Sawmillers Reserve is one of Sydney’s best-kept secrets – a hidden spot that is perfect for weekend getaways with the whole family.
The reserves unique features, coupled with its rich history, are part of the reason why this park is a must-visit.
Sawmillers Reserve, Fishing, Shipwreck & Sculpture, McMahons Point
The Sawmillers Reserve’s history date back to 1880 as the reserve’s present location is the site of a former sawmill whose operations were overseen by John Eaton Ltd. Interestingly, the sawmill’s relocation from the location of the present-day North Sydney train station marked a significant change for the owners.
In the years that followed, a myriad of factors led to the vacation of the land. The then-mayor of North Sydney instructed the land to be used for the development of a public reserve, creating a delightful public space where visitors get to unwind.
One of the must-see features at the Sawmillers Reserve is the wrecked MSB hopper barge at the beautiful foreshore. Located at McMahons Point, the shipwreck leans to the side; its jagged metal frame exposing many years of decay.
There are also remains of John Eaton’s timber yard and walking around the reserve gives you a glimpse of how the reserve functioned in its heyday. The kids enjoy climbing over these remnants make this spot a favourite with families.
There is a unique wooden staircase and deck structure that leads to the lower part of the reserve. A treehouse stands on location, and it is not unusual to see the kids climbing up to get a great view of the reserve.
Look out for the undulating embankments that boast native vegetation to preserve the natural integrity of the reserve. From here, visitors can also get excellent views of both Balmain and Pyrmont. Note that dogs are permitted within the reserve.
The reserve is accessible by car using the French and West Crescent Streets. Alternatively, take a train to North Sydney Station, from where Sawmillers Reserve is a 10-minute walk.