Sawmillers Reserve is one of North Sydney's true hidden gems. Follow the winding steps down to the water's edge for a beautiful view of the harbour and an old shipwreck lies just offshore in Berry's Bay.
With access points on Munro, French and West Crescent Streets, Sawmillers Reserve is either a 10 minute walk down Blues Point Road from North Sydney railway station, or a 10 minute walk up from the McMahons Point ferry wharf. Limited parking is available in surrounding streets.
- Historic features include remains from Eaton's timber yard and the remains of a wrecked MSB hopper barge at the foreshore
- The striking central wooden stair and deck structure provides access to the lower level of the Reserve
- Sloping embankments planted with native vegetation give way to an open grassy foreshores suitable for picnics and informal play
- Great views south to Pyrmont and Balmain, and west to Balls Head Reserve
- Dogs are welcome in Sawmillers Reserve
Sawmillers Reserve is the site of a former sawmill operated by the John W. Eaton Ltd timber merchants. The sawmill moved to this site after initially setting up near the present day North Sydney railway station in 1880.
The heyday of the timber yard was between the 1890s and 1920s. Eaton's had its own power house, two sawmills, engineers shop, joinery shop, a blacksmiths shop and its own wharf and crane to unload logs/load timber from smaller vessels. After World War I a combination of factors including increasing road transport, increasing land values and the loss of the local working population led to a decline in business, and the site was vacated entirely in the early 1980s.
As a result of resident action led by Carole Baker, Mayor of North Sydney the vacated land was saved for a public reserve. Modernist Landscape Architect Harry Howard, working in association with Barbara Buchanan, prepared a landscape design for Sawmillers Reserve based on Sydney School principles of integration with the natural landscape.