Located on Geelong's western edge, Johnstone Park is a picturesque park that provides a haven for both workers and visitors alike.
About the park
Johnstone Park was a water body for Wadawurrung people that was manipulated and changed. A creek ran through the area providing a water source for Wadawurrung people.
In 1848, Charles Latrobe set aside 59 acres of undulating land immediately north-west of the original town plan during a visit to Geelong. Once a swamp, then a dam, this part of the designated area was transformed into a park in 1872 – the idea of Mayor Robert de Bruce Johnstone – although the Gordon TAFE now occupies a significant portion of the original site. Another Geelong mayor, Cr Howard Hitchcock, added the central bandstand and Mercer Street entrance as part of a city beautification program in 1917.
What to look for
As well as extensive areas of grass and the shade provided by mature trees, there is a lot to see in and around Johnstone Park.
Corner of Gheringhap and Little Malop Streets
There are a number of important civic buildings adjacent to the gardens including:
Mercer Street entrance
The Johnstone Park Raingarden is an accessible space that is both beautiful and functional. By directing stormwater through a series of terraced ponds, the garden removes nitrogen, oils and other pollutants that would otherwise flow into Corio Bay. Once the water has been filtered, the water is directed into a submerged
350,000-litre tank that irrigates Johnstone Park and surrounds. The garden was completed in 2018 as part of the Revitalising Central Geelong partnership.
Nearby, the three-pronged Apex Sculpture stands at one end of Malop Street, commemorating the formation of the Apex Clubs of Australia.
Near Little Malop and Fenwick Streets
The Kurrajong Seed Pod sculpture (2000) was created by Viktor Cebergs. Viktor’s work is strongly influenced by indigenous flora. This sculpture is based on the boat-shaped seedpod of the Kurrajong tree, which can be seen lining the path near the sculpture.