Tram access: Royal Parade access - in Elizabeth Street take tram
No.19. Flemington Road access - in Elizabeth Street take trams No 59 or
Train access: Royal Park Station on Upfield Line
(03) 9658 9658
Royal Park is the largest park within short walking (or
tramming) distance from the Melbourne CBD, and on most days it is easy to
find large expanses of park where you cannot see another living soul - quite
remarkable for a city of 3 million people.
In recent years, the council has been managing the area as a
native bushland park.
Near the corner of Gatehouse Street and Royal Parade is the
Australian Native Garden which is planted with many indigenous species.
Nearby you can see the
Burke & Wills Cairn
commemorating the departure point of the ill-fated expedition in 1860.
Some forthcoming events at Royal Park:
Royal Park lies on the opposite side of Royal Parade from
Royal Park and adjoins Melbourne University. Over the years the Melbourne
General Cemetery has expanded over a large section of the parkland and the
Princes Park stadium, although occupying a relatively small area, becomes
the focus of the park when major events are held there.
The Princes Park Stadium Stadium has long been the home to
the Carlton Football Club. Although AFL games are no longer played there, it
still remains the headquarters and training venue for the club. The naming
rights for the oval have seen it change its title several times. For a while
it was 'Optus Oval' and is currently 'MC Labour Park'.
Some forthcoming events at Princes Park:
Around 1845, Governor La
Trobe set aside a reservation of over 1,000 hectares to become a park in
this area. However, housing was later built over large parts of this
reserved area and now form the suburbs we know as Parkville South, North and
West. The area was traversed by a tramline (1920s), and for a short period
part of the ill fated circle railway line. The area on the west of the
railway was "out of sight" and over time was used for institutions such as a
juvenile detention centre, psychiatric hospital, Commonwealth Serum
Laboratories and a number of playing fields. For much of the 20th century
this area was marked by barbed wire fences and few Melbournians visited this
section of what could have been La Trobe's grand park. By 1876 the original
1,000 hectares had shrunk to less than 300 and this was officially
proclaimed a public park. Over time however this became whittled away for
University High School (1929), Royal Melbourne Hospital (1944), Royal
Children's Hospital (1957) and Royal Dental Hospital (1963). Thus all of the
original frontage to Royal Parade, and much of the original frontage to
Flemington Road were lost. Virtually all parks in Melbourne have seen the
growth of sporting facilities. At Royal Park most of these are open playing
fields, but Royal Park also has a 9 hole public golf course, State Hockey
Centre and Netball Victoria Centre and most significantly a 20 hectare
zoo (1862) with its later associated
carpark. Other excisions from the park include an Urban Camp for school
children from the country.
During the Second World War, part of Royal Park was
temporarily set aside as an American army camp (Camp Pell) and it was here
that the notorious Brownout Strangler was arrested. The sentry boxes are
still standing and the Americans used the playing fields on the far side of
the railway line for baseball and other sports. Some of those playing fields
are still dedicated to baseball. The buildings were retained after the war
as low cost housing and were eventually removed in the 'cleanup' of
Melbourne prior to the 1956 Olympic Games.
Today (December 2007) the park in down to 188 hectares -
about one fifth of the size envisioned by Governor La Trobe. It is therefore
not surprising that some Melbournians have objected to the redevelopment of
the old Psychiatric Hospital on (could have been but never was) parkland
into the Commonwealth Games Village. It is, however, a little ironic that
many of the objectors have the address of Parkville South, North or West.
Copyright © 1995 - 2016 White Hat.
Royal Park Public Golf Course
A nine hole public golf course next to the zoo. Plenty of off street
Mel ref 29 F11
Enquiries: (03) 9387 1326
More information on Royal Park can be found at