Corroboree Park is a distinctive 2.6 hectare, semi circle shaped park located in Ainslie. The park’s name reflects the belief that it may have been used as a corroboree ground. It is now a popular neighbourhood park which is used primarily for family recreation at weekends. Those with interests in trees and nature generally and Canberra's planning heritage will find much to study in the park and its adjacent streets. In 1920, the park became the focal point for the small garden city subdivision designed by the Federal Capital Advisory Committee. The trees in the park are now predominantly native species. Some of the eucalypts have become very large, making this a unique park worth visiting.
Prior to the 1820s the site was marked by a clump of eucalypts and it was believed to have links with the indigenous people of the region and early settlers. The naming of the park in 1928 reflects the belief that it may have been used as a corroboree ground. The site is reportedly the initial campsite of James Ainslie, who was sent to the Limestone Plains in 1825 to establish a sheep station on behalf of Robert Campbell. Some of these eucalypts appear to have survived to the present day.
In the 1920s, the site became the focal point of a small garden city subdivision designed by the Federal Capital Advisory Committee under the chairmanship of Sir John Sulman who was an architect and town planner. It was created as a semi-circular park from which radiated two matching pairs of crescents (Lister, Higgins, Hargraves and Toms Crescents). The housing comprises timber cottages which were designed as "artisan dwellings".
The park, as intended, became the focal point of the community. The tennis courts and buildings date back to the 1920s. In the earlier years a horse-drawn travelling merry-go-round appeared in the park from time to time.
The original planting for the park and subdivision was under the direction of Charles Weston, Canberra's first Superintendent, Parks and Gardens. It was mixed exotic and deciduous species. In the 1930s the members of the tennis club extended the original planting by some 500 plants under an unemployment relief program.
The park was officially named in 1928. It has since been classified by the National Trust and entered onto the Register of the National Estate.
Gray, J (1997) The Historical and Cultural Background of selected Urban Parks in Canberra.
Facilities and activities
- Picnic tables and seating
- Basketball court
- Tennis practice wall
- Outdoor table tennis unit
About urban parks
Transport Canberra and City Services manages urban parks and open space in Canberra. There are three main types of urban parks in Canberra: town parks, district parks and neighborhood parks. Other landscaped components of the park system include:
- Pedestrian parkland which are corridors of open space provided for pedestrian movement within and between suburbs.
- Semi-natural open spaces which are areas of remnant grazing land or native vegetation, and include creek corridors, hilltop areas, ridges and buffer areas between suburbs.
- Native grassland or woodland sites which contain endangered plant species.
- Major road verges and medians.
- Informal use ovals which are non-irrigated open dryland grass areas for informal sport and recreational use.
- Special purpose areas which are large open spaces dedicated to specialised recreational activities or sporting events.
Plans of management
Plans of management for urban parks identify what is important about the areas and how they are to be managed. A plan of management is intended to provide direction and guidance to the land custodian, management staff, visitors, neighbours, volunteers, and others with an interest in the area.
More information and feedback
For more information or to provide feedback, contact Access Canberra on 13 22 81 or complete an online feedback form.