A local’s guide to Eveleigh

Encompassing historic railyards, cool dining spots, performance spaces and one of the city’s newest technology precincts, the tiny suburb of Eveleigh has a lot to offer.

Clarence Slockee

Clarence Slockee

Sep 16 -
3
min read

Clarence Slockee

Horticulturalist, Gardening Australia television presenter and proud Bundjalung man Clarence Slockee is one of the co-creators of the South Eveleigh Community Rooftop Garden, Sydney’s first urban farm dedicated to Indigenous plants. It’s just one of the innovative features that has revamped the up-and-coming area.

Clarence Slockee

The Community Rooftop Garden at South Eveleigh is a world first – an urban rooftop dedicated to experimenting with native plants, providing a unique opportunity for interaction and learning. What types of experiences do you offer visitors at the garden? 

The South Eveleigh Community Rooftop Garden is open to the local and broader community. The rooftop space, including the internal pavilion, is available for hire and we are fortunate enough to be tasked with maintaining the rooftop garden. Yoga studio Egg of the Universe has hosted yoga sessions here and we have collaborated on a range of programs including cultural workshops, education programs and musical events.

South Eveleigh Community Rooftop Garden, Eveleigh

Urban agriculture is an emerging trend, though your rooftop is a first of its kind. What are some of the significant native bush foods people can expect to find at the Community Rooftop Garden at South Eveleigh?

At the moment, the native raspberries (Rubus rosifolius) are going off. There are also finger limes (Citrus australasica), saltbush (Atriplex sp.) and bush mint (Prostanthera sp.) that make up the 60 or so native species of the Community Rooftop Garden. 

Raspberries at South Eveleigh Community Rooftop Garden, Inner Sydney

South Eveleigh Community Rooftop Garden, Inner Sydney

Eveleigh and Redfern are cultural hubs and real dining destinations. Where is your go-to for a coffee and why?

I love Seventhwave. It’s a small business in nearby Redfern who are fanatical about their coffee – and it shows. Low key and unpretentious; it’s my go-to coffee shop.

 

What are your top three must dos in the South Eveleigh precinct that you would recommend to visitors?

  • The Cultural Landscape Garden on Locomotive Street
  • One of the amazing restaurants and cafés in the precinct including Lucky Kwong, BEKYA and Eat Fuh
  • Book a blacksmithing workshop with the guys at Eveleigh Works
Blacksmith Workshop at Eveleigh Works - Eveleigh - Inner Sydney

Blacksmith Workshop, Eveleigh Works

Connection to nature is extremely important to you. Sydney has an incredible variety of landscapes and opportunities to immerse yourself in the natural world – what do you love most about Sydney? 

It’s hard to go past Sydney’s harbour and beaches. As a major city, we are blessed with national parks and nature reserves everywhere. A great day out is a ferry ride across the harbour to Manly, a swim around to Shelly Beach and walk along the coast track to North Head. Then head back around for another swim at one of the hidden harbour beaches before jumping back on the ferry. There are so many beautiful natural areas that are so easy to enjoy.

view towards Shelly Beach, Manly

Shelly Beach, Manly

Tasting native ingredients gives you a fascinating insight into Australia. Who are some great chefs in Sydney working with native ingredients?

Chef Kylie Kwong infuses native ingredients in her incredible Asian-inspired menu at Lucky Kwong in South Eveleigh. For a broader menu, you really can’t go past the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence in Redfern. If you’re after bush tucker catering, Aunty Beryl and her team at Biri Biri Catering do some amazing food delivered straight to your door.

Dish served at Kylie Kwong's Lucky Kwong Australian-Cantonese cafeteria style eatery in South Eveleigh, Sydney

Chef Kylie Kwong, Lucky Kwong

Do you have a favourite Secret Sydney experience you can reveal?

If I did that, it wouldn’t be a secret! Apart from a cultural tour of the harbour aboard one of the vessels of the Tribal Warrior Association, one of my favourite secret Sydney experiences is to get a train to Cronulla, ferry across to Bundeena and walk to Jibbon Beach to check out the Aboriginal rock engravings and discover some of the Aboriginal cultural heritage of the Sydney area. It’s really accessible and a beautiful day out.

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