Photographic visions in time of the Barangaroo delivery podcast: part two

Join us in part two for our Barangaroo delivery podcast, where Tim continues his tour with us of the Barangaroo Reserve. 

To catch up on our tour through Barangaroo gardens in Sydney, please go back to part one of our podcast,

How to get to Barangaroo gardens in Sydney? Take our podcast tour

Tim tells us how there are over 75,000 plants, trees, and shrubs at Barangaroo gardens. One of his favorite trees is called the Casuarina in which he describes its protective nature and characteristics.

Barangaroo, Barangaroo reserve
An Aerial image of Barangaroo

Photo: Infrastructure NSW, an Aerial image of just some of the plantings at Barangaroo Reserve, Sydney


Looking up into the tall Sandstone monuments at Barangaroo, they feature the essence of an Australian landscape, with rocks jutting up sharply against the greenery of gum trees.

Photo: Cullen Pope, Canon EOS 550D  ƒ/81/  4000   70mm  ISO3200


Barrangaroo parks in sydney
Water splashes across the square, human-made blocks that protrude out into the dark and deep blue waters of Sydney harbour.  The waves besiege the rock sculpture which, over time, have been shaped and softened by the sea.

Photo: Cullen Pope,  ƒ/8   1/4000   208 mm   ISO3200


Native Australian trees
Bright colours explode from each tree and shrub in the mid-afternoon sun, making this a one-stop-shop for photographers wanting to challenge themselves with the many aspects of the varied landscape. The curves and crevices of the enigmatic Barangaroo formations in any light pops, sings and sparkles with the hot tropical coloured flora posing magnificently.

Photo: Cullen Pope,  ƒ/81/1600250mmISO3200ƒ/8    1/1600    250 mm   ISO3200


Canon Canon
Barangaroo, Sydney

Colours contrast in their retrospective shapes that harmoniously highlight the human-made when juxtaposed with natural forms of the surrounding vegetation.  Offering hard lines and soft, with colours that grab the eye, this is a photographer’s dream as it offers so many enticing and exciting compositional options.

Photo: Cullen Pope,   ƒ/8    1/1250     55 mm      ISO3200

Peter Walker is the American designer of  Barangaroo Reserve, one of the most foremost designers in the world. Along with the Partners Landscape Architecture (PWP), in association with Sydney-based Johnson Pilton Walker Architects and Landscape Architects, they delivered the design project as a collaborative effort.

Barangaroo wharf
Barangaroo from the air

Photo: Infrastructure NSW, Barangaroo from the air in this early Aerial 2015

Moving through the gardens, we come across the Burrawang steps, which are positioned at one of the entrances. Burrawang is the aboriginal name for a local Cycad plant which was known as a poisonous plant known to the local people who knew how to extract the poison.  The plant was used to make starch, which involved soaking it in saltwater directly before eating. This process possibly took up to two days.

Le Bokeh

Dianella Shot at ƒ/8

Photo: Cullen Pope,  ƒ/8    1/640   90 mm   ISO3200

In the gardens of Barangaroo beautiful flowers abound throughout the year signalling various times to harvest: such as when certain species of fish are ripe for the gathering.  Plants and trees also provide both shelter and shade for these activities.

This bokeh image grasps the full extent of its beauty.

When Cullen asks about the kinds of visitors to the reserve, Tim replies

“We’ve had lots of schools, we’ve had lots of corporates, and we’ve had a few VIP days – we’ve had all types. Mainly locals, but we cater for everyone. We are part of the school curriculum. So, we cover the curriculum from K from kindergarten to year 12.

Salmon Flush

Hues of Salmon

A rainbow of colour sequences from yellows and purples to mossy greens transition down to the sea line and become a feature of the unique human-made tessellations.

Such an unexpected vision is a photographer’s delight against the blue of the sea.

Photo: Cullen Pope,  ƒ/8  1/2500    179 mm    ISO3200

That can also include a geography class. Which has to do with the sustainable urban renewal also connecting that with the sustainability of aboriginal culture.”

Excavating the cove uncovered a lot of artefacts.


Sandstone in time

Sandstone glistens and gleams when wet and worn wonderfully by the elements of earth, wind, and water which reveals the remnants of time over 200 million years ago.  Cratered and weather-worn, these structures evoke notions of histories and peoples who have walked across this ancient rockscape.

Photo: Cullen Pope,  550D ƒ/8 1/4000 90 mm ISO3200

Tim adds, “Part of the colonial history also discovered, was when they even dug up the first boat launching slipway in Australian history.

So, you can actually see 1827 concrete. And that’s where the boat launching was happening.  It’s called Munns slipway.”



Some sandstone blocks almost look like the Eastern desert, halva, with its layered sediment lines sweeping through the structures.

Brilliant browns, deep reds, and fiery Ochre – hues that have been created over time by the wind.

Photo: Cullen Pope,   ƒ/8  1/2500   55 mm   ISO3200

“Entering the cutaway, we learn of its 18,000 square meters in area, including 6,500 meters of floor space.

93% of the sandstone we can see at the reserve came from underneath here that appears around the park. And there are two levels of car parking – 300 car park spaces and another level of a storage water tank, and a basement system, which recycles water from as caught from the 90,000-liter rain tanks of each of those towers.”

the cutaway Barangaroo
Opening Day

Photo:  Infrastructure NSW, Barangaroo Reserve Opening Day 2015

Later on during our tour of Barangaroo Reserve, Tim also alludes to the shared paths for the bikes and scooters.

Barangaroo fast become known as another great place to exercise and is now one of Sydney’s favourite outdoor exercise parks for sports enthusiasts. The unmatched views of Sydney from this angle make Barangaroo Reserve a great place to enjoy outdoor space close to the city but away from the crowds to get your body moving. 

