History & heritage

We are home to locally rare ecosystems, species, artefacts, buildings with heritage value and open green space. 

Our history

Homebush Bay represents one of the biggest and most culturally significant urban renewal projects in Australia. Its transformation began in 1991, when the Homebush Bay Development Corporation was established to remediate the area’s pollution and implement crucial infrastructure. 

The scope of this development was considerably expanded when Sydney won the rights to host the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games. From 1995, the planning, urban development, and management of the area and facilities for the Games was administered by the Olympic Coordination Authority.

Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA) was later established on 1 July 2001 to manage the Park’s public assets, encompassing open spaces, venues, parklands, and development areas. SOPA’s vision is for the Park to be an internationally admired example of sustainable urban renewal and development, its outstanding venue infrastructure and parklands attracting residents, workers, business owners, and visitors. 

In 2009, Sydney Olympic Park was officially designated as a suburb by the NSW Geographic Names Board.

Today, Sydney Olympic Park is home to locally rare ecosystems, species, artefacts, buildings with heritage value or green credentials as well as open green space. This unique legacy of resources is at the heart of the Park and its reputation as a vibrant precinct. 

Brickpit Ring Walk

Our heritage

Learn more about the armory, colonial, geological and industrial history at the Park.
Learn more
Brickpit Ring Walk

Indigenous history

We recognise First Nations Peoples’ unique cultural and spiritual relationships to place and the rich contribution made.
Learn more

Olympic history

“The best Games ever”

Juan Antonio Samaranch, President of the International Olympic Committee (1980–2001) 

Sydney’s identity is shaped in no small part by its successful hosting of the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the largest sporting events ever held in Australia.

Dubbed “the best Games ever”, it burnished Sydney’s growing reputation as an economic and cultural hub, capable of delivering major international events. Australia’s athletes experienced great success at the 2000 Games, while numerous Australian, Olympic, Paralympic and World records were broken. 


  • 199 NOCs (Nations) and 4 individual athletes (IOA)
  • 10,651 athletes (4,069 women, 6,582 men)
  • 300 events
  • 46,967 volunteers
  • 16,033 media (5,298 written press, 10,735 broadcasters)


Redevelopment of the Sydney Olympic Park area began in the 1980s when a private business park, the Australia Centre, the State Sports Centre and Bicentennial Park were established. The closure of the Homebush Abattoir and the NSW Brickworks in the late 1980s opened up the remainder of the site for renewal. Sydney’s successful Bid for the 2000 Games fast-tracked the next stage of the area’s development, with the building of Olympic venues and creation of public spaces and parklands overseen by the Olympic Coordination Authority. 

During the Games

One of the successes of the Games was the safe and effective movement of people around Homebush Bay. At this time, Sydney Olympic Park was owned and managed by the Olympic Coordination Authority (OCA), which had oversight of all public space, amenities and facilities to ensure the safe and timely passage of people to, from and between venues. 

In this role OCA drew on work undertaken by the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG), which modelled Games-time activities and movements. Out of this research came the ‘one-way pedestrian system’ and clear segregation of vehicular and pedestrian traffic, concepts crucial to the Games’ successful handling of visitor flow.

Legacy of the Games

While the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games occurred over two decades ago, the legacy of these events, as embodied by Sydney Olympic Park, remains undeniable. 

The Games’ environmental legacy is wide-ranging, beginning with the remediation of vast waste sites in the area. This proved the largest undertaking of its kind in Australia. The Games also ushered in Australia’s first large-scale urban water recycling system, promoted the use of renewable energy, and restored or constructed new habitats for the area’s diverse plant and animal life. 

The resultant parklands, covering 430 hectares, today attract more than 10 million people every year, more than double the amount of visitors who attended the Games in 2000. 

Facilities and operations

Sydney Olympic Park venues and public facilities included:

  • Sydney International Aquatic Centre
  • Sydney International Archery Centre
  • Sydney International Athletic Centre
  • Australia Centre – a commercial precinct
  • Baseball Centre – in the main showring of the Sydney Showground
    Bicentennial Park – opened in 1988
  • Brickpit – dramatic feature of Millennium Parklands
  • Ferry Terminal
  • Hockey Centre
  • Sydney SuperDome
  • Olympic Boulevard – 1.5 km long boulevard through the centre which linked major sporting venues, the Olympic Village and other facilities
  • Olympic Stadium
  • Olympic Village – provided accommodation for 15,000 athletes and officials during the Games. Now a suburb for up to 6,000 people after the Games
  • Millennium Parklands – a major new metropolitan park
  • Rail Link – centrally located three-platform below-ground station; walking distance to major facilities; capacity to move 50,000 people per hour during major events
  • Sydney Showground
  • State Sport Centre – multi-purpose indoor venue
  • Golf Driving Range
  • Tennis Centre