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 its importance to, and a celebration of, the diverse cultures and shared history of Circular Quay and Australia.

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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Key project features

  • Replacing the existing wharves, including Wharf 1 to the east, with new accessible wharves
  • Replacing and widening the southern promenade and upgrading public amenities to improve the passenger experience
  • Upgrading Circular Quay station, creating better facilities and introducing more escalators and lifts to improve the passenger experience
  • Renewing First Fleet Park
  • Replacing operational facilities, including new staff amenities.


What’s happening now?  

Thank you to everyone who has provided feedback on the project to date and completed our online survey. Feedback received from the community is helping to further shape the design and provide valuable information to inform the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project.  

Site investigations at Circular Quay are underway until early 2024. Information gathered during this work will help inform the planning and design for the project.

Next steps: 

We are now preparing the EIS for the project which will provide detailed information about how we plan to build the renewal, as well as outline the potential economic, environmental and social impacts of the project. The EIS is expected to be placed on public exhibition in 2024.

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.

In late 2023, a community and business survey was available to provide feedback on the project to help us understand the needs of the community and assess potential impacts during the construction phase. Information from this survey will be used to prepare the Environmental Impact Statement.

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.

Community notifications

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