Wattle Park, Melbourne

Last updated

Wattle Park
Lone Pine Wattle Park.jpg
Wattle Park's Lone Pine
Location Melbourne, Australia
Coordinates 37°50′20″S145°06′16″E / 37.8390°S 145.1045°E / -37.8390; 145.1045 Coordinates: 37°50′20″S145°06′16″E / 37.8390°S 145.1045°E / -37.8390; 145.1045
Opened 31 March 1917
Operated by Parks Victoria
Paths Pedestrian and bicycle access throughout
Facilities Toilets, barbecues, playground, golf course

Wattle Park is a public park in Melbourne, Australia, located in the suburb of Surrey Hills. It is known for its plantation of 12,000 wattle trees. It is currently maintained by Parks Victoria. The park provides public open space for recreation, as well as sporting facilities (accessed on a fee paying basis) and a wedding and function venue.

Surrey Hills, Victoria Suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Surrey Hills is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 11 km east of Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government area are the Cities of Boroondara and Whitehorse. At the 2016 census, Surrey Hills had a population of 13,605.

<i>Acacia</i> genus of plants

Acacia, commonly known as the wattles or acacias, is a large genus of shrubs and trees in the subfamily Mimosoideae of the pea family Fabaceae. Initially it comprised a group of plant species native to Africa and Australia, with the first species A. nilotica described by Linnaeus. Controversy erupted in the early 2000s when it became evident that the genus as it stood was not monophyletic, and that several divergent lineages needed to be placed in separate genera. It turned out that one lineage comprising over 900 species mainly native to Australia was not closely related to the mainly African lineage that contained A. nilotica—the first and type species. This meant that the Australian lineage would need to be renamed. Botanist Les Pedley named this group Racosperma, which was inconsistently adopted. Australian botanists proposed that this would be more disruptive than setting a different type species and allowing this large number of species to remain Acacia, resulting in the two African lineages being renamed Vachellia and Senegalia, and the two New World lineages renamed Acaciella and Mariosousa. This was officially adopted, but many botanists from Africa and elsewhere disagreed that this was necessary.

Parks Victoria is a government agency of the state of Victoria, Australia.


Location and facilities

Wattle Park is located in the Melbourne suburb of Surrey Hills within the City of Whitehorse, approximately 13 km east of Melbourne's CBD. There are two children's playgrounds, BBQs, tables and seats. Two heritage 'W' Class trams offer shelter. The Wattle Park Chalet is located within the park. The Chalet has been used as a wedding venue and function centre since it opened in 1928. Oral sources suggest that this is the oldest continuously running wedding venue in Melbourne. Public toilets are located near Wattle Park Chalet on Monsborough Drive, the access road off Riversdale Road. There is a large grassed sports oval and a nine-hole public golf course with cafe, and public tennis courts are available by booking Wattle Park Golf Course. [1] There are a number of walking tracks through the bush and a perimeter track. Dogs are permitted in the park on a lead.

City of Whitehorse Local government area in Victoria, Australia

The City of Whitehorse is a local government area in Victoria, Australia in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. It has an area of 64 km2 (25 sq mi) and at the 2016 Census, Whitehorse had a population of 162,078.

Melbourne City Centre Suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Melbourne City Centre is an area of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is the area in which Melbourne was established in 1835, by John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner, and its boundaries are defined by the Government of Victoria's Melbourne Planning Scheme. Today it comprises the two oldest areas of Melbourne; the Hoddle Grid and Queen Victoria Market, as well as sections of the redeveloped areas of Docklands and Southbank/South Wharf. It is not to be confused with the larger local government area of the City of Melbourne.

Wattle Park Chalet

The Wattle Park Chalet was built in 1928 as a tea-house and function venue. It is an elegant structure in the rustic Tudor style of English architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. The Wattle Park Chalet was designed by Melbourne architect Alan Monsborough and is located at the centre of Wattle Park. In one of the earliest stories of recycling; the timber beams used for building the chalet were recycled from other, earlier structures. The roof slates came from the former Yarra Bend Asylum. Bricks came from cable tram engine-house chimneys. [2] The front porch was added later, in 1937.

