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Park Lake Gardens Reserve

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Park Lake Drive, Creswick VIC 3363

Explore other locations around this area using our interactive map


  • Botanical Gardens
  • Picturesque lake
  • Barbecues
  • Picnic tables
  • Playground
  • Tennis courts
  • Walking track
  • Toilets
  • Rubbish bins
This beautiful hilltop park in Creswick features an ornamental lake, walking tracks, playground, picnic/barbecue areas, and extensive outdoor tennis facilities. 

Scenic tracks take you down through the historical gardens and around the beautiful lake below. Information signs sharing the park's fascinating history along the way. 

A shady, grassed area at the entrance to the park features a historic rotunda, wood fire barbecues and a toilet block. 

Further into the park, alongside the tennis courts, lies a fantastic playground and picnic area with undercover electric barbecues.

History of Park Lake Gardens

Once the site of Creswick's Government camp and police paddock, this park was gazetted for use as a public garden in 1861.

Signs at the Park Lake Gardens Reserve display the following text:

Government Camp and Police Paddock

This is the most historic site in Creswick, and was first known as Commissioner's Hill.

The first Commissioner, Lieutenant Walter Charles Brackenbury, was appointed in December 1852. His office was a large tent at the top of the rise. From there he could keep watch on the gold escorts as they crossed Creswick's Creek and headed for Ballarat.

Sub Inspector Lydiard, after whom Lydiard Street in Ballarat is named, was stationed here in charge of mounted troopers. 

The Lake

The lake area was originally called Commissioner's Flat and later became a cricket ground.

In 1888, W G. Spence, a Creswick Borough Councillor who later was a founding leader of trade unionism in Australia, suggested a fish pond would enhance the reserve.

The suggestion was adopted and in May 1889 the completed pond, now named "Park Lake", stocked with fish and with a rockery and fountain in its centre and a boat house on its shore, was officially opened. 

With its lake and gardens Park Lake Reserve developed into a place of great beauty and the social hub of the town. 

Rotunda Park Lake

In 1861 the former Chief Commissioner of Police's Camp was gazetted for use as a Public Gardens. 

The garden was first laid out in 1870 and a summer house erected c. 1871, but rebuilt in 1878. 

The rotunda is identified on the detailed planting plan produced by George Perrin, Conservator of Forests, in 1888. 

The rotunda is designed in the picturesque rustic Gothic architectural style. 

The Botanical Reserve

This area, the site of the Government Camp and Police Paddock of gold rush days, was gazetted as a botanical reserve in 1861.

Through the next 30 years walks were laid out, trees and shrubs were planted and some structures were built. From 1888 development was guided by a planting plan prepared by George Perrin, Victoria's Conservator of Forests.

The reserve reached its peak between 1910 and 1922, when it had a permanent caretaker. When the caretaker position was abolished neglect and vandalism took their toll and the gardens deteriorated. 

More to explore nearby


  • There are so many excellent playgrounds tucked away in little-known places. Take a look through this great list of playgrounds throughout the Victorian Goldfields.
  • There are hundreds of fantastic barbecue areas throughout the Victorian Goldfields. Some are in parks/playgrounds, others are scattered throughout the bush. Many barbecue areas are located alongside amazing attractions and walks, so go out for a barbecue and get exploring!


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