Overview

The Domain Parklands attract many visitors of all ages and abilities every year including residents, workers, interstate and international tourists. Many people come to visit particular destinations within the parkland, in particular the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Shrine of Remembrance and the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Many people attend concerts, ceremonies and commemorations.

During phase one, we heard that people value visiting the parklands for recreation, to relax, walk or exercise, for picnics and family gatherings, for play, walking the dog on a lead, attend events and to generally explore the park.

We also heard that there is a need to improve a number of facilities to support the recreation use of the Domain Parklands. This includes improving the picnic and BBQ areas adjacent to the river, while also identifying if there are other suitable locations for picnic facilities. Opportunities for further provision of food and drink could be considered.

Managing events in parks requires consideration of landscape capacity and sustainability therefore such high levels of use may not be sustainable As the parks are soft landscapes the areas used require reinstatement after events.

The Alexandra Gardens are so intensively used that a detailed plan is required to better support visitor use and address a range of issues. There is a need to upgrade the skate facility at Riverslide. The public toilets need redesign to manage both general and event use. A number of improvements are required in the boatshed area, including changes to parking, creating drop off areas, circulation for boat trailers, and future upgrading of the boat landing.

Resolution of the conflict with commuter cyclists in the area is important. Better signage, clear points of entry and attention to universal access principles in the parklands is a key ingredient to helping access to and within the parklands where possible.

Access by public transport to the Domain Parklands is very poor. There is currently a tram along the St Kilda Road boundary which has accessible stops at the Arts Centre, Grant Street, Coventry street, the Shrine, and then Domain Interchange. One tram travels along Domain road with a stop at Park Street near a Royal Botanic Gardens entrance. Unfortunately the new tram stops along St Kilda Road adjacent to the Kings Domain (Grant Street) and Shrine do not stop at any accessible entry to the park. The Domain interchange is at the bottom of a steep hill with no accessible path to the Shrine and Royal Botanic Gardens Observatory Gate entries. There will need to be a solution found to improve access by tram to the parklands.

Read the Discussion Paper for more information on Activities and Access:

Key Suggestions

Visitor Experience

  • Upgrade the picnic and BBQ area along the river, while also identifying opportunities for other suitable picnic facilities in the parklands.
  • Better manage the use of the Alexandra Gardens.
  • Recognise that people of all ages and abilities visit the parklands and some upgrades of facilities, amenities and paths may be required.

Events

  • Better manage zones within the parklands associated with major event use to maintain a healthy landscape.
  • Provide pause time between major events in the same location or busy areas within the Domain parklands. This will enable events to be provided in other city locations.
  • Balance the levels of use to enable equal enjoyment of parkland for passive and informal recreation.
  • Consider designating areas which will not be available for events.

Access

  • Provide coordinated signage and way finding to improve access.
  • Identify and promote accessible paths of travel.
  • Give attention to path links and good pedestrian priority across internal roads to assist with providing an effective path network.
  • Reduce road widths where possible to improve pedestrian access and the visibility of the path network.
  • Provide better cycling routes and connections in the parklands, with particular attention to alternative routes to using Alexandra Gardens.
  • Improve entrances.
  • Provide a river landing adjacent to the Royal Botanic Gardens.
  • Create visual cues for people to access the parklands from different locations.
  • Apply universal access principles to assist in improving the park infrastructure.
  • Recognise the value an element of discovery provides in experiencing the Domain Parklands.
  • Advocate for improved public transport to the parklands.