Tudor architecture architectural style

The Tudor architectural style is the final development of Medieval architecture in England, during the Tudor period (1485–1603) and even beyond, and also the tentative introduction of Renaissance architecture to England. It is generally not used to refer to the whole period of the Tudor dynasty (1485–1603), but to the style used in buildings of some prestige in the period roughly between 1500 and 1560. It followed the Late Gothic Perpendicular style and was superseded by Elizabethan architecture from about 1560 in domestic building of any pretensions to fashion. In the much more slow-moving styles of vernacular architecture "Tudor" has become a designation for styles like half-timbering that characterize the few buildings surviving from before 1485 and others from the Stuart period. In this form the Tudor style long retained its hold on English taste. Nevertheless, 'Tudor style' is an awkward style-designation, with its implied suggestions of continuity through the period of the Tudor dynasty and the misleading impression that there was a style break at the accession of Stuart James I in 1603.

Edwin Lutyens British architect

Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens, was an English architect known for imaginatively adapting traditional architectural styles to the requirements of his era. He designed many English country houses, war memorials and public buildings. In his biography, the writer Christopher Hussey wrote, "In his lifetime (Lutyens) was widely held to be our greatest architect since Wren if not, as many maintained, his superior". The architectural historian Gavin Stamp described him as "surely the greatest British architect of the twentieth century".

Yarra Bend Asylum Hospital in Victoria, Australia

Yarra Bend Asylum was the first permanent institution established in Victoria that was devoted to the treatment of the mentally ill. It opened in 1848 as a ward of the Asylum at Tarban Creek in New South Wales. It was not officially called Yarra Bend Asylum until July 1851 when the Port Phillip District separated from the Colony of New South Wales. Prior to the establishment of Yarra Bend, lunatic patients had been kept in the District's gaols. Yarra Bend was proclaimed an Asylum under the provisions of the Lunacy Statute 1867 (No.309) in the Government Gazette in October 1867.

The construction of the chalet involved several sub-contractors. The Builders' Labourers' Federation stopped construction work on 7 March 1928, demanding higher pay. They returned to work approximately 4 weeks later at the same pay rate.

Two smaller single-storey wings branch off the chalet's main hall. The west wing originally contained the caretaker's residence, and the east wing contained the kitchen and kiosk. Between the wings was a paved courtyard. The paving was recycled from the former tramway engine house on Alexandra Avenue and old cable tram sheds. [3]

Heritage and the Lone Pine

Approximately one-third of the park is recorded as a heritage place by Heritage Victoria, and the National Trust of Australia has also classified the park.

Heritage Victoria

Heritage Victoria is a Victorian State Government agency responsible for administering the Heritage Act 1995 and supporting the work of the Heritage Council of Victoria.

National Trust of Australia federation of non-profit organisations committed to promoting and conserving indigenous, natural and historic heritage in Australia

The National Trust of Australia, officially the Australian Council of National Trusts (ACNT), is the Australian national peak body for community-based, non-government non-profit organisations committed to promoting and conserving Australia's indigenous, natural and historic heritage.

The "Lone Pine" tree growing near the main carpark is listed on the National Trust's Significant Tree Register, being one of the country's few original Lone Pines. The tree was grown from the seed of a cone collected by one of the Australian soldiers involved in the Gallipoli Campaign from the lone pine tree in Gallipoli, Turkey as a reminder of this notable battle and the ANZACs' involvement in World War I. Planted in Wattle Park on 8 May 1933 at the Trooping of the Colour by the 24th Battalion, the tree was the first Lone Pine to ever be publicly planted as an ANZAC memorial, pre-dating the one planted at Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance by a month, and the one at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra by seventeen months. [4]

Lone Pine (tree) Solitary tree on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, which marked the site of the Battle of Lone Pine in 1915

The Lone Pine was a solitary tree on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, which marked the site of the Battle of Lone Pine in 1915. It was a "Turkish Pine" of species Pinus brutia.

Gallipoli Campaign Military campaign during World War I

The Gallipoli Campaign, also known as the Dardanelles Campaign, the Battle of Gallipoli or the Battle of Çanakkale, was a campaign of the First World War that took place on the Gallipoli peninsula. The Entente powers, Britain, France and the Russian Empire, sought to weaken the Ottoman Empire, one of the Central Powers, by taking control of the straits that provided a supply route to Russia. The invaders launched a naval attack followed by an amphibious landing on the peninsula, to capture the Ottoman capital of Constantinople (Istanbul). The naval attack was repelled and after eight months' fighting, with many casualties on both sides, the land campaign was abandoned and the invasion force was withdrawn. It was a costly and humiliating defeat for the Allies and for the sponsors, especially Winston Churchill.

