Parks, Gardens & Reserves in Tanilba Bay

What Was the Inspiration for the Design of Tanilba Bay?

Many assume that Henry F Halloran’s subdivision layouts were inspired solely by Walter Burley Griffin’s design of Canberra. However, the truth is that both Burley Griffin and Henry were influenced, to a varying degree by a wave of innovative thought in town planning which began in Britain in the late 19th century.

Garden City Movement

This innovative movement was known as the Garden City movement. Henry’s uncle, Ferdinand Hamilton Reuss Jnr’s influence may have been just as important as that of Burley Griffin. In 1878, almost 20 years before the Garden City movement began, Ferdinand won a competition for the design of Annandale (a suburb in the Sydney area). His plan was a standard rectangular grid layout but included several innovation concepts that were later promoted by the Garden Coty movement: large lots, wide streets, a waterfront crescent, public building sites, no back lanes, and small reserves.

What Were the Objectives of the Garden City Movement?

The initial objectives of the Garden City movement were social reform: the overcrowded slums in cities were blamed for the high crime rates; pollution; immorality; social, political, and industrial discontent; and outbreaks of disease.

What Did Typical Subdivisions Exhibit Before the Garden City Movement?

  • A pattern of streets and lanes with dead ends that were bleak and chaotic to navigate
  • Pocket handkerchief allotments, negligible garden and yard space, and relatively high housing density
  • narrow-fronted terraces and row houses
  • severe overcrowding of small, poorly lit, and ventilated rooms
  • conspicuous absence of trees and open spaces

What Were the Features of a Garden City Subdivision?

  • Rounded street corners because they improved traffic safety
  • The chequerboard layout was replaced by either a curvilinear symmetrical or contour-controlled layout
    • curvilinear symmetrical featured short, or straight streets and were the most popular
    • the contour-controlled layout was used to accommodate the dictates of steep or hilly terrain
  • Huge amounts of public spaces: parks, squares, reserves, and play and picnic grounds which encouraged social interaction
Map of Parks House Estate & Other

Featured Parks

Diggers Park

(Click on the name above to read more about Diggers Park)

Diggers Park is a triangular-shaped reserve located in a reserve behind the houses bounded by Diggers Drive on the southern side, and President Wilson Walk on the eastern side.

Meridian Park

(Click on the name to read more about Meridian Park)

Located opposite Tanilba House Meridian Park is an example of the Garden City principles of subdivisions. The park has several stonework seats constructed by Henry Halloran and a lime kiln. This lime kiln was used to cook oyster shells to produce slaked lime which was mixed with sand to make the mortar used in the construction of Tanilba House.


Sunset Park

(Click on the name above to read more about Sunset Park)

Sunset Park is located in the Tanilba House Estate. The park is at the western end of Caswell Crescent. There a several picnic tables, stonework seats & a circular table & seats. There is a barbeque and the remnants of a lime kiln which was used to cook oyster shells to produce slaked lime. The lime was mixed with sand to make mortar that was used in the construction of Tanilba House.

Why Are There So Many Parks in Tanilba Bay?

Parks In Tanilba Bay

Halloran Park

Halloran Park cropped name resized

Halloran Park is a triangular-shaped park located between Clemenceau Crescent on the western side, President Poincare Parade on the eastern side & Poilus Parade on the southern side. Access to the park is via laneways between houses on President Poincare Parade, Poilus Parade and Clemenceau Crescent. 

There are native gardens in the park.

Halloran Park sign

Tanilba Park

Tanilba Park

Tanilba Park is located on Tanilba Avenue and leads to the Port Stephens waterfront.

There are many picnic facilities in this park. There is a covered area with electric barbeque, picnic tables with covered shelters, and a children’s playground. On the other side of the road is the Community Centre with toilets and a shower.

Peace Park

Peace Park

Peace Park is located along the foreshore of Port Stephens on the northern side of Tanilba Bay. There are a number of facilities including picnic tables, a children’s playground, an electric barbeque, and a toilet block.

Murulla – A Meeting Place

Murulla cropped

 Murulla – A Meeting Place is located in a reserve on the western end of Clemenceau Crescent. The crescent is divided with the reserve between the 2 roads. There is a picnic table and a well-maintained park.

RAF Park Heathland

RAF Park Heathland

RAF (Royal Airforce) Park Heathland is a triangle-shaped park located between Lemon Tree Passage Road on the northern side, Success Street on the southern side & President Wilson Walk on the eastern side. The children from Tanilba Bay Public School planted trees & shrubs on Arbour Day in 1994. 

Centennial Park

Centennial Park is a trapezial-shaped park located behind the houses. 

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