Embarkation Park - enter at the end of Challis Ave where it meets Victoria Street. The park is an off-leash dog park and offers some great views over Woolloomooloo, the Naval Fleet Base and Sydney Harbour, plus a great spot to picnic with a view.
The site was originally occupied by wooden warehouses used by the Fitzroy Stevedoring Company from 1899 until the 1970s. These buildings were used by the Maritime Services Board, but eventually were pulled down to upgrade Sydney’s Navy facilities (the Navy car park sits underneath so the area above was given back to council and made into a garden for the residents of Potts Point. Known informally as the Mick Fowler Reserve* after the Victoria Street Green Bans campaigner, it was later officially named Embarkation Park.
There is a memorial to the embarkation of troops for World War 1 was erected on this site in 1921, its inscription reads: ‘to commemorate the place of farewell to the soldiers who passed through the gates opposite for the Great War 1914-1918. Centre for Soldiers’ Wives and Mothers NSW’.
Nearby McElhone Stairs were built in 1904 and are a quick way to get from Sydney Lodges to Woolloomooloo Bay finger wharf restaurants, the Art Gallery of NSW, the Royal Botanic Garden and the city.
Tip: If you are staying at one of our Potts Point properties over NYE you can see views of the fireworks from Embarkation Park. Check all NYE details here.
* Mick Fowler (1927-1979) was NZ born seaman, jazz musician and green ban activist, who moved to Australia as a child. Later he joined the Australian Navy and fought all over the world during WWII. Returning home from duty to find his home in Victoria Street, Potts boarded up for redevelopment. As an active member of the Seaman's Union and the Communist Party. Fowler's struggle became a cause for the green ban movement when, with the help of 50 or so comrades, he repossessed and barricaded his property. He was greatly supported by residents' action groups and trade unionists who were opposed to the redevelopment of Victoria Street. Fowler wanted 'to preserve a place in the inner city for low income earners' and became a prominent figure in Sydney. Still a musician he formed 'The Green Ban'd' and recorded Green Bans Forever (1975).
He was eventually evicted from his home after a legal judgement against him in May 1976 and although he lost his fights this served as a beacon for green ban mobilization.