Haig Park is located in Braddon and Turner, with access from Northbourne Avenue via Masson Street and Girrahween Street. The park has a fitness track, public toilets, barbecues and time controlled parking areas.
This 19 hectare park features rows of over 2330 exotic trees and is popular for walks and picnics. It was originally developed in the 1920s as an east–west shelter break to protect the suburbs in the vicinity of the City Centre from wind and dust, It also has tennis courts and bowling club.
Haig Park master plan
The Haig Park Masterplan is being developed to provide a long term vision and framework to guide the renewal of Haig Park in order to meet the needs of a growing and diverse population. The area surrounding Haig Park is undergoing significant population densification as part of the urban renewal program. The combination of this along with other projects such as light rail will result in an increased demand for outdoor recreational spaces. The masterplan process commenced in January 2017 and is expected to be finalised by the end of 2017.
The first stage is to collect ideas, suggestions and feedback from Canberrans. Visit the YourSay website to tell us what you love and would love to change about the park. Your ideas will be used to create a draft masterplan, which will then be shared for your review and feedback.
The 2017 masterplan will build on a concept and vision created in 2012 and respond to future growth in the area. Significant urban renewal in Canberra’s inner north and city centre is already underway, including the construction of light rail and future redevelopment of public housing sites along Northbourne Avenue. This renewal will build a more vibrant and connected city centre that better links our suburbs to our city.
A historic early planting
Haig Park commenced its life in 1921 as the "East-West Shelter Break", its prime function being to protect from wind and dust the first suburbs in the vicinity of the Civic Centre about to be developed. The National Capital site at this time was bare and windswept - hot winds, cold winds and dust were a significant problem as there was no established parkland. Haig Park would in time serve as a park as well for the nearby first residents of the new city.
The park was named after Earl Douglas Haig (1861-1928) who commanded the British Empire Forces during World War I.
The park was designated a public park in 1987 and it has been classified by the National Trust.
Designed as a shelter belt
The planting was designed by Charles Weston, Canberra's first Superintendent, Parks and Gardens. Weston himself had been in the National Capital since 1913 and had firsthand experience of the cold, hot and dusty winds of the site for the city and the role which trees could play.
Weston laid out the massive "shelter break" in fourteen rows using predominantly exotic evergreen and deciduous trees. The majority of the planting was in 1921 when he planted over 7,000 trees. The dominant tree was Monterey Pine (Pinus radiata), of which he planted nearly 2,000. Another tree heavily planted was Roman cypress (Cupressus sempervirens 'Stricta'), perhaps reflecting Weston's intentions to pay tribute to the many Australians who had not returned from the war. In western society this latter tree has been traditionally recognised as a symbol of death and immortality.
Gray, J (1997) The Historical and Cultural Background of Selected Urban Parks in Canberra.
Facilities and activities
- Electric/gas BBQs
- Picnic tables
- Off leash dog exercise area
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.