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Wirra Birra Park, was officially unveiled at Sub Base Platypus in North Sydney on the Easter long weekend.

North Sydney’s Wirra Birra Park opened to the public on Good Friday, March 29th, 2024. The park follows the recent completion of the Torpedo Factory Precinct’s exciting restoration at Sub Base Platypus.

Nestled at the foot of the recently opened Torpedo Factory Precinct, Wirra Birra Park is designed with a deep respect for First Nations peoples.

Image credit: The Harbour Trust

‘Wirra Birra’ is a First Nations name for Neutral Bay and means a forest of gum trees near running water. This name was chosen for the new park to respect and acknowledge the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the area, the Cammeraygal people. The Harbour Trust engaged with First Nations consultant Yerrabingin on the Torpedo Factory Renewal Project, as well as an art commission by First Nations artist, Dennis Golding, to put caring for Country and connection to Country and First Nations culture at the centre of the design.

Sub Base Platypus boasts a rich history. Originally inhabited by the Cammeraygal people for over 60,000 years, the area underwent significant transformations over time. In the late 1800s, it became an industrial hub with a gasworks, and later during World War II, a torpedo factory for Allied forces. After the war, it served as a base for Australian submarines until the 1990s.

Professor Tim Entwisle, Chair – the Harbour Trust, Jessica Keen, Sub Base Platypus Community Advisory Committee member, Phil Burford, Sub Base Platypus Community Advisory Committee member. Image Credit: The Harbour Trust

Today, Sub Base Platypus offers something for everyone. While parents explore the site’s cultural significance and military history on a Harbour Trust Sub Base Stories Tour, kids can have a blast at the existing maritime-themed playground and new Wirra Birra Park.

Visitors can unwind, enjoy the natural beauty, and take a moment to reflect on the rich Indigenous history that continues to influence this beautiful space.

Sub Base Platypus is easily accessible by public transport. Here are your options:

  • Train: Both North Sydney and Milsons Point stations are within a comfortable walking distance (less than a kilometre).
  • Ferry: North Sydney Ferry Wharf is approx. 250 metres from the High Street entrance. The F5 ferry service offers a scenic route via Kirribilli, Kurraba Point, and Neutral Bay.
  • Bus: Regular buses run every 20 minutes along Clark Road, within 500 metres of Sub Base Platypus. Check timetables for public holiday transit times. 

So grab a picnic blanket this weekend, and celebrate the opening of Wirra Birra Park!

For more information visit the Harbour Trust website here.