The locals know it well, yet you could easily sail along Forest Road and pass Olds Park without seeing just how big it is, and what is has to offer. With only a small amount of road exposure, Olds Park expands to reveal a huge park that caters for many different sports and activities. One park - many faces.
Olds Park, in the southern Sydney suburb of Penshurst has just about everything a sports enthusiast could want in an outdoor park.
The lush cricket oval
In the centre is the main oval, which hosts cricket in the summer months. Lush after recent rain, the outfield is very slow. In winter, the Aussie Rules takes over and is home to the St George Dragons ALC team in the Sydney Premier Division.
The long jump pits used by many schools, and by the St George Little Athletics Club.
Circling the park is an undulating track that’s about 1200 metres long, and is popular among walkers, joggers and cyclists. There are a few exercise stations dotted around the track.
Hard surface netball courts
Grass netball courts
At the Forest Road end of Olds Park are hard surface netball courts, while at the opposite end are grass netball courts.
Warm up before a game of cricket in the nets
There are cricket nets behind the oval, and next to them are baseball grounds.
There is a soccer pitch squeezed in on the western side.
Have a game of basketball any time
Try your latest skateboard moves
There are basketball courts, and even a skateboard bowl.
With so many sports and only limited parking, Forest Road can be very congested around Olds Park when sports events are on.
Australia's first Liberty Swing
One of the features of Olds Park is the Liberty Swing - the first swing of its kind in Australia. The Liberty Swing enables disabled children the opportunity to experience the carefree feeling of a swing. It was designed by Wayne Devine, who was inspired to create the Liberty Swing after seeing disabled children watching helplessly while their able bodied friends enjoyed playground equipment.
Olds Park also has an area for family picnics with some playground equipment for children. There are toilet amenities nearby.
The quaint Penshurst Library
Also located within Olds Park is Penshurst Library, – a very small library yet a good retreat.
Olds Park was named after Albert Oliver Olds, who was Mayor of Hurstville in the 1940s.
So next time you're travelling along Forest Road, take a look at Olds Park. You’ll be surprised at what it has to offer.
Where: Penshurst in Sydney's southern suburbs
Why: For many different sports to watch or take part in
When: Year round