Albert Park is one of Melbourne’s iconic parks. It is located about three kilometres from the Melbourne CBD and is some 225 hectares in area comprising notable sporting grounds, stadia, a golf course and a series of structured and unstructured recreation areas around a centrally located lake.
Albert Park is one of the most popular parks in Victoria, receiving over six million visits per year and performing a critical role both regionally and locally as a destination for formal and informal recreation. While the park serves a critical local role, it is also an important regional destination forming part of a suite of major open space areas, informally known as ‘green lungs’ that encircle central Melbourne.
It is a notable exemplar of how major urban parklands can contribute to inner city liveability, and the park is also internationally recognised as the venue for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix.
Key regional destinations in Albert Park include its world class recreational facilities such as the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, the Lakeside Stadium and Junction Oval. There are 24 sporting fields, which accommodate around 40 different clubs and host numerous local, interstate and international sports.
The park is also extensively used by local residents for its jogging, walking and cycling trails that encircle the lake. Other unstructured leisure areas include five public picnic areas, two event lawns, multiple playgrounds and open grass areas. A range of commercial and restaurant businesses also have a presence within Albert Park.
Albert Park Lake is a key water body within both a regional and local context, accommodating a range of water sports in inner Melbourne. The lake’s historical importance and association with Port Phillip Bay and its historical swamplands is a critical element in the evolution of Melbourne’s inner south. The lake and park surrounds also support a permanent population of around 150 native black swans and numerous other native water birds (including ducks, coots and swamp hens).
Albert Park is a desired location for the staging of main events, both community based and commercial. Each year a full calendar of events takes place within Albert Park, including fun runs, festivals and competitions.
The landscape character of Albert Park is an important factor that defines the parks identity. In the most general terms, the park can be defined as an open, grassy precinct with scattered established exotic and native canopy trees which are complimentary to the open profile and lakeside nature setting.