Warrnambool in Eastern Maar Country
Lake Pertobe, a name derived from the local Gunditjmara language where ‘pirtup’ means “small sandpiper,” is a sprawling 58-hectare park nestled harmoniously between the City’s vibrant CBD and the picturesque beachfront. Originally developed from ephemeral wetlands in the 1970s, Lake Pertobe has grown to become Warrnambool’s most iconic visitor attraction.
The recent revitalization of the central playground area within Lake Pertobe is a celebration of the profound cultural and environmental significance of this region, embodied through the medium of play. At its core, this design draws inspiration from the six seasons of the local Eastern Maar people. The conceptualisation of this playground emerged from extensive community consultation, honouring and paying tribute to the traditional custodians of the land and the region’s rich flora and fauna.
The playground is thoughtfully organised into distinct zones for junior, senior, and waterplay, each offering a progressive level of challenge and excitement. The pinnacle of this adventure is an impressively tall climbing tower, affording panoramic views over Lake Pertobe and its picturesque surroundings, with an exhilarating slide for the daring.
The six seasons are interwoven through the playspace in a series of artistic, sculptural and imaginative elements: Chinnup (black cockatoo) timber teepees, Gwangal Moronn (bee) rockers and hives, Kooyang (eel) water channels, Larneuk (nesting birds) giant nest and basalt eggs, Petyan (wildflower) message sticks, and the Ballambar (butterfly) sundial. Local indigenous language finds its place throughout the playspace, etched into bluestone pavers.
Adding to the enchantment, a captivating waterplay splashpad features sculptures of a mother and calf southern right whale with playful blowhole sprays, an ode to the region’s cherished whale migrations. Notably, the splashpad sustainably utilises bore water for both recreational play and lake level management.
The Lake Pertobe Regional Playspace redevelopment stands as a triumphant transformation of a beloved community asset. The outcome is a profoundly meaningful journey through play experiences and sensory exploration, intentionally designed to be highly accessible, inclusive, culturally rich and suitable for all generations. This project serves as a testament to our unwavering commitment to excellence and underscores our dedication to crafting landscapes that elevate and enrich the lives of all who encounter them.