Hallorans Hill Lookout Park: Portal to the Tablelands

Atherton, 1999-2003 by John Mongard Landscape Architects

Project description

Atherton Shire's Hallorans Hill Lookout has been transformed into a regional, cultural and ecological destination acting as a panoramic gateway to the lush Tablelands. An interpretive centre and sculptural walking trails and parklands, incorporating toilets, a changing facility/storage room and interpretation facilities were planned on the summit below the Telstra tower. Stairs and a paved ramp access a large fan-shaped timber structure with a big, open verandah and 180-degree views. A series of curved, sculptural rock walls form attractive lawn terraces where people can sit and enjoy the panorama. Picnic shelters with lighting and shared BBQ facilities are also available. A sculptural playground and an interpretive trail comprising of signage and artworks form the backbone of a walking trail between the Park and a rare rainforest in the volcanic crater.

What was the trigger for starting the project?

In 1998, Council resolved to move ahead with an upgrade of the Lookout facility after concerns were raised about its run-down state and its untapped tourism potential. A well-designed Lookout on the summit had the potential to become a major tourist drawcard on The Tablelands, as well as supporting the emerging recreational needs of the local community.

Community engagement

Various forums and meetings were held across a week including a community meeting, arts & crafts meeting, and consultation with Council staff who will be involved in the implementation and maintenance of the design. Through this process over 100 community members where consulted. Briefs were written by JMLA for the artworks, and expressions of interest were sought. The people who created the artworks are mainly local artists and craftspersons who have developed their ideas in a variety of interesting materials and media, including stone, timber, metal and fabric.

Benefits/Outcomes

The long-term goal of the project was to improve the economic performance of the town through increasing attractive tourism. More immediately, measurable outcomes include an upgraded park space used extensively for local gatherings and the creation of a regional lookout and destination.

Project implementation

The park was officially opened on the 12th of September 2002, by the Premier Peter Beattie. Community Design on the project began in 1999. A strategy prepared by JMLA in 2000 gained funding from Queensland Heritage Trails Funding, and JMLA designed and project managed the park and artworks between 2000 and 2002.

Obstacles

  • Lack of skilled construction and workforce in the Council who were to become the principal contractor: the project created a lot of education and training in relation to public placemaking.
  • The difficult access to the crater rainforest to create an abled-access walk loop.
  • Co-ordinating the various agencies to achieve a unified outcome.
  • Lack of budget for building and interior interpretation works.
  • Council didn't own strategic pieces of land in the park.

Resources

The project budget was \$867,312 of which \$642,995 was contributed by The Heritage Trails Network. Telstra provided the discounted sale of a portion of land to enable creation of a bus loop road. National Parks provided assistance with the trail and revegetation works input. All of the labour used for the project was sourced locally, and local materials were used wherever possible.

For Further Information Contact:
John Mongard Landscape Architects
mail@mongard.com.au
Ph: (07) 3844 1932
Fax: (07) 3844 3250