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Albert Park Facts:
Albert Park was originally part of the extensive Yarra River Delta, which involved vast areas of wetlands and sparse vegetation, interspersed by lagoons, some of which were quite large, including the lagoon from which Albert Park Lake was created.
Following British settlement from 1835 onwards, much of the Yarra River Delta was drained to dry the land and enable agriculture, housing and grazing. Through the 1840s and 1850s, the area now occupied by Albert Park itself was unofficial parkland, used for military training, grazing and hunting. In 1864 the area was officially proclaimed a public park and named Albert Park in honour of Queen Victoria's devoted consort, Prince Albert.
By 1875, areas of the park along Queens Road and in St. Kilda, had been sold off for housing and other uses, reducing the park from 385 to 231 hectares. Through much of the late 19th Century, allotments were allocated for sporting facilities such as Football, Tennis, Bowling, Cricket and Boating. Between 1873 and 1880, silt in the lagoons was excavated and used as infill around the lagoon itself to create a permanent lake. In 1890, water was diverted from the Yarra River to help fill the lake. Through the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, the park was used as a tip, a camp for the armed services, scenic drives, picnics and many other forms of recreation.
Today the magnificent Albert Park is enjoyed by approximately five million visitors annually. Vestiges of Albert Park's Aboriginal history still remain, the most noticeable being the large ancient River Red Gum Tree, reputed to be the site of many corroborees. It is thought to be over 300 years old, the oldest remnant tree in the Port Phillip area, located next to Junction Oval on the corner of Fitzroy Street and Queens Road, St Kilda.
The Clarendon Street gates are the best manifestations of European history. Originally built of wooden pickets in 1910, they were cast in wrought iron in 1939 and can still be seen today.
Albert Park has a number of shopping strips where cafes, bars and ice-cream parlours are interspersed between bookstores and fashion. Once you are ‘shopped out’ take your pick of casual café or top quality dining along either Bridport or Victoria Avenue in Albert Park. Bridport Street is renowned for its upmarket retailers and trendy cafes where locals gather for brunch, lunch and everything in-between.
There are several playgrounds of varying sizes, the park also hosts many large sporting facilities, including:
Tram – 1, 112, 96
Bus - Route 606For timetables & information or to plan your journey visit http://www.ptv.vic.gov.au/