HMAS Platypus, formerly a torpedo factory and submarine base for the Royal Australian Navy is now Sydney's newest foreshore hot spot.
The federal government has invested close to $70 million to remediate and restore this significant site and as part of the restoration, a new foreshore walk was opened along the old submarine wharf, including a new overwater walkway linking the site with Kesterton Park, in North Sydney.
The overwater walk will enable visitors to travel by ferry to North Sydney Ferry Wharf and then enter Sub Base Platypus via a specially constructed walkway over the water.
Key elements also include a recreation and BBQ area; a new submarine-theme playground built by the Harbour Trust’s Volunteer Restoration Team; and access to the foreshore from Kiara Close. The restoration team for the new playground consisted of more than 50 volunteers whose skills and expertise range from engineering and carpentry to electrical, toolmaking and sheet metal work.
The unique playground is a tribute to the site’s history as a submarine base for the Royal Australian Navy’s Oberon-class fleet and as a torpedo manufacturing and maintenance factory. The volunteer team has built some of the equipment, including a model Oberon submarine and periscopes.
The chief executive of the Harbour Trust, Mary Darwell paid tribute to the Volunteer Restoration Team for their contribution to the playground project and added that the volunteers have undertaken incredible projects on the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cockatoo Island, including restoration of many cranes and machinery.
A new bridge now links the site to the rest of Sydney, along with a new children’s playground, while over the next few years, the plan is turn this former industrial site into a family-friendly slice of harbourside Sydney.
Furthermore, the second stage of the the refurbishment of HMAS Platypus will ialso nvolve the creation of additional public spaces, including a plaza and courtyard areas as well as base refurbishments to enable adaptive re-use of the spaces.