserve and Flat Rock Gully. The gradient of the path through the Reserve is flat. It is 60m from the reserve entrance to a bus stop in Willoughby Road.
There is off street parking next to the Willoughby Leisure Centre and netball courts (entrance from Small Street). There is on street parking adjacent to Hallstrom Park and also outside the Leisure Centre. There are 2 carspaces reserved for people with disabilities on Small Street next to Hallstrom Park, 3 in the carpark outside the Leisure Centre, 2 halfway down the main carpark driveway next to the upper level netball courts, and 3 in the lower level carpark next to the netball courts.
Two features of the reserve that can be seen next to the path are a mural by artist Shane Haurama and Henry Lawson’s Cave. The mural was completed in 2007 and is made up of three sections. Each section refers to the past, present and future relationship with the indigenous people and landscape of Flat Rock Gully.
Poet and writer Henry Lawson (1867-1922) lived in Naremburn for short periods from 1907 to just after WWI. After visiting a Crows Nest Hotel, exchanging spontaneous verse for a drink, Lawson would occasionally stay in the cave in temporary retirement from society. The site is marked by a stone bas-relief of Lawson’s profile by Chris Bennett.
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