Suburb Spotlight: Centennial Park

Centennial Park is one of the real hidden gems in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

With its stellar location and a great choice of apartments and large homes, it’s right next door to the buzz of Paddington, Woollahra and Bondi Junction but can feel almost like being in the country.

Centennial Park is one of the real gems of Sydney’s eastern suburbs. Awash with green space, it offers country-like privacy and seclusion. And yet it’s within a very comfortable walking distance to the cafes and restaurants of Paddington and right next door to Woollahra Village.

We explore everything you need to know about this premium suburb.

The name

Centennial Park sits on land that belongs to the Gadigal People but its name relates to its more recent history. The modern-day suburb of Centennial Park includes the park itself, from which it derived its name.

Both Centennial Park and nearby Queen's Park were named after the signing of the Centennial Celebrations Act of 1887, which commemorated 100 years of British settlement in Sydney. Australia’s father of federation, Sir Henry Parkes then set the land aside for a ‘people’s park’.

Centennial Park then became the birthplace of modern Australia. On 1 January 1901, more than 60,000 gathered in the park to hear the governor-general read Queen Victoria’s proclamation announcing the founding of our country.

As you can see in the wetlands that remain to this day, Centennial Parklands was originally a swamp. Before the park, it was used as common land for animal grazing and later as a water source.

Population snapshot: Who lives in Centennial Park

As of the 2016 Census, there were 2,376 residents living in Centennial Park. The suburb’s median age skews young at 35, with slightly more women than men.

48.8% of households - or almost half - are families, while 42.2% are single-person households (well above the state or national average of 24%). Meanwhile, 9% are group households (again, around double the state or national average).

Market snapshot

While Centennial Park is known for its grand heritage homes, in reality, they make up just 9.4% of properties. Another 9% of residences are terraces or townhouses.

The reality is that 80% of the dwellings in Centennial Park are actually apartments, with many situated at the Moore Park Road end, in blocks built during the 1970s.

As of November 2020, the median price for a house in Centennial Park is $5.6 million or $742,500 for a unit.

5 reasons locals love it

The park

Steeped in history, wildlife, and activities to please the sportiest of people, Centennial Park takes up the bulk of the tiny suburb and is the major drawcard. Known as the lungs of the city, the park receives 30 million visits per year and offers horse riding, cycling, running, team sports and much more.

Centennial Park boasts a cafe and events space and hosts outdoor cinema and other events. Kids from all over the city come for the Ian Potter WILD PLAY Garden.

Tree-lined streets and large homes with amazing gardens complement the parkside atmosphere.

The proximity

In Centennial Park, buyers can find similar landholding and homes to Bellevue Hill, but in a location that offers all the lifestyle options of Paddington and Woollahra.

Centennial Park borders both Paddington and Woollahra, meaning you can amble up to the shops, bars and restaurants, then wander back home again. In fact, many homes in Centennial Park are closer to Woollahra village than homes in Woollahra are. Plus, all the amenities of a large shopping centre like Bondi Junction are just across the park.

The history

Centennial Parklands have played a pivotal role in our city’s history.

From 1904, the suburb’s land was subdivided for “mansion” houses to fund the park’s development. At the time, Centennial Park’s streets were named after famous figures from the colony’s early history, such as Sir Thomas Mitchell, Reverend John Dunmore Lang, Sir James Martin, Captain James Cook, Sir John Darvall and Sir George Dibbs.

As part of the subdivision, strict building requirements specified buyers couldn’t build timber or terraced houses. So most homes were built grandly in the Federation, Arts and Crafts, Victorian and Old English styles. This continues to give the suburb its opulent, old-world charm.

According to NSW Heritage information, the fact that many of the original homes had garages - and therefore cars - shows just how prosperous the original inhabitants of the subdivision were.

Many are heritage listed, including the former home of author Patrick White, a Nobel laureate for Literature, at 20 Martin Road.

The lifestyle

The parklands may be the main attraction but the Sydney Cricket Ground and the Football Stadium are a few streets away, as are Moore Park driving range and golf course, Randwick Racecourse, the Entertainment Quarter, and much more.

Families are drawn here by the choice of excellent public, selective and private schools and UNSW is also very accessible. The new light rail runs past the Anzac Parade end of the suburb while the Moore Park end is well serviced by Oxford Street’s bus routes.

The privacy

If it's a gorgeous, private home on a large block that you’re after, Centennial Park should be a prime contender.

The suburb comprises just a handful of streets, most notably Lang Road, Cook Road, Martin Road and Robertson Road. Although the park itself attracts visitors all year round, the streets are actually very quiet and offer a secluded feel, enhanced by traffic calming measures.

You’d be excused for forgetting you were just four kilometres from the CBD in the heart of a bustling city.

Many of the units are hidden down Cook Road, offering amazing views, great access to the city, and reasonable entry-level prices for the Eastern Suburbs.

Recent listings in Centennial Park

The Ben Collier Team has sold over 65% of the top 20 sales ever achieved in Centennial Park, including the following properties.

36 Martin Road

12 Lang Road

14 Lang Road

44-46 Lang Road

If Centennial Park is on your watch list, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today.

Download our 2018/2019
Eastern Suburbs Market Report

Next Insight

Suburb Spotlight: Bondi