The 41-hectare Fawkner park in South Yarra is popular for its long tree avenues and open lawn layout that provide setting for wide range of sporting and recreational activities. Toorak Road passes through the west of the park and Commercial Road on the north. The park is crown land permanently reserved from sale. Melbourne City Council manages Fawkner Park as a Committee of Management, guided by the Melbourne Parks and Gardens.
The park, trapezoidal in shape is crossed by a series of straight paths lined with avenues of Elms, Poplar, Oaks and Moreton Bay Figs. Most of these pathways when established followed the existing pedestrian pathways from the early settler days.
History of the Park
The area of the park was a camping site of the aboriginal people. A park was proposed in 1859 and it was temporarily reserved and named as Fawkner Park in 1862. In the 1860’s Government sold off the St Kilda Road and Punt Road frontages of the reserve reducing the size to 41 hectares.
In the 1870’s and 80’s, like every other public reserve in Melbourne, Fawkner park was also subjected to unauthorised night soil dumping. The work to develop the reserve to a park suitable for passive recreation and sporting events began in the 1870’s. The avenues were laid out by Melbourne Parks and Gardens curator, Nicholas Bickford who held the position between 1874 to 1890.
During World War II, Australian Women’s army barracks functioned from here. Soon after, the facilities and buildings were used to house newly arrived migrants. Today these facilities are used for various organised sports. In 1947, Government took over the Oaks Refreshment Kiosk at the park and turned that into a baby health centre and Kindergarten. In 1955, Fawkner park was restored for use as parkland.
The caretaker’s cottage including the iron picket fence (built in 1885) located at the western boundary on Slater Street. and electricity substation (1925) are two buildings of significance in the park.
Location: 24-88 Commercial Road, South Yarra, Victoria 3141
There are two Children’s playgrounds at the park. One near the Church of Christ and the other accessible via Pasley Street North or Park Place from Punt Road.
Sportsing facilities at Fawkner Park
Fawkner Park Tennis Centre
Tennis courts are located near the Toorak Street Frontage. Book a Court https://www.victennisacademy.com.au/book-a-court-fawkner-park/
Grass Netball Courts
Melbourne Softball Association: https://melbournesoftball.org.au/
Touch Football: http://www.fawknerparktouch.com.au/
Map of Fawkner Park Sporting fields (Summer season) – https://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/fawkner-park-summer.pdf
Map of Fawkner Park Sporting fields (Winter season) – https://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/fawkner-park-winter.pdf
South Yarra Soccer Club: https://southyarrasoccerclub.com.au/
Details about getting permission to use Sports facilities and grounds managed by Melbourne City Council for organised Sports: https://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/community/sports-recreation/sports-ground-use-permits/Pages/sports-ground-use-permits.aspx