Circular Quay Renewal


Project overview

The NSW Government is moving to the next stage of its exciting plans to renew the public spaces and transport infrastructure surrounding the Circular Quay ferry wharves.

Circular Quay is Australia’s waterfront to the world but it is tired and in need of renewal. Its public spaces do not meet the expectations of customers or the standards of a global city like Sydney. Its infrastructure is ageing and costly to maintain; and won’t support future demand for services.

Key benefits

  • An opportunity to inject new life into one of Australia’s most recognisable places through:

  • well connected and enhanced public spaces that are better for people
  • a modern and accessible transport interchange with new ferry wharves and an upgraded train station
  • opportunities to strengthen Circular Quay’s local, visitor and night-time economy
  • a showcase for the story of Circular Quay’s past, as well as the very best public art and cultural activities
  • a reenergised customer and visitor experience, with a new retail and dining offering


With 64 million public and active transport trips to and from the area, Circular Quay is a critical transport interchange in the heart of Sydney. It is also one of Australia’s most visited destinations and a major contributor to Australia’s tourist economy. It hosts some of Australia’s biggest public events, including the New Year’s Eve fireworks which is watched by over 1 billion global viewers and injects $130 million into the NSW economy. In 2019, Vivid Sydney attracted 2.4 million visitors and generated $172 million for the economy.

Project Overview

Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is leading the renewal project in close collaboration with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and other NSW Government agencies.

TfNSW has been working hard to understand the challenges and opportunities in renewing Circular Quay. It has also sought proposals from industry on how Circular Quay could become an even more exciting place through a formal market process. 

The second phase of this market process commenced in July 2020. TfNSW will work with two shortlisted consortia in a competitive process to develop early design ideas for the renewal of Circular Quay.

The outcomes from this work, along with extra technical analysis and the views of the community, will help inform the NSW Government’s final investment decision and the selection of a preferred design and delivery partner for the project.

What we have heard so far

The community has provided feedback on their experience and hopes for the future of Circular Quay. The following vision statement was developed and is now the guiding aspiration for the Circular Quay Renewal. 

“Australia’s waterfront to the world”

Circular Quay is a major driver of Sydney’s economy; a stage for its premier cultural events; an enhanced transport hub; and an outstanding environment worthy of Australia’s greatest waterfront.

Since that time, we have continued to deepen our understanding of how Circular Quay can be a better place for everyone to use and enjoy by listening to the views of Circular Quay customers.

We have learnt that while people appreciate Circular Quay they are disappointed by its experience and public spaces and there is enthusiasm for the area to be renewed.

When visitors and customers were asked what they expect and want to experience at Circular Quay, their needs were quite simple and straightforward. They want us to:

  • protect and enhance the things they love, such as the inclusive and open nature of the area and the iconic views
  • respect the culture and history and create ways for it to be understood
  • improve the area’s coherence and consistency
  • make Circular Quay more functional and modern in terms of infrastructure and amenities

Transport for NSW undertook early consultation on Circular Quay Renewal in August 2020. Thank you to everyone who shared their ideas for what a renewed Circular Quay could look like. There will be further opportunities to have your say on the future of Circular Quay. We will keep you informed of when this consultation will occur.  

Project updates

If you wish to receive project updates by email or mail please contact us on 1800 684 490 or