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Victoria Park's Huge Transformation Will Include a Tree House Lookout, Water Play Gully and High-Ropes Course

Brisbane City Council has locked in its master plan for the Herston site, which also features a mountain bike track, and reinstated water holes and wetlands.
By Sarah Ward
June 15, 2023
By Sarah Ward
June 15, 2023

At the moment, a visit to Victoria Park / Barrambin includes mini golf, picnics, walking dogs, pop-up outdoor cinemas and green fairs. In the future, it'll involve roving around a 64-hectare parkland, which'll feature a tree house lookout, water play gully, high-ropes course, mountain bike track, reinstated water holes and wetlands, and a community edible garden, too. That's the proposal for the Herston site, one that's now locked in thanks to Brisbane City Council's just-revealed master plan. Yes, this patch of Brisbane is about to look a whole lot different.

Change is coming to the entire city of Brisbane over the next decade — hosting the Olympics will do that — but revamping Victoria Park / Barrambin has been in the works long before that news. First announced in mid-2019, the new vision for the inner-city spot received a draft master plan back in 2022, with BCC confirming the final details after community feedback.

Plenty has happened with the revamp over the past few years. The council first undertook a months-long community consultation process, with more than 5400 people tendering submissions and over 3500 folks showing up to an open day back in September 2019. Then, it unveiled an overview of the best suggestions in December that year, which it combined with advice from local and international design experts to come up with a new draft proposal that it also asked for feedback on. In 2020, it released another plan — and in 2021, it closed the golf course and opened up a heap of parkland, too, as an early step.

Now arrives confirmation of what's in store, much of which is familiar from past iterations. Crucially, both the draft and finalised master plan take into consideration that future works will need to cater for Victoria Park's temporary equestrian cross-country course, and its role as the host of BMX freestyle events, during the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

So, moseying through wetlands, riding along rainforest mountain-bike trails, peering out from a treehouse lookout to take in views of the city skyline and mountain ranges, and climbing a high-ropes course — they're all included, all on the edge of Brisbane's CBD.

Also on the agenda: a cafe as part of the lookout, an entire 'adventure valley' including the bike track and high-ropes setup, another water play area alongside the nature water play gully, and an adventure playground.

The existing pedestrian and bikeway bridge will get an upgrade, and there'll be a community sports precinct as well. And, an Education Hub, too, as well as a dog park.

Ample shady foliage, including revegetated forests and pockets of native bushland, will also feature. Indeed, regarding all that greenery, tens of thousands of trees will be a huge highlight, creating 60-percent canopy cover.

"Victoria Park represents a unique opportunity to deliver a new destination for Brisbane that is loved by residents and visitors alike," said Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner, announcing the master plan.

"Restoring the natural landscape, wetlands and watering holes, massively increasing tree cover and introducing nature-based play spaces, including a tree house, are all part of the exciting final plan."

A completion date for the complete revamped park is yet to be set, other than after the Olympics. When the full makeover is done, the transformed Victoria Park will become Brisbane's biggest new park in five decades, and one that'll alter the face of the inner city.

"What Expo 88 did for South Bank, the Brisbane 2032 Games can do for Victoria Park," said Schrinner. "Those parts of the park that will host venues will be transformed after the Games, which is common sense."

Find Victoria Park / Barrambin on Herston Road, Herston. For more information about the overall transformation, visit the Brisbane City Council website.

Published on June 15, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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