The park is divided into two parcels of public land by McEvoy Street. The northern portion is located on steeply rising ground adjoining Our Lady of Mt Carmel Primary School, Kellick Street and Pitt Street. The southern portion, bounded by Elizabeth Street and Pitt Street, grades to Waterloo Oval.
The northern sloping ground and land adjoining McEvoy Street was planted with a mix of common native fig species including Port Jackson Figs (F. rubiginosa f. glabrescens and f. rubiginosa) and Moreton Bay Figs (Ficus macrophylla) sourced from the Illawarra region, north coast of NSW and south-eastern Queensland. Port Jackson Figs dominate the planting scheme.
This is a relatively simple mixed palette in comparison with Redfern Park and is similar to the broader landscape approach of Moore Park and the Domain. The figs are arranged in informal groups or clusters along the northern slope creating a more or less contiguous evergreen canopy. This informal style of mixed planting continues along McEvoy Street forming a distinctive and memorable avenue.The northern portion of the park contains a single specimen Silky Oak (Grevillea robusta), which is a native rainforest species of the NSW north coast and south-eastern Queensland. This specimen is of considerable size (22 metres in height and 15 metres canopy spread) but is likely to be a later addition to the park.
Some individual specimen figs are considered to have significance at the local level due to their substantial size, scale and representative values. Moreover, the collection has group significance at the City/ LGA level in terms of its combined visual, historic and social values. These trees are a vital part of the historic fig collections which define the broader public open space of the City of Sydney. Waterloo Park is scheduled in City of Sydney Local Environmental Plan 2012.
The site, known during the early colonial period as Hungry Hill (and later as Mt Lachlan after Governor Lachlan Macquarie), was significantly modified with fill material prior to the park’s establishment.
During the Inter-War period and latter part of the twentieth century subsequent overlays were established. These are considered to be neutral elements and have added little to support the landscape character of the original scheme.