The Domain

sights / Parks & gardens

The Domain information

Sydney , Australia
Address
Street Art Gallery Rd
Getting there
train St James
More information
www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au
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Lonely Planet review

Administered by the Royal Botanic Gardens, The Domain is a large grassy tract east of Macquarie St, set aside by Governor Phillip in 1788 for public recreation. Phillip’s intent rings true: today’s lunchtime workers use the space to work up a sweat or eat their lunch. Large-scale public events are also held here, including the Tropfest film festival.

Sculptures dot the park, including a reclining Henry Moore figure and Brett Whiteley’s Almost Once (1991) − two giant matches, one burnt − rising from the ground near the Art Gallery of NSW.

On the lawn in front of the gallery you can listen to religious zealots, nutters, political extremists, homophobes, hippies and academics express their earnest opinions at the by turns entertaining and enraging Speakers’ Corner . Some of them have something interesting to say; most are just plain mad. Either way, it makes for an interesting afternoon. BYO soapbox.