Newington Armory Gatehouse

The first Australian Block Party will be hosted at Newington Armory, which is a part of the parklands of Sydney Olympic Park.

Originally opened in 1897, the Gunpowder Magazine was located 13kms up the Parramatta River to be a safe distance away from the growing town in Sydney. Over time, the Royal Australian Navy Armaments Depot (RANAD Newington) expanded to reach all the way from the Parramatta River to Parramatta Road.

The Armaments Depot made up one of the three industrial sites in the area, the others being the State Abattoir and the State Brickworks. The site officially closed in 1999 but had already been divided so that a large portion would become the Athlete’s Village for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and later, the suburb of Newington.

 

Armory Wharf

Newington Armory has been preserved and is part of the Parklands of Sydney Olympic Park. Many of the buildings are intact as is the narrow gauge railway that travelled from the wharf to storage, some many kilometers away. The restricted forest area is home to a pair of White Bellied Sea Eagles (to keep an eye on them, checkout EagleCam). 

The Armory also hosts the Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre and a disc golf course run by Sydney Disc Golf. 

Just outside the gates is Blaxland Riverside Park with it’s huge playground and ample picnic facilities, BBQs and amenities. The Woo-la-ra lookout, previously a rubbish tip, provides a stunning view over the area.

The site can be accessed every day of the week between 9:00am and 5:00pm and is easy to get around by foot or bike.

As for geocaches, Geocaching NSW has placed some beginner style geocaches for educational purposes (trads, multi and a letterbox), there are a couple of over 10 year old caches on site, and an informative Adventure Lab that takes you on a trip around the boundary of the Armory. If you’re geared for the water, there are some kayak only caches for those looking for higher difficulty ratings.

How to get there:  The Newington Armory, and the Block Party, can be reached by bus (route 526), bike, or car. Timed free parking is available outside Newington Armory, further free parking is available behind Blackland Riverside Park, and during the Block Party event, paid parking will be available at a special reduced price! More on that closer to the event date.

It’s time to start making travel plans and booking leave so you don’t miss out on this exciting event.  If you haven’t done so yet, head over to https://coord.info/GCACHF8 and log your ‘Will Attend’.

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