Fern Tree Park Upgrade

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The City of Hobart is redeveloping Fern Tree Park to create a modern gateway for visitors wishing to explore Hobart’s famous mountain, kunanyi/Mt Wellington. 

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 has been completed with the assistance of an $800,000 Australian Government Community Development Program Grant. Park visitors are now welcome to come and enjoy a much more open, sunnier space with a nature-based playground, modern new toilets, picnic areas and a bus shelter. Local materials has been used in the picnic shelter and new toilets.

Second stage

Stage two of the upgrade started in October 2019. A new footpath is being built along Huon Road linking Fern Tree Park to the Fern Glade Track car park that will improve pedestrian safety and access in the area. The Fern Glade Track car park is also being upgraded.

The Fern Glade car park and Fern Glade track entrance will be closed and parking in the Fern Tree area will be restricted. 

There will be some traffic delays during the works and we are asking the public for their patience during this period.

The works are expected to completed in April 2020.

Track closures in Wellington Park and on the Pipeline Track

The following tracks will be impacted during the Fern Tree Park redevelopment:

  • Pillinger Drive Track – the lower section will be closed with no access to Fern Tree Park.
  • Middle Track – the lower section will be closed with no access below the reservoir.
  • Pipeline Track – the works occurring around the track may result in short delays.

These tracks are expected to reopen when the rejuvenated Fern Tree Park is open again in November.

Note: During stage two the lower Fern Glade Track and its entrance will be closed.

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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 and is soon to be completed.

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 does the park and Fern Glade car park have to be closed? 

The works being conducted are significant and it would not be safe to keep the area open to the public during the upgrade.

How long will the park be closed?

The park will be closed until stage one of the works are completed, in November 2019.

Why were trees being removed?

Three reports were prepared by an arborist, who advised that there was considerable decay in the trees. Their retention would have been potentially dangerous to the public. A small, poorly pruned myrtle and decaying wattle, located on the roadside next to the new bus shelter, are also to be removed.

Will there still be toilet facilities available when the park is closed?

Yes. A temporary toilet will be made available at the entrance to the Pipeline Track. 

Will a temporary bus stop and shelter be provided while construction of the new bus stop shelter is underway?

Yes. A temporary shelter will be installed just south of the current Fern Tree Park city-bound bus stop. 

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

The bus shelter, picnic shelter and work shed were all built in the 1970s are not considered to be architecturally or historically significant and need to be removed. The  loss of these buildings doesn’t impinge upon the heritage values of the site.

Location

Fern Tree Park, Ferntree 7054  View Map

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