A major section of Sydney’s waterfront has opened on land which was previously inaccessible to the public as part of Australia’s biggest urban renewal development.

Opened to the public on Thursday, Watermans Cove is part of the decade plus transformation of the 22 hectare Barangaroo precinct in on the north-wester edge of the Sydney CBD and the southern edge of the Sydney Harbour Bridge from a largely inaccessible shipping and stevedoring facilities to a world-class waterfront precinct including commercial, residential and recreational area.

Features of the site include a new pier, cove and foreshore boardwalk.

The cove is also home to 80 newly planted trees and a state-of-the-art marine system developed between Lendlease and Sydney Institute of Marine Science which aims to provide an environment for marine life to live and grow.

Designed by Lendlease and Crown Resorts in partnership with the NSW Government, the Cove will cater for events, celebrations, engertainment and leisure activities by the water’s edge.

Premier Gladys Berijiklian welcomed the opening, saying the area would deliver a public space with steps down to the water in which resident, workers and tourists could relate and take in the city sights.

“Watermans Cove is a completely public space, and with steps down towards the water, it’s an incredible place for residents, workers and tourists to relax and take in the sights of our beautiful city.”

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said Barangaroo is the most important urban renewal project to happen in Australia in decades, transforming a once neglected and inaccessible area of the city into a dynamic cultural, residential, business and retail hub.

He says the Cove is part of the Government’s commitment to ensure that more than half of the 22 hectare Barangaroo precinct is open to the public and represents part of a vision to link the harbour along roughly eight kilometres of foreshore all the way from Rozelle bay to Woolloomooloo Bay.