Circular Quay Renewal


Project overview

Warrane / Circular Quay is the symbolic gateway to Sydney’s world-famous harbour and city, a significant transport interchange and a place with deep cultural and historical significance for all Australians. It is one of Australia’s most visited destinations in the heart of Sydney, with millions of passenger trips to and from the area each year.

The NSW Government is committed to making transport infrastructure convenient, reliable, dependable and accessible. The Circular Quay Renewal project delivers an improved transport hub set amongst Australia’s greatest waterfront.

Key benefits

A renewed Circular Quay will: 

  • create a modern and accessible transport interchange with new ferry wharves and an upgraded train station 
  • deliver a significantly improved passenger, visitor and operational staff experience
  • attract more visitors, strengthening the day-time and night-time economies
  • connect to Country on Sydney’s waterfront, reflecting the importance of Circular Quay to Aboriginal history and culture.

The NSW Government acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Warrane/Sydney Cove, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, and pays its respect to Elders, past and present, and recognises and celebrates the diversity of Aboriginal peoples and their ongoing cultures and connections to the lands and waters of NSW.

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Circular Quay hosts some of Australia’s biggest public events, including Vivid Sydney and the New Year’s Eve fireworks which are watched by over one billion people globally and injects $130 million into the NSW economy. 

The renewal of Circular Quay will create a modern and dynamic space for visitors and locals to enjoy new places to eat, drink and shop. New wharves and an upgraded train station will reaffirm Circular Quay as a key transport hub for Sydney.

Key project features

  • Existing wharves will be replaced with accessible wharves, including Wharf 1. Waiting areas will be expanded and views to the Harbour will be improved. Staff amenities will be renewed.
  • Circular Quay station will be upgraded with widened entrances, new lifts and escalators to the platforms and improved staff amenities.
  • An improved retail experience with new shops and places to eat to encourage activity during the day and night.
  • First Fleet Park will be redesigned to provide space for a variety of uses including cultural experiences, information, education and performance.
  • A widened southern promenade will provide more seating, shade and dedicated spaces for buskers.
  • Improvements to amenities with new public toilets, ticketing facilities, signage and a new information centre.


What’s happening now?  

Transport for NSW is inviting feedback from customers, community and business as we explore the proposed concept design for Circular Quay Renewal. 

The feedback will help to further shape the design and provide valuable information for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS is the next project milestone and will provide detailed information about how we plan to build the project. The EIS will be available for public exhibition later in 2024.

You can provide your feedback via the following channels by Wednesday 6 December 2023:

Next steps: 

  • Following this consultation period, feedback received will help inform the EIS for the proposal which will be lodged with the Department of Planning and Environment.

We will keep the community updated as this progresses. 

Your feedback on the proposed design to renew Circular Quay will help shape the future of this significant site.

  • Site investigations at Circular Quay are underway until late 2023. Information gathered during this work will guide the planning and design for the renewal of Circular Quay.

For more information about the State’s statutory planning process please visit the Department of Planning and Environment webpage.

Project background - a new design for Circular Quay  

Transport for NSW conducted a design-driven process to seek industry proposals for how Circular Quay could be a better place. This process resulted in two consortia being shortlisted to develop early design proposals for the renewal of Circular Quay.   
This design had to meet the heritage, technical and transport challenges as well as showcase a simple, elegant, and uncluttered look which prioritises people and public spaces. 

After an extensive evaluation process, a preferred pre-concept design was endorsed in 2021. This design balanced elements of city, harbour and heritage all within a First Nations framework.

In 2022 funding was received for the next phase of the project and CQC was selected as the Planning and Design Partner to work alongside Transport for NSW for the Circular Quay Renewal project. CQC is a consortium that includes companies Capella Capital, Lendlease Construction and BESIXWatpac.  

The Circular Quay Renewal pre-concept design has been developed by CQC’s design team including the Australian and International firms Tzannes, ASPECT Studios and WestonWilliamson+Partners. The design team includes a comprehensive First Nations team of advisors comprising of Michael Mossman, Alison Page, Chels Marshall and Yerrabingin.  
Visiting a renewed Circular Quay will offer a chance to connect with Country in the heart of the harbour. Connections to Country will be seen throughout the architecture, landscape, information, arts and cultural programming, creating an inclusive and memorable place where everyone is welcome. Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal heritage and history will be preserved.

What we have heard from the community 

To help plan for Circular Quay’s future, Transport for NSW has been listening to the community and stakeholders over the past couple of years about their experiences and aspirations for Circular Quay. This feedback helped develop the Vision and Design Principles for the project.   

In 2020, we asked the community to share their ideas for Circular Quay to help inform the development of early designs.  
We heard that Circular Quay is a much-loved place and people value its spectacular views, harbour-side location and heritage. There was support for the area to be renewed with a desire for better public spaces, affordable and quality places to eat and improved facilities. 

Transport for NSW consulted with Aboriginal stakeholders in late 2020 and early 2021 to understand the importance of Warrane/Sydney Cove. We heard that Warrane is a significant place for past, present and future Aboriginal people and should be celebrated in the new design. 

A summer awareness campaign held in January 2023 with an information kiosk on site at Circular Quay. Those visiting the kiosk were able to ask questions and provide their observations about Circular Quay.

Creating new Sydney destinations

The NSW Government is shaping NSW cities, centres and communities for generations to come by revitalising major transport interchanges. We’re thinking beyond the infrastructure and service requirements and focusing on what transport enables. The NSW Government is in a unique position to use its infrastructure to transform these key interchanges into new Sydney destinations.  

Circular Quay Renewal, along with Transport for NSW’s other urban renewal projects Central Precinct Renewal Program and Redfern North Eveleigh Precinct Renewal, will shape the future of Sydney. 

We’re working with the people of NSW to ensure these new Sydney destinations reflect the uniqueness of each iconic location and community.

Get in touch 

For more information: