Wattle Park upgrades

Project status

March 2024:

  • The final Master Plan has been released. To read a summary of community feedback that helped informed the plan, visit Engage Victoria.
  • The all-abilities playscape, the upgraded picnic area and the walking and running track are complete, and the facilities are open. The water play is temporarily closed.  Read more about this here
  • The Wattle Park Conservation Management Plan has been released.
  • We are working through options for repairs and conservation works to the heritage trams, and the ceremonial space will be installed in the coming months. 

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The project

This project is being delivered on Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Country. 




Wattle Park upgrades

Wattle Park is a much-loved park with significant natural and cultural heritage, and provides visitors with an important connection to nature in a suburban landscape. Some of the facilities, including the playground, had been well-loved for many years and needed to be upgraded.


As part of this project: 


  • A new nature-based playscape has been constructed, which has been designed to cater for all abilities. The playscape features swings, spinners, water play, a sensory garden and a double story tram fort! The new playscape has replaced the old playground at the park. 
  • A 3.25 km running and walking track with a stablised gravel surface has been created. The purpose-built track journeys through natural forest and undulating hill terrain. Existing walking tracks and connections have been upgraded to create the complete track.
  • The picnic area has been upgraded with new barbecues, paths, picnic shelters and tables, providing a great space for friends and family to get together.
  • Improvements have been made to the road and car park on Monsbourgh Drive.
  • We are working through options for repairs and conservation works to the heritage trams.
  • A ceremonial space will be installed in the new picnic area. 

The designs for this project were developed in consultation with the community through two rounds of engagement in 2020 and 2021. To learn more about the engagement process or to view the findings from the community consultation undertaken for this project, visit Engage Victoria.  


Wattle Park Master Plan 


We have developed a Master Plan for Wattle Park to help celebrate and protect the special natural and cultural values of the park, and preserve the site for future generations to enjoy. 

The plan sets a long-term vision for the park, and looks at everything from heritage, environmental management, recreation to community use. 

Community consultation on the draft Master Plan was conducted in late 2021 and April and May 2023. A summary report of the feedback we received from the community can be found on Engage Victoria - this feedback has informed the final plan.


The Master Plan was also informed by a Conservation Management Plan - a practical guide to manage the significant heritage values of the the park.


The new double storey tram fort in the all-abilities playscape at Wattle Park. It is yellow and green and has slides, steps, a path coming off it.

Pictured above: The new playscape is complete. It has been designed to be accessible for people of all-abilities, and features a double-storey tram fort, play domes, swings, slides, spinners and sensory play space.


Picnic facilities at Wattle Park, which include barbecues, shelter, picnic tables, and accessible pathways.  

Pictured above: The new picnic area includes new shelters, barbecues, picnic tables and accessible pathways. 



A young woman with dark hair in black clothes is running on a light grey track through the centre of the image. Either side of her is green grass, and in the background are tall trees.

Pictured above: The new walking and running track provides a great circuit for exercise, or a leisurely stroll through the beautiful bushland of Wattle Park.



The new playscape includes wooden sculptures of native animals, including a family of possums.

Pictured above: Sculptures created by artist, Shlomit Moria in consultation and collaboration with Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Elders Uncle Colin Hunter and Aunty Kim Wandin and Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung artist Lewis Wandin are featured throughout the new picnic area. 


Project benefits


Visitors to Wattle Park will enjoy a better experience thanks to new picnic facilities, an extended and upgraded walking and running track, improved pathways and road connections and an all-abilities nature-based playscape for plenty of family fun


Wattle Park has significant natural values, including trees, vegetation, birds and animals. These natural values are celebrated in the playscape, and the undulating hilly terrain will feature as part of the walking and running track.


The upgrades at Wattle Park provide opportunities for people of all ages, fitness levels and abilities to get active and connect with nature in the park. The playscape and running track have been designed in consultation with the community, and we have taken the community’s ideas and preferences into consideration when planning the final designs.


Project funding

This project has been made possible thanks to the following funding:

  • $4.3 million from the Victorian Government's $315 million Suburban Parks Program
  • $850,000 from the Victorian Government’s Urban Parks Active Wellbeing Program
  • $500,000 from the Victorian Government to develop the Master Plan for Wattle Park

Project timeline

Subject to on-ground and construction industry conditions, and heritage assessments and permits, the timeline for the project is estimated below: 

  • October 2021: Community consultation findings released (complete)
  • December 2021: early community consultation on the Master Plan (complete)
  • January 2022: Concept designs released (complete)
  • Mid 2022: Construction starts (complete)
  • April-May 2023: draft Master Plan released for community consultation (complete)
  • Early 2023: Primary works complete, including playscape, picnic area and walking and running track (complete)
  • Mid 2023: Upgrades to Monsbourgh Drive (complete)
  • October 2023: Final Master Plan released (complete)
  • 2024: Tram repairs and conservation works, and installation of the ceremonial space. 


This timeline will be updated as the project progresses.

Environment and cultural heritage management


Wattle Park has significant natural and cultural heritage which has been considered throughout this project. 


We have worked closely with Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation on this project, seeking their input on the designs and ensuring the cultural heritage values of this land are protected


We have undertaken extensive environmental assessments, including a flora and fauna assessment and an arborist assessment of potentially impacted trees. The playscape and running track have been designed to have a low impact on the environment. The playscape design weaves around existing trees and vegetation and the running track design uses existing trails for most of the upgrades.


