Ariel Sharon Park (Hiriya) – Visitors Guide


Ariel Sharon Park stands on top of a former waste dump named Hiriya. And once completed, it will be the biggest park in the middle east. Let’s begin exploring!

Introduction

Ariel Sharon Park stands on a waste dump. Wait. What? Park on a waste dump? Yes, let’s start chronologically.

Hiriya is a former waste dump located southeast of Tel Aviv. It received waste and worked as a landfill in 1952 – 1999. Over time, the size of the mountain reached 450,000m² and a height of 60m. It is visible as a flat-topped mountain on the intersection of highways #1 and #4.

Later on, it was decided to make a park out of it. Yes, Ariel Sharon Park stands on a former waste dump. Here is what they say on the official site:

Ariel Sharon Park is one of the biggest environmental rehabilitation projects in the world. It is unique in that this plot of land, part of which was polluted and neglected for decades, has been turned into a flourishing urban park. Ariel Sharon Park is the green lung of the country’s most densely populated urban region. The park is open to the general public and has a network of hiking trails and bicycle paths across open areas, along river banks, and through shady groves, as well as areas for leisure and recreation activities.

Map

Ariel Sharon Park is located near the intersection of highways #1 and #4.

Map of the area:

Currently, the park has two complexes, and there are two different entrances.

  1. The mountain compound is the restored waste mountain, and it was the first area to open. The entrance is from highway #4 south, and we will visit it later in this post. Also, you can get there only by car, since there is no public transport that reaches this site.
  2. The northern compound is located near the northern entrance, and it is under construction. To get there, you have to get off highway #4 and drive on road #461 in the direction of Tel Aviv. After several minutes you will see a sign to your left.

You can find a map of Ariel Sharon Park here.

Opening Hours

The mountain compound is open according to the following schedule unless there is a special event (you can check at the official site).

Sunday – Friday: 9:00 – 15:30
Saturday: 9:00 – 16:00

Entrance Fee

Free.

Tours

You can join free tours on Saturdays at 9:30, 11:30, or 13:30. Registration is not needed.

At the Mountain Compound

And now let’s visit the mountain compound.

There is significant parking, and not far from it you can find this passage:

The entrance to Ariel Sharon park
The entrance to Ariel Sharon park

This road leads to viewpoints, but we will get there later. We decided to start with the human-made pond to the left.

The pond on top of the mountain
The pond on top of the mountain
Water lily
Water lily

And here are several additional photos of that area:

Hiriya (Ariel Sharon park)
The pond and the nearby cafeteria
The pond and the nearby cafeteria

I was afraid there would be some smell, but I did not feel any.

The pond area from further away
The pond area from further away

One downside of this park is that all trees are very young and small. Moreover, there are not many of them. Thus, there is hardly any shade. As a result, I would recommend not to visit during the hot days.

Viewpoints of Tel-Aviv and Surrounding Cities

And now let’s go to the views. Here is a panorama of Ramat Gan (you can see Safari on the right) and Tel Aviv:

Panorama of Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv
Panorama of Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv

Here is another one:

View from Ariel Sharon park

Note: you can click on the panoramas to enlarge them.

At Hiriya
At Hiriya

And now let’s head to the main viewpoint.

The main viewpoint at Ariel Sharon park
The main viewpoint at Ariel Sharon park

You can see Tel Aviv and its surroundings from there. Here are several photos that I shot from this viewpoint.

View of Tel Aviv
View of Tel Aviv
Panorama of Tel Aviv and its surroundings
Panorama of Tel Aviv and its surroundings

“Trash People”

While visiting, we saw this guy:

“Trash People”
“Trash People”

It is one of the “Trash People.” In 2014 Ariel Sharon park hosted the international exhibition “Trash People” by the German artist HA Schult. The exhibition presented 500 life-sized statues on the mountaintop. All of the figures were made from crushed cans, electronic waste, and other types of garbage. This exhibition was created in 1996 as a criticism of consumer culture.

Like the rehabilitated mountain of waste, the human-like statues serve as a reminder of the power of humankind to ruin and destroy the environment, but also of his ability to restore and repair it.

This specific statue was a gift to the Minister of Environment Protection.

Why was the Hiriya waste dump closed?

When you visit this park you will see many planes.

A plane over Ariel Sharon park

Ben Gurion airport is not far away, and aircraft fly over the park after they already started to decrease their altitude.

Though the official site does not mention why Hiriya was closed, some say it is because of planes and birds combination. Each waste dump attracts many birds. And as the waste dump became higher and higher, the birds above it flew closer to the landing planes. And this could lead to a disaster.

Tel-Aviv, AKA the White City
Tel-Aviv, AKA the White City

One last look at the park on our way to the parking:

Ariel Sharon park
Ariel Sharon park

Summary

Besides the shade issue, I was pleasantly surprised. It is inspiring what people can do when they put their minds to it. Also, keep in mind they have not finished building this park. Only the first stage is completed. And over the years, it will be extended. The plan is that it will become the biggest park in the middle east.

Have you ever been to Ariel Sharon Park? How was your visit? Let us know in the comments below.

That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!

Stay Tuned!

For additional points of interest nearby see Tel Aviv-Yafo

   

Additional Resources

Here are several resources that I created to help travelers: And if you have any questions then check out Useful Information For Tourists To Israel.  
Did not find what you were looking for? Email me at [email protected], and I will do my best to answer your questions.

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