Kalinga Park | Environment, land and water | Queensland Government

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Kalinga Park

  • 602584
  • 100 Bertha Street, Wooloowin


Also known as
Anzac Memorial Park
State Heritage
Register status
Date entered
3 July 2007
Parks/gardens/trees: Public park/reserve
2.9 Exploiting, utilising and transforming the land: Valuing and appreciating the environment and landscapes
8.2 Creating social and cultural institutions: Cultural activities
Construction period


100 Bertha Street, Wooloowin
Brisbane City Council
-27.40797074, 153.05335961


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Criterion AThe place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of Queensland’s history.

Kalinga Park is important in demonstrating the pattern of Queensland's history. It follows the line of Kedron Brook and incorporates sections of the land granted to some of Queensland's earliest free settlers. It was a water reserve in 1884, then a recreation reserve, being officially opened as a park in 1910, though it was already being used for sports. It bears witness to the participation of Australia in the First World War with memorial gates and the construction of the memorial Diggers' Drive by returned soldiers. These were constructed between 1920 and 1923 and are key aspects of the park, both historically and in establishing its layout. They demonstrate the process of grieving that was occurring in the district and across Australia at that time. During the Second World War Kalinga Park was the site of a large staging camp and it continues to be a popular recreational facility.

Criterion BThe place demonstrates rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of Queensland’s cultural heritage.

The memorial avenue, known as 'Diggers' Drive', is the only known example in Queensland of a memorial avenue constructed by returned solders as a relief work project.

Criterion EThe place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

Kalinga Park is significant for its aesthetic values. Contributing to this value is the presence of Kedron Brook along its northern perimeter, the tree lined memorial drive and the substantial memorial gates to Park Avenue. The arrangement of groups of mature trees interspersed with open playing fields areas provides pleasing vistas within the park and contrasts with sculptural groupings and the large children's play area.

Criterion GThe place has a strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.

Given the role of the park as a memorial to the war dead of the district, its long history of use by sporting groups, and its presence as a place or resort and recreation, Kalinga Park has a strong and ongoing social value to local community.


Kalinga Park was opened in 1910 and is located on the southwest bank of Kedron Brook at Wooloowin.

Kalinga Park occupies a portion of the early German Mission Station established at Zion Hill in 1838, forming the first free European settlement in Queensland. The missionaries named Kedron Brook, but the mission closed in 1850 and the area was surveyed in 1851 prior to other settlers moving into the area. By the 1880s, this area was industrial and in 1884 much of the land now comprising the park was declared a water reserve. Kalinga is derived from Ngalin-nga, a phrase in the Turrbal dialect said to mean 'belonging to us.'

The area was administered as part of Toombul shire and A L Petrie, Member for Toombul of 3 September 1910, officially opened the reserve as a park though several sports clubs were already using it. It had received improvements including levelling and clearing, the erection of a pavilion and the laying down of a cricket pitch.

In 1909 and 1911 land to the south of Kalinga Park between the railway station and the reserve was subdivided and sold as residential blocks. This was an important stage in the subsequent development of the area, as was connection to Brisbane by tram in 1929.

Following the First World War, the local Ladies Patriotic Club and the Kalinga Progress Association, together with the Toombul Shire council, erected memorial gates at the Park Avenue entrance. Brigadier-General L C Wilson dedicated them on 23 October 1920. The event was well attended with a guard of honour formed by Boy Scouts and Cubs from the Albion, Clayfield, Nundah and Kalinga districts and music provided by the Brisbane Citizen's Band. The President of the Ladies Patriotic Club declared at the ceremony that the Honour Gates were erected as a witness and everlasting memory of the patriotic services of the men who enlisted from the Kalinga district. Funds were later raised to embellish the posts of the main gate with inscribed marble slabs. For a time, the park was known as Anzac Memorial Park.

After the war, the Commonwealth Department of Repatriation placed returning soldiers in jobs, but it was a slow process and many found themselves in financial difficulties. Citizens' committees were formed to raise money and to assist in such ways as founding clothing depots. Local committees were also formed to help with finding relief work. In 1922 the Kalinga Unemployed and Distressed Soldiers' Committee was formed. It arranged with the Kalinga Improvement Committee for 83 unemployed returned soldiers to be given work in road formation and drainage in Kalinga Park.

As an initiative of the Kalinga Unemployed and Distressed Soldiers Committee this work included the construction and planting of a memorial drive to those who died in the war. It ran from the gates in Park Avenue to Sandgate Road and was intended for motor traffic. The returned soldiers cleared and levelled 60 chains (1200 metres) of roadway following the curve of Kedron Brook. It was gravelled and lined with trees and was informally known as the 'Diggers' Drive'. The Governor of Queensland, Sir Matthew Nathan, opened the drive on 31 May 1924. He said that he hoped that the scheme for identifying the trees with metal plaques carrying the names of deceased soldiers would be successfully carried out. However, there was difficultly at the time in obtaining some names and the project was not completed.

In 1925, with the amalgamation of the various Brisbane local government authorities, Kalinga Park passed from Toombul Council into the control of the Brisbane City Council.

Between 1943 and 1945, during the Second World War, a large army staging camp was located in Kalinga Park. As part of this development, the bandstand was sold for removal and many buildings, including a post office for soldiers at the camp, were erected. After the war, these were removed with the exception of the post office building, which was relocated to the western edge of the park, and is used by the Scouts, who have considerably altered and extended it over the years. Thiess Brothers were engaged to restore the park to its pre-war condition, though the bandstand was not replaced. In