It's not just the site of the city's first water supply but a mecca for walkers, 'Steampunkers' and picnickers.
Marsden Weir and the Goulburn Waterworks have also drawn television crews, tour groups, paddle boarders and canoeists, enjoying the picturesque setting.
Now a draft council plan of management will help guide its future use. The culmination of four months' research, it categorises land into five zones - a natural area, sports ground, a park, an area of cultural significance and general community use.
Corporate services director Brendan Hollands said the plan was a State requirement for crown land under council control. One was completed last year for the Recreation Area and another was underway for Victoria Park.
But the Waterworks and Marsden Weir held added significance.
"It's undoubtedly under-utilised and there are a lot of different areas with heritage and environment so it's a fairly important plan to do early," Mr Hollands said.
"We've had approaches to have paddle boats, canoeing and other recreational activities there. This plan clears the way for future approaches and makes it easier to make determinations without, potentially, the need for individual development applications."
The Waterworks houses the 1883 Appleby Beam Engine, the workhorse for the city's former water supply. Construction of a fireman's cottage and pumphouse began the same year and the facility was fully operational by 1886, the plan stated. More additions followed and it continued as the city's water supply until 1977.
The site was registered as significant on the Register of the National Estate in 1978 and placed on the state's heritage register in 1999.
But the area is also important to First Nations people.
"The Gundungara nation of the Dharawal language group are known to have occupied the area until European settlement decimated the health and resources of the People," the plan stated.
"Artifacts of Aboriginal occupancy have been found in proximity of The Waterworks. However it is believed that the items were not originally used or sited at that location, but rather arrived as a result of being washed down the river during flooding."
The area around the Waterworks was more generally known as a "women's place." Sites are registered with National Parks and Wildlife and the plan formalises their protection.
A flora study by Brian Faulkner also identified the critically endangered Remnant Werriwa Cool Temperate Grassy Woodland, judged to be in moderate to good condition. Mr Faulkner said it must be protected.
The rich bushland community had deteriorated since 2020 and was under threat on several fronts. Pines planted along the access road were encroaching and if not removed or controlled, could out-compete the native species.
Similarly, encroaching residential development on adjoining land increased exotic and weed species, as well as nutrient-rich runoff that didn't suit native trees and plants.
The plan recommends removal of invasive weeds and control of exotic flora species but also new plantings.
The waterway attracts a wide variety of threatened birds and animals but more are likely in its midst, Mr Faulkner says. These include the powerful owl, regent honeyeater, superb parrot, gang gang cockatoo and the eastern pygmy possum.
But there's plenty of room for people as well. The plan encourages buskers and bands and a performance space that won't encroach on natural areas. It allows for construction of "appropriate buildings" on the site, provided they meet community needs and heritage controls.
The plan paves the way for more outdoor activities, licensing of refreshment kiosks, cafes and restaurants and mobile food and drink vans.
"(It) provides an excellent resource for the future land management, including events, the hiring of facilities and any prospective tenancies," a report to Tuesday night's council meeting stated.
Mr Hollands said the annual Steampunk was the centrepiece event but the recent Makers and Designers Market was a building block.
"We are getting other little activities that make use of a great natural resource that's been under-utilised for years," he said.
"...It creates awareness about what Goulburn has to offer, even to locals."
The draft plan will be submitted to Heritage NSW, the state's Aboriginal Land Council and the two local Land Councils for comment.
It will also be placed on public exhibition for 42 days. A public hearing will be held during this period.
Mayor Bob Kirk encouraged people to contribute ideas.
"The council has identified areas for beautification and this is part of it," he said.
"I used to say that for a city on the junction of two rivers we never made a significant effort to turn it into a feature like other towns.
"Subsequently, other councillors recognised that we should do something and have progressed this. It started with a clean-up of the river and now a walkway that goes into all parts of the urban area.
"The Waterworks is a prominent part of the plan but specifically what we can do with the area is up for discussion."
We care about what you think. Have your say in the form below and if you love local news don't forget to subscribe.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.