For students searching for a great place to get some exercise, we have outlined a few points to remember 

Exercising in Sydney bike paths
Photo: Infrastructure NSW

Studies show regular exercise can increase student’s self-esteem and can make you feel happier. 

The importance of exercise for students during study breaks: 

After a good 12 weeks of long, hard study, the summer break is a great time to improve your mental and physical health.

During the semester, it is a real challenge to get an intensive exercise program going with upcoming exams; however, the study break is a great time to get back in shape and get moving with or without the help of your devices.

Native Australian views of Barangaroo wharf
Sandstone at Barangaroo Reserve

Photo:  Infrastructure NSW, Sandstone at Barangaroo Reserve

Exercise can also help prevent excess weight gain that may have occurred during the semester, or help maintain weight loss.

Remember, however, when you engage in most physical activities, you burn calories, and this also helps you to clear your mind and improve your cognitive functions. Physical movement also helps to boost your energy levels, and regular exercise can improve your muscle strength and increase your endurance. Exercise and training deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. Overall activity is an excellent way to get in shape and also get your mind and energy levels ready for the next semester.

Studies show regular exercise can increase student’s self-esteem and can make you feel happier. 

Nawi Cove Barangaroo gardens
Dukes Pier and Nawi Cove

Photo:  Infrastructure NSW, Dukes Pier and Nawi Cove at Barangaroo Reserve

Exercise has been shown to improve your mood and decrease feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress. It produces changes in the parts of the brain that regulate stress and anxiety. It can also increase brain sensitivity to the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which relieve feelings of depression.  Additionally, exercise can increase the production of endorphins, which are known to help produce positive feelings and reduce the perception of pain. Furthermore, exercise has been shown to reduce symptoms in people suffering from anxiety. It can also help them to be more aware of their mental state and act as a distraction from their fears.

barangaroo, walks around sydney
Bridge Lawn at Barangaroo Reserve

Photo:  Infrastructure NSW,  looking out from Bridge Lawn at Barangaroo Reserve

Interestingly, it doesn’t matter how intense your workout is. It seems that your mood can benefit from exercise, no matter the intensity of the physical activity.  This can be evidenced in a study by Elizabeth Anderson and Geetha Shivakumar On the Effects of Exercise and Physical Activity on Anxiety

Where can students get more exercise tips

Students have many great resources to get exercise tips. If you want to start gymming, then having a great gym app is the right place to start.

Here is a list of some great apps to get started.

Sydney Aerial photos across Barangaroo
Barangaroo Reserve Aerial

Photo:  Infrastructure NSW Barangaroo Aerial 2015 looking out across the piers, Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and North Sydney towards the heads

As you can see for the photographs, Barangaroo is a perfect place to go for a run, stroll, or a bike ride.

Join teams or clubs

If you don’t want to exercise alone or don’t have a structured exercise plan, then joining a club or sports team is a great way to meet people and bond with them.

Team sports lead to great stories and social interaction—from bowling to rugby, you’ll meet and work together with 10 or more people. Team sports also will have you committing to a whole season of exercise and physical activity. Pick a game that’s right for you, check out local community centres, and find yourself a team to play for.

Sydney Sandstone
Photo: Infrastructure NSW, Barangaroo Aerial 2015 image of sandstone stretching out into the harbour

Photo:  Infrastructure NSW, Barangaroo Aerial 2015 image of sandstone stretching out into the harbour

Car Parking at Barangaroo Reserve

Wilson Parking – Barangaroo Reserve

Parking garage in Barangaroo, New South Wales, Australia

Wilson Parking does offer affordable & secure parking at Barangaroo Reserve Car Park, which is located at Barangaroo Point, Sydney CBD North – with early bird, hourly, night and weekend parking


All Wilson parking stations and their rates can be found here; Barangaroo-Reserve-Car-Park_Towns-Place-Sydney

Barangaroo Facts

Barangaroo Reserve's birthday
Barangaroo Reserve’s Birthday

Photo:  Infrastructure NSW Barangaroo Reserve’s First Birthday 2016

Barangaroo Reserve park is constructed from 10,000 sandstone blocks excavated and cut on the site.

Some 6,500 blocks were placed to create the foreshore. More than 42,000 tonnes of rough stone and a further 30,000 tonnes of crushed stone was also used during the construction of the park.

Additionally, some 75,000 native trees, plants and shrubs have been used to landscape Barangaroo Reserve.

A selection 84 species were chosen, 79 of which are native to Sydney Harbour. Many of the species are not to be found in commercial nurseries, so seeds and cuttings were collected from wild sites around Sydney Harbour and the Hawkesbury River. 

Sydney Metro Maximus

Cullen Pope Sydney images
The International Towers

Photo: Cullen Pope,   ƒ/8  1/500    55mm   ISO3200

The pop-art effect of the intensely bright colours in this image blast shocks of light that ricochet off the metallic rust-coloured reds of the iron curvations: all the while looking out into the Warhol infused halo of the International Towers of an international city.

Sydney at Midday – a shot taken in all of Sydney’s vibrant technicolored glory.

More details of tours can be found at,

Schools and corporates can also ring Barangaroo

Special thanks to:

Tim for his time during the interview

Senior Communications Officer – Projects NSW

Infrastructure NSW

Images by, Daniel Boud

Barangaroo Delivery Authority Media Gallery

Executive Director, Community Engagement

Access PR

Cullen is a self-taught photographer

Also having studied with both renowned practitioners from both artistic and commercial worlds at the Centre for Contemporary Photography and the Centre for Adult Education (CAE)

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