North Harbour Heritage Park Offers Heaps of Riverside Green Space

September 3, 2020

North Harbour’s Heritage Park precinct opened in 2019 and encompasses a vast expanse of parkland, with a mountain bike trail, walking tracks, river access, heritage artefacts and fascinating information about the history of the site.

Retaining and preserving the historical remnants of the North Harbour site was a crucial part of the North Harbour planning process. Following an application process initiated by the developers of North Harbour, the Heritage Park area has been listed and protected on the Queensland Heritage Register since 2011 as a place of Queensland State significance.

The Abbey Museum and North Harbour worked in partnership through project planning and project management and we continue to work together as heritage partners. North Harbour is currently operating and maintaining the park and preserving the artefacts and we are hoping to put together a conservation group of volunteers to help us curate and maintain this special place in perpetuity.

Heritage Park

One of the only Heritage Parks of this size and scope in Queensland, North Harbour’s Heritage Park allows you to take a step back in time and imagine yourself 160 years ago, in one of the first European settlements in Southeast Queensland. The “Moray Fields” sugar plantation was owned by George Raff, who originally hailed from Morayshire in Scotland, hence the name he chose for his sugar plantation. The Morayfield area derives from this naming.

Raff was an important figure in the first Queensland Parliament and this settlement had immense economic importance for the region supplying sugar, rum and molasses to the growing population. Unfortunately, this site also was one of the places which used “indentured” labour at the time, from the South Sea Islands. The Heritage Park has a space to remember these people and their stories, we encourage you to visit and imagine what life must have been like for indentured labourers in those times. Space is made available for the South Sea Islander community to remember their ancestors at this place.

Heritage Park

The heritage remains along the Heritage Trail have been carefully preserved and show the significant developments of the North Harbour site from early European settlement through to the present day. Our heritage trails tell the story of the site on educational signage, allowing for complete immersion in this special space.

When you first arrive at Heritage Park, we recommend you visit the Compass Centre which tells the history of the site through historic photographs, sketches and display objects which allow visitors to appreciate the stories and significant developments from the past up to the present day.

After learning about the history of the site, you can then walk through the heritage trails and view the remaining artefacts of the residents of yesteryear such as the Old Well, and the steps of the Old Homestead.

The Heritage Park took three years to construct, and cost over $3M, with $1,535,062 of funds coming from the Federal Government through a funding agreement with the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology. Funding was through the Community Development Grants programme, provided through the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and the $1,535,062 Grant was matched by North Harbour.

The Heritage Park precinct includes picnic areas with shelters, BBQs, tables and benches and toilet facilities and is open every day, from 6am to sunset. For more information on what is available and the Heritage Park location please click here.

Heritage Park

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