Fern Tree Park Upgrade

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The redevelopment of Fern Tree Park into a modern gateway for visitors wishing to explore Hobart’s famous mountain, kunanyi/Mt Wellington, is close to completion. 

The park is the departure point for a walk or bike ride along the heritage-listed Pipeline Track, and often the first point of contact for visitors to Wellington Park, which forms such a beautiful backdrop to Hobart.

Stage one of the redevelopment was completed with the assistance of an $800,000 Australian Government Community Development Program Grant and has created a more open, sunnier space. The park is now home to a nature-based playground, modern toilets, picnic areas and a bus shelter. Local materials were used in the picnic shelter and new toilets.

To complete the redevelopment project minor landscape refinements need to be made and new wayfinding and information signs will be installed to improve the visitor experience, particularly for first time visitors.

The City of Hobart would like to thank the local community and businesses for their patience during this project.

What's new?

As part of the redevelopment project a new footpath was built along Huon Road linking Fern Tree Park to the Fern Glade Track car park, improving pedestrian safety and access in the area. 

The Fern Glade Track car park has also been upgraded.

Project background

The upgrade is part of the Fern Tree Park Visitor Node Master Plan, which was developed with the Wellington Park Management Trust and in consultation with the community.

The biggest challenge was finding a suitable location for a new toilet. It was ultimately determined that a new combined toilet and bus shelter replacing the old stone bus shelter on Huon Road was the best option. 

Petition and Council resolution

In February 2019 a petition signed by 74 Fern Tree residents opposing the removal of the old bus shelter and its replacement with a new combined bus shelter and toilets was submitted to Council.

The petition was accompanied by a letter requesting consideration of two other sites for the new toilets. One option was the in park near St Raphael’s Church, the second was 70 metres along the Pipeline Track opposite the double-storied barbecue shelter.

On 4 March 2019, Council considered the petition and a preliminary assessment of the alternative toilet sites. The park location was eliminated due to heritage issues. The Pipeline Track option involved significant building challenges because of its proximity to a water pipeline and would have required the clearing of forest, which would have impacted two large trees and cost considerably more.

In accordance with that resolution Stage 1 of the Fern Tree Park Upgrade started on 18 March 2018.

Designs for the new combined bus shelter and toilets were amended to include rock cladding on two exterior walls in response to requests from the Fern Tree Community Association and petitioners, who asked for rock to be integrated into the new building.

A survey of Fern Tree residents on the design changes indicated that a majority supported the combined rock and timber cladding on the new bus shelter and toilets. 

Funding success

On 8 March 2019 Andrew Wilkie, the federal member for Clark, announced an $800,000 grant to help the City of Hobart complete the Fern Tree Park upgrade project.

The development application for the project was approved in October 2018. View the Fern Tree Park Implementation plans.

The 2017 council covering report, results of community engagement and Fern Tree Park Visitor Node Master Plan, can be found in the Parks and Recreation Committee Agenda(PDF, 43MB) on 11 May 2017.

Frequently asked questions

Why was the park and Fern Glade car park closed? 

The works were significant and it would not have been safe to keep the area open to the public during the redevelopment.

Why were trees removed?

Three reports were prepared by an arborist, who advised that there was considerable decay in large old trees in the park. Their retention would have created a public danger. A small, poorly pruned myrtle and decaying wattle, located on the roadside next to the new bus shelter, were also removed.

Were any historically significant structures removed or damaged to allow for this upgrade?

The bus shelter, picnic shelter and work shed were all built in the 1970s and are not considered to be architecturally or historically significant, and were removed. The loss of these buildings has not impinged on the heritage values of the site.

Location

Fern Tree Park, Ferntree 7054  View Map

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