Hold a private event in a park

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Public access to all of Council's parks is free.

They can be hired for a special event, such as a wedding ceremony, birthday party or a family reunion. There are many demands on our parks for these special events, particularly during spring and summer.

Bookings on our parklands are only required if there are 60 or more people attending the gathering. 

Bookings are required if an amusement or animal farm is present, regardless of the number of people in the group.

Bookings are required for all groups at Wendy's Secret Garden at Lavender Bay, regardless of group size.

A permit is not required:

  • if the number of people attending the gathering is less than 60 for passive parks or less than 30 for bushland reserves*
  • if the purpose of the gathering is for taking wedding photographs*

* Excludes Wendy’s Secret Garden.

Please note: no events are permitted in our public parks or spaces if the gathering is on New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day or Australia Day.

Booking terms and conditions

Permit conditions

  • Marquees are not permitted in the Council area.
  • The driving of vehicles onto a park is not permitted under any circumstances.
  • Before bringing a BBQ onto the park, you must first check with NSW Rural Fire Service to ensure there isn't a total fire ban in place.
  • Portable gas BBQs are permitted. Kettle or open flame BBQs are strictly prohibited.
  • Drip mats must be placed under the BBQ to collect any spillage. Council will take steps to recoup costs should any damage occur.
  • Certain activities can have damaging impacts on bushland, particularly our small, fragmented and highly visited foreshore reserves. To protect our bushland for future generations to enjoy, the following activities are not permitted in Council’s bushland reserves:
    • orienteering, geocaching, rock climbing, abseiling, mountain biking, camping, open fires.

How to reserve an area

If you wish to reserve a particular area, you can do so by putting picnic blankets on the ground (just as you would if you were at the beach), or by placing the tables and chairs accordingly. Someone must remain at the location until the other guests arrive. Unfortunately, you can’t cordon off the area with ropes, signs or barricades.

No right to exclusive use

A permit allows you to have a social gathering on a park. It doesn’t give you exclusive use of the park or a right over another group (for example, if someone is using the area you planned to use, you have no right to ask them to move).

Litter bins

Litter bins are essential if you’re serving food or drink. You need one bin for every 30 people attending the function.

Wet weather 

If wet weather renders the park unfit for use, a refund may be given. Applications for refunds must be made in writing. Upon confirmation, a refund will be given minus a $50 processing fee.

This letter must be received by Council no later than 14 days after the event.

Apply for a permit

Please complete Sections 2, 3, 4 and 6 of the below form and email to: bookings@northsydney.nsw.gov.au.

Permit for Social Gathering in Parks and Reserves

Please note:

  • A permit cannot be issued until an application form and full payment has been received.
  • Once processed you will receive a booking confirmation within 7 working days.
  • The application must be finalised one month prior to the event date (this includes forwarding the certificate of currency and a completed section 5 from your service provider(s)).*
  • The booking is subject to cancellation if not finalised by the agreed date.

* Bookings can be accepted within one month but this will incur a $25 late fee. No bookings can be accepted within 7 days of the event date.

Public Liability Insurance

Everyone must have insurance. If the booking is on behalf of a company, you don't have to pay for Public Liability Insurance. However, you must include a copy of your Certificate of Currency at the time of lodgement.

The policy must be for no less than $20 million. Review your policy closely as some policies may not cover your group activity if it's held away from the office.

If the booking is on behalf of an individual, you will need to pay an additional fee. Costs are detailed in the application form.

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