Who are we working with?

The Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action is our government partner for this project.


Parks Victoria is also working with Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation, Heritage Victoria and has sought input from the community, Friends of Wattle Park, Wattle Hill residents and Whitehorse City Council on this project. 

Access changes

Tram closures

Access to the heritage trams at Wattle Park is currently closed, following damage caused by vandalism. Parks Victoria is currently assessing options to repair and conserve the trams. During this time, you will still be able to access the Wattle Park picnic area and playscape, however access to the trams and surrounding areas will be closed to ensure the safety of our visitors and staff.


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Related information


What are you upgrading at Wattle Park?
We have built a new all-abilities playscape, a walking and running track and a new picnic area at Wattle Park, so that more people can get active in nature and enjoy the park for years to come. We’ve also made improvements to the road and car park on Monsbourgh Drive. There are a few final works to be completed over the coming months, including the installation of the ceremonial space and the repair and conservation of the heritage trams. 


Why did you upgrade the playground?

The old playground at Wattle Park was well-loved and over 20 years old. As a result, a lot of the play equipment was deteriorating and needed replacing. The new playscape is safe and accessible for all-abilities, and provides a nature play environment for children and families to enjoy.


Was the community consulted on the designs for the playscape and running/walking track?

Yes. The designs for the new facilities were developed in collaboration with the community through two rounds of community consultation in 2020 and 2021. Altogether, we heard from community through over 700 surveys, 500 vision cards and 4 online sessions. 

The engagement findings from the consultation, including how they shaped designs, are available on Engage Victoria.


How are the upgrades being funded? 
The Victorian Government has invested $4.3 million for this project as part of the $315 million Suburban Parks Program and a further $850,000 through the $21 million Urban Parks Active Wellbeing Program.  


When will the upgrades be finished?

Construction of the all-abilities playscape and the upgraded picnic area were completed in April 2023 and the facilities are now open for the community to enjoy. The walking and running track is complete and open for use, and we’ve also made improvements to the road and car park on Monsbourgh Drive. There are a few final works to be finished over the coming months, including the installation of the ceremonial space and the repair and conservation of the heritage trams. These final works are expected to be complete in 2024, subject to on-ground and construction industry conditions, and heritage assessments and permits.


How will the heritage of the area be considered?

Wattle Park is a popular park with significant natural and cultural heritage values. The park is included on the Victorian Heritage Register. As an important part of what makes Wattle Park special, heritage has been considered in the designs. We are also working closely with Heritage Victoria to ensure that the works align with the heritage of the park.


Have any trees been removed?

Six trees were removed along the track alignment. Each tree was assessed for its age, species and value. None of the trees removed were recognised on the Heritage Register. One dead tree was removed in the playscape area. This tree needed to be removed to help reduce the risk of falling limbs on windy days. Altogether, the upgrades represent a net increase in trees and vegetation in the park, with 22 new trees planted as part of the project. 

Is there more lighting in the park?

Yes. Lighting has been provided on a north-south section of the alignment that was identified by community as a regular walking route through the park. Park neighbours expressed safety concerns as there is regular foot traffic from the tram stops at the north of the park to the southern residential area. This lighting does not go through the remnant bushland to the east of the park.

What is Wattle Park Master Plan?

A Master Plan has been developed to set a long-term vision for Wattle Park. The plan outlines how to celebrate and protect the special natural and cultural values of Wattle Park, and preserve the site for future generations to enjoy.

An updated Conservation Management Plan has been prepared which provides advice on how to best protect heritage values and guides management of the park into the future.

How does the Master Plan for Wattle Park tie in with other work in the park?

The Wattle Park Master Plan for the park incorporates initiatives implemented via the Suburban Parks Program and the Urban Parks Active Wellbeing Program. It enables us to work with the community to identify future opportunities for improvements and investment in the park. Alongside the Master Plan, a Conservation Management Plan will guide management and changes to the park. All works are subject to Heritage Act approval.

What is planned for the Lily Pond area?

An updated Conservation Management Plan (CMP) has been prepared for Wattle Park and presented to Heritage Victoria. The CMP provides advice on how to best protect heritage values and manage Wattle Park into the future. All initiatives proposed in the Master Plan, including options for the Lily Pond area, have been informed by the CMP.

In considering all of the options presented in the CMP, Parks Victoria also worked with expert heritage consultants to undertake a feasibility study of possibilities for the Lily Pond area. After evaluating all the options against a range of criteria, reinterpretation of the Lily Pond area emerged as the most feasible design direction that Parks Victoria has decided that should funding be available for future works, the site will be reinterpreted as a garden.

What would reinterpreting the Lily Pond area look like?

Conceptually, this option would seek to conserve and retain some elements of the Lily Pond area, while also reinterpreting the site to better respond to contemporary requirements. There are two reinterpretation approaches that will be further considered should future funding be available:

  • Option 2A would construct a contemporary dry garden within the pond area.
  • Option 2B would mix dry and water garden components, by reinterpreting a portion of the pond area as a rainwater garden.


The reinterpretation of the Lily Pond area is a concept only. The area would be subject to detailed design, feasibility studies, costing estimates, and statutory approvals including a permit under the Heritage Act (2017).

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