Unveiling the new Darling Harbour: a sound shell, upsized playground and expanded Chinese Garden

A state-of-the-art playground, a sound shell in Tumbalong Park and a bamboo forest walk in the Chinese Garden of Friendship are being opened to the public as new enticing places that will draw more crowds to this harbourside precinct.

The new 2000 square-metre playground doubles the size of the existing Darling Harbour playground and is designed to cater to older children and teenagers. The playground, a $10 million investment from Tianlong as part of the Ribbon development, is made up of two areas: the Bay, with a series of decks, ramps and bridges and the Wave, with higher level ramps, climbing tower and slide plus plenty of seating for parents and carers.

The new sound shell at Tumbalong Park, a $10 million investment from Placemaking NSW, will become Sydney’s newest home for live concerts, a site for sporting events and community festivals.

The sound shell design has a unique cantilevered roof resembling a cockle shell that is a symbolic link to the history of the area. Tumbalong also means ‘the place where shellfish is found’ in Gadigal. The state-of-the-art structure includes two new 9 x 5 metre digital screens, permanent speakers, acoustic panelling and a motorised truss capable of hosting a variety of events.

The Friendship Bridge and bamboo forest walk at the Chinese Garden of Friendship is part of a $1 million expansion that connects the existing Garden with a repurposed area including 20 per cent more accessible open public space.

The space called the ‘Meandering Pathway of Tranquillity’ crosses the Lotus Pavilion and the Seven Sages Walk and finishes near the base of the waterfall, with a calming design that represents the first major upgrade to the Garden since it opened in 1988.

These reinvigorated spaces will improve the experience for more than 28,000 residents in the CBD and 13,000 on Pyrmont, as well as creating significantly improved experiences for locals and visitors to the Darling Harbour precinct.

As the redevelopment of Darling Harbour continues, more green and public spaces will continue to be delivered, reinventing the precinct for future generations.

The NSW Government is also developing a Darling Harbour 2050 Vision, a planning framework to shape it into a vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable waterfront precinct. A draft is expected to be exhibited for feedback in coming months and will reflect the views of the community.

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