Harbourside suburb Pyrmont is one of the city's most unique neighbourhoods. Once the industrial heartland of Sydney, the area has a rich history as well as great new bars, restaurants and scenic waterfront views.
At the heart of Pyrmont is the bustling Harris Street, which is set to be transformed on Saturday 25 March for Sydney Streets. If you’ve not visited the neighbourhood in a while, take this as a sign to plan your next Pyrmont adventure.
Here are 7 ideas to make the most of your day out in Pyrmont
1. Stroll, walk or cruise your way in
If you’re heading to Pyrmont from the Central area, take a slow leisurely stroll along the Goods Line, once part of a busy freight rail system that started operation in the middle of the 19th century. The line was mainly used to transport wool, meat and wheat into the area. Renovations to the rail line adapted the concept behind New York’s popular High Line. More than just an elevated walkway, you’ll find play equipment, plants and communal picnic benches, as well as a ping-pong table and a sandpit for children.
Travelling to Pyrmont from the city? Walk over Pyrmont Bridge from Darling Harbour and take in the views. The bridge is significant because it’s one of the largest and earliest electrically operated swing bridges in the world. Combined with the superb design of Percy Allan’s timber girder approach spans, Pyrmont Bridge was declared a National Engineering Landmark in 1992.
If it’s a sunny day and you fancy getting out on the water, you can also take a ferry from North Sydney, Circular Quay or Balmain.
2. Weave cultural and historical facts into your day
A great way to learn more about the local area and how it came to be is to read about some historical facts while you’re walking around. Download the Culture Walks app and look out for key sites in Sydney’s industrial and maritime history on the Port History Walk.
3. Visit the Australian National Maritime Museum
Located on the waterfront in Pyrmont, the Australian National Maritime showcases Australia's maritime history and culture. Entry is free for permanent galleries, so just swing by at a leisurely pace on your way in or out of Pyrmont. The museum opened in 1991 and was designed by Philip Cox. The high walls and diving roof forms were designed to accommodate the masts of boats displayed inside.
You can purchase tickets to climb aboard some of these: from tall ships and navy vessels to a cold war submarine and beautifully restored historical boats. Check out the events at the museum on the day you plan to visit too.
4. Take a picnic and make a splash at Pirrama Park
The stunning foreshore park has won several awards for architecture and landscape design. The space features barbecue and picnic areas as well as an amazing kids’ playground with a water play area.
The esplanade traces Pyrmont’s original shoreline and is officially named the Stevedore Walk. The name commemorates Pyrmont’s maritime workers and industries based on and around the site, from the mid-19th century until the second half of the 20th century.
5. Stop for lunch or a drink at an old pub
The Pyrmont peninsula once boasted 25 pubs, with each industrial concern and woolstore having its own associated hotel. The name of the Quarryman’s Arms is a reminder of one of the earliest major industries on the Pyrmont peninsula. The Dunkirk Hotel – originally known as the Butcher’s Arms – was renamed in the 1940s to commemorate The Battle of Dunkirk and has been a place for Pyrmont locals to drink for 150 years.
6. Take a tour of the Powerhouse
One of the largest museums in Australia, The Powerhouse in Ultimo is a contemporary museum with a focus on arts, science, innovation and design. Located on the site of the old Ultimo Power Station, the museum is open every day and entry is free. The Goods Line finishes up at the Powerhouse Museum, so you can easily pop in or out during your visit.
The museum has undergone a $500 million makeover to become a world-class fashion and design hub. Alongside this, the project to develop a new Powerhouse in Parramatta is the largest cultural infrastructure project in NSW since the Sydney Opera House.
7. Have a ball at Sydney Streets
If you need more of a reason to explore Pyrmont, look no further than Sydney Streets. Harris Street will become a car-free zone from 11am to 10pm on 25 March. You’ll find festival vibes along the street with plenty of live music, roving entertainers, and alfresco dining.
The Harris Street event is a great morning or afternoon out for the family. You’ll find a red-carpet catwalk outside Urban Oasis, a street dance class from Snap Fitness, free workshops and promotions from Sense of Power Pilates, a pop-up bar from Porter’s Liquor and a stall from Fox Taylor Shoe Repair.
If you’re looking for more things to do in Pyrmont, find the latest events on What’s On.