Yarra Park Precinct
Yarra Park is one of the main public parklands in Melbourne and is located within the city’s vibrant sports and entertainment precinct. It provides the setting for the MCG and nearby Punt Road Oval.
Yarra Park has a significant indigenous pre-history and is also noted for both its landscape and sporting heritage, dating back to the 1850s. Included in this heritage, are the sporting statues that surround the MCG.
The MCC’s vision for Yarra Park sees the parkland being used by a variety of groups and individuals in a safe and reasonable manner
The Wurundjeri people inhabited this area way before Melbourne was founded in 1835. Yarra Park has a significant indigenous history, noted for both its landscape and sporting heritage dating back to the 1850’s. The area was first set aside as parklands in 1856, when it was known as the Richmond Paddock and police hordes were left here to graze.
The first game of Australian Rules Football was played here in 1866. In 1866, an Aboriginal Cricket team under Tom Wills played against an MCC Cricket team on the MCG before 11,000 spectators on 26 and 27 December. The Aboriginal team played a further 3 times on the MCG up until 1869.
In the park, there are also some scar trees, large red gums, named for the markings left by harvesting the bark for canoes by the area’s original inhabitants, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation. It is thought some of these trees could be between 200 and 800 years old.
Larger than Life: MCG’s Sporting Statues
Lining the walkways to the Melbourne Cricket Ground and in nearby Yarra Park, these statues of champions and legends tell the story of some of Australia’s most significant elite sports people and their achievements at the ground.
Australia Post’s Avenue of Legends includes: Kevin Bartlett, Norm Smith, John Coleman, Jim Stynes, Shane Warne and Neil Harvey.
Tattersall’s Parade of Champions includes: Bill Ponsford, Ron Barassi, Don Bradman, Dennis Lillee, Haydn Bunton, Betty Cuthbert, Dick Reynolds, Shirley Strickland, Leigh Matthews and Keith Miller.
Like the stadium that adjoins it, Yarra Park is managed by Melbourne Cricket Club on behalf of the people of Victoria. MCC reports in to the Yarra Park Advisory Committee.
A water recycling facility and landscape upgrade will secure the future of the trees in the park, which is all part of the Yarra Park Master Plan.