Glebe Park is located on the eastern side of the Civic Centre and features a stage, a 19th century style rotunda, barbecues, playgrounds, a picnic area and a public toilet. Time controlled parking is available outside the park only. It is accessible from Coranderrk Street, Ballumbir Street, Akuna Street and Bunda Street.
This tranquil green space in the city reflects the character of a traditional English park with mostly English Elms and English Oaks. It has become a popular venue for organised events such as weddings, public meetings and concerts for which a permit may be required. It is an excellent venue for large festivals. During March it is used for a wide range of events during the Canberra Festival, including the ever popular Canberra Times Art Show. To organise a permit to use the park for a private event please contact 13 22 81. The park is four hectares in size.
No dogs allowed.
The park is but a small part of a 40 hectare glebe which, together with a nearby area of approximately 0.8 hectares, was transferred by merchant and pastoralist Robert Campbell to the Church of England in the early 1840s when the area was known as "Canberry". On the smaller site St Johns Church was built, which has continued to the present day serving its parish community. The glebe, later expanded to 47 hectares, was for a parsonage and for the parson's use as a farm.
The subsequent planting of trees was to lead, a century later, to a community campaign to save those trees and their descendants by creating a public park there. That park was officially defined and named on 14 December 1983. Its future was assured by National Trust (ACT) and Australian Heritage Commission listings. After construction by the National Capital Development Commission between 1983 and 1988 it was officially opened on Canberra Day March 12 1989.
A heritage influenced design
In keeping with the historic background of the existing trees and their informal character the park has been designed to reflect the character of a traditional English park. The park's borders that front roads are marked by a stone fence with steel railings, while access is gained through formal gateways. The park is criss-crossed with paved paths. Each of the ten gates are officially named to reflect the historic background of the area since European settlement. Names include St John's, Galliad Smith, Campbell and Canberry.
The mature trees of the park create a relaxed atmosphere much sought after in the heart of the city. The blaze of autumn colour diffused with sunlight marks the change of the seasons in a way seldom experienced in other Canberra parks. Of the park's 663 trees 508 are English elms (Ulmus procera) and 92 are English oaks (Quercus robur).
A 19th century style rotunda, a children's playground and a large sculpture depicting "Egle, the Queen of Serpants" donated by the Lithuanian community in Australia, add interest to the park. United Nations Day in 1989 and the Diamond Jubilee of the Horticulture Society of Canberra (1929-1989) are commemorated with tree plantings.
Gray, J (1997) The Historical and Cultural Background of selected Urban Parks in Canberra.
Facilities and activities
- Wheelchair access
- Electric/gas BBQs
- Drinking water
- Picnic tables
- Dogs prohibited
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.