Turkey Republic in Western Asia

Turkey, officially the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country located mainly in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. East Thrace, located in Europe, is separated from Anatolia by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorous strait and the Dardanelles. Turkey is bordered by Greece and Bulgaria to its northwest; Georgia to its northeast; Armenia, the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the south. Istanbul is the largest city, but more central Ankara is the capital. Approximately 70 to 80 per cent of the country's citizens identify as Turkish. Kurds are the largest minority; the size of the Kurdish population is a subject of dispute with estimates placing the figure at anywhere from 12 to 25 per cent of the population.

Flora and fauna

The park contains areas of indigenous remnant bush land which has been identified as regionally significant. The Urban Fauna Survey Unit (Department of Conservation Forests and Lands, 1989) nominated the site as one of regional significance on the basis of its high diversity of common native fauna in a suburban environment.

There are recorded to be at least twenty species of butterfly, sixty species of beetle, three species of frogs, bats, skinks, ringtail and brushtail possums. The park's bird life includes kookaburras, rosellas, rainbow lorikeets, galahs, and gang-gang cockatoos. [5]


A small wattle tree in bloom, August 2006 Wattle Park Melbourne wattle trees 03.jpg
A small wattle tree in bloom, August 2006

The park was first created when the Hawthorn Tramway Trust (HTT) purchased 137 acres (554,000 m²) of land from Eliza Welch, under the condition it was to be used as a public park. [5] The park opened on 31 March 1917 when Sir Arthur Stanley planted a Golden Wattle and named the park. [6] [7]

Due to the HTT's financial troubles, further development of the park was put off for some time. After the HTT had been amalgamated into the Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board, it was put off due to work on electrifying Melbourne's cable tramways. Planning and development of the park started in the 1920s and 30s, with a plantation of 12,000 wattle trees planted in between 1926 and 1928. The Wattle Park Chalet was completed in 1928 and served as a tea house for light refreshments and recreation, as well as a scenic wedding and function venue. A 9-hole golf course opened at Wattle Park in October 1937, with other facilities following later.

With the rise of popularity of motor cars in the 1960s and 70s, the MMTB (which was absorbed by the new Metropolitan Transit Authority in 1983) was focusing its attention elsewhere. Subsequently, local residents began to complain to the state government about the poor state of Wattle Park. In 1991, ownership of Wattle Park was passed from the Public Transport Corporation to the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works, which undertook a program to rehabilitate the park's landscape.

Connection with trams

A route 70 tram viewed from the park Tram to Wattle Park.jpg
A route 70 tram viewed from the park

As Wattle Park, for most of its history, had been maintained by Melbourne's tram operators, it retains a connection with Melbourne's tramways. The Melbourne Tramways Band (no longer sponsored by Yarra Trams) plays at Wattle Park once a month during spring and autumn. The bodies of two W2 class trams are installed as shelters at Wattle Park, and tram route 70 runs along the park's northern boundary, with its terminus at the easternmost end of the park.

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  1. "Wattle Park Golf Course". WattleParkGolf.com.au. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  2. Victoria, Parks. "Wattle Park Chalet". parkweb.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  3. Ray., Peace, (2006). Eliza's vision : a history of Wattle Park 1838-2006. Windsor, Vic.: Prahran Mechanics' Institute Press. ISBN   9780975600061. OCLC   212820185.
  4. "Gallipoli "Lone Pine" lives on" (PDF). Legacy. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  5. 1 2 "Parks Victoria: Wattle Park", Parks Victoria. Accessed on 21 July 2009
  6. "Wattle Park – a tramway tradition", Friends of Hawthorn Tram Depot. Accessed on 21 July 2009
  7. Ray., Peace, (2006). Eliza's vision : a history of Wattle Park 1838-2006. Windsor, Vic.: Prahran Mechanics' Institute Press. ISBN   9780975600061. OCLC   212820185.