This month’s highly anticipated opening of the enormous new waterfront green space at Waverton may just be the community event of the year!
Introducing the newest and arguably the most exciting community space for all to enjoy – The Coal Loader Platform. This massive concrete and sandstone platform (you could fit seven Olympic-sized swimming pools side by side along its length) has undergone a complete makeover, transforming it into one of Sydney’s largest publicly accessible green roof spaces. Now set to be used for multi-purpose recreational activities and as an ‘outdoor classroom’, it also boasts spectacular views of the harbour.
For those who haven’t read WL’s previous piece on The Coal Loader at Waverton, it’s an absolutely amazing space right on the waterfront, and it’s dedicated to sustainability. For well over a year now, North Sydney Council has been responsible for transforming this old industrial site into a stunning, waterfront parkland. And now that it’s complete, there’s a huge celebration for the opening on Saturday, March 24 – to which the whole community is invited!
Starting with a picnic on the Platform itself, there’s also an incredible line-up of events – including live music, great food, tours, interactive art, workshops, children’s activities and more. With a perfect view as the sun starts to set you can enjoy a drink from the Sunset Bar, or head into the infamous and recently refurbished tunnels underneath the Platform to try the Underground Bar. Then watch the lights go out across Sydney as fire dancers take the stage to the beat of African drums to kick-off Earth Hour!
Time-table of Events (some require booking):
3pm. Members of the community are invited to enjoy the beautiful Platform and the stunning view. (BYO picnic rug, family and friends!) The Underground Bar will be open in Tunnel 1 serving beer, cider, wine, cheese and cordials. The Coal Loader Café coffee cart will also be on site, along with food from Outback Pride, Modern Yaki, Fig Jam Creperie and Turkish Gozleme.
You can also participate in a free 45 minute mini workshop: ‘Gardening in Small Spaces’. “Meet in the Urban Harvest Marquee to learn how to turn your small space into your own green oasis”. Bookings are essential: Book now
Drop-in activities (with no booking required) include: A native plant giveaway (while stocks last), insect hotel making, building a native bee sculpture, a community boules game until 5pm, and the Reverse Garbage Boxtopia kids’ activity.
Children will love heading into Tunnel 1, which will be filled with more activities: such as paper making, lantern making, story time, and native critter making. Adults can step back in time in the tunnel with the historical soundscape, and also learn more about The Coal Loader with a film ‘Return to Community’.
3.30pm. You won’t find a better place to enjoy live jazz, with Sentosa Trio taking the main stage. Or, if you’ve booked ahead, you can enjoy one of the guided walks around the beautiful bushland. These are all 45 minutes long with the following walks on offer: Aboriginal Heritage, Coal Loader History, Balls Head Bushland, the Urban Harvest Precinct, and Sustainability Highlights of the Platform. Book now
4pm. Learn how to turn your food scraps into beautiful nourishments for your garden with a mini workshop: ‘Garbage to Garden – Composting and Worm Farming’. This runs for 45 minutes and is free but bookings are essential: Book now
4.30pm. Learn all about our amazing wildlife with a live native animal show on the main stage. There are also more guided walks at this time including Aboriginal Heritage, Coal Loader History, Balls Head Bushland, Urban Harvest Precinct, and Sustainability Highlights of the Platform. Book now
5pm. Sentosa Trio takes the main stage again for more great live music, or book in for a 45 minute mini workshop: ‘Food Gardening 101’ for a free introduction into growing your own food at home. Book now
5.30pm. Children can gather in the forecourt of Tunnel 1 for the Batty as Bats play. “Play in the Park Productions will inspire and educate your little one with great storytelling, fun music and lots of laughs. Going Batty is a short children’s play which highlights the issues faced by bats living in our ever-expanding city. No need to book for this free event, just pop along on the day!”
6pm. The official opening ceremony of The Coal Loader Platform takes place on the main stage. Gardening Australia host Costa Georgiadis will MC the official proceedings.
6.30pm. The party begins with Latin dancing on the main stage.
7pm. The Sunset Bar opens on the Platform.
7.15pm. The StiffGins provide live music on the main stage. Described as “one of Australia’s best known and most loved Indigenous acts. These two women combine their stunning harmonies and wicked humor to transport you to a world of joy, spirit and song.”
8.15pm. Don’t miss the beautiful lantern parade on the main stage and across the Platform lawn. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, book in for the Guided Spotlight Walk around Balls Head. “Join our bushland experts for this fabulous spotlight walk through the beautiful bushland. Bring your torch and spot the nocturnal wildlife!” Book now
8.30pm What better place could there be to participate in Earth Hour? “Every year hundreds of millions of people around the world in more than 7,000 cities in over 180 countries take part in this amazing global conservation movement. Millions choose to mark Earth Hour by going ‘lights out’ for 60 minutes at 8.30pm.” From the Platform – one of Sydney’s best vantage points – you can watch the lights go out across the water as African drummers and fire dancers take the main stage! Bookings essential: Book now
The Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability is located at 2 Balls Head Drive, Waverton
Picnic on the Platform is on Saturday March 24, 3pm-9.30pm