Darling Gardens

Gold Street, Clifton Hill 3068.
Melway ref: 2C, H3

The draft masterplan was developed following public consultation between March 2014 and August 2015.

The plan recognises the aspects of the Darling Gardens which are most valued and protected by the community.

It proposes a careful balance between preserving the heritage character of the gardens and introducing minor improvements to enhance the enjoyment and functionality of the park.

The draft masterplan can be viewed in full here: pdf format Darling_Gardens_Draft_Masterplan_-_July_2014 (2.72 MB)


A report on the Darling Gardens Masterplan will be considered at the Council meeting to be held at 7pm Tuesday 6th October, at Richmond Town Hall.

The report containing a summary of the consultations and officer recommendations, will be available on Council’s public website from the Friday before the Tuesday meeting. 

Community members are able to make a verbal submission in relation to the report at the Council meeting if they wish to do so.


pdf format Darling Gardens - Summary of Masterplan Consultation - July and August 2014 (109.86 KB)

pdf format Darling Gardens - Summary of Preliminary Consultation - March 2014 (99.60 KB)


FAQ - Draft Masterplan

Is Council proposing a running track in Darling Gardens?

The draft masterplan does not propose the installation of a running track. The recommendation in the plan is to:

  • reinstate the circular ‘carriage path’ which originally ran under the circle of trees at the perimeter of the Gardens. This path should be a ‘soft’ material (such as granitic gravel).

The construction of this path has been estimated to cost approximately $130,000.

Does the masterplan propose tree removal?

The draft masterplan does not propose the removal of any trees. Instead, one of the guiding principles of the draft masterplan is to plan for the future of the mature trees in the Gardens. The key recommendation of the plan in relation to the existing trees is to:

  • develop a tree succession strategy which plans for staggered replacement of complete avenues to achieve a balance of ages in tree stock and consistency in avenue planting.

Tree planting and replacement would be carried out in accordance with a tree succession strategy.

What about irrigation?

The draft Masterplan recommends Council explore increasing the level and type of irrigation to the Gardens to provide healthier trees and grass, whilst acknowledging that a balance must be struck with water saving targets associated with Council’s Environment Strategy. Specifically, it is recommended that:

  • use of the pop-up spray irrigation system be recommenced to provide irrigation to trees and some lawn areas.

Will construction works impact accessibility in the park?

The purpose of the masterplan is to set the strategic direction for Darling Gardens and guide its future maintenance, development, and improvement over the next ten years.

With this in mind, the implementation plan included in the draft masterplan identifies proposed works as being of low, medium, high or urgent priority.  These works will be staged across the life of the masterplan ensuring that access to the park can be maintained, with only sections closed off for works at any one time.

Will the green space of the park be impacted?

It is recognised that the Darling Gardens is highly valued for its predominantly grass and canopy treed vegetative character. With this in mind, the key guiding principles for the Landscape Heritage are to:

  • retain and respect the heritage character of the Gardens.
  • plan for the future of mature trees in the Gardens.
  • retain the large open lawns and simplicity of the layout of the Gardens.

Will Darling Gardens still have dog off-leash areas?

Consultation has confirmed that Darling Gardens is an important dog exercise location for many residents and includes benefits of socialisation for the animals and owners. Accordingly, the draft masterplan recommends:

  • retain existing dog off leash areas, however moving the playground area will eliminate some conflict that arises from the current adjacency.

The draft masterplan shows that the dog off-leash areas will remain.


About Darling Gardens

Darling Gardens is a peaceful retreat amidst busy Hoddle Street and Queens Parade in Clifton Hill.

Covering 7.2 hectares, the gardens were created in 1866. In the centre of the park you'll find a historic rotunda, as well as a children's playground, barbeque and picnic area.

Darling Gardens has plenty of open space, great for walking, running and playing, as well as shaded and sheltered areas.

Features and facilities

Features and facilities include:

  • Toilets
  • Playground
  • Barbeque
  • Sheltered areas
  • Seating
  • Picnic tables
  • Dog off-leash area Multi Zone.
  • Drinking fountains
  • On street parking


Click here to inquire about park hire.


View Darling Gardens in a larger map

Further information regarding hiring of park facilities
9205 5555

Further information regarding park maintenance
9205 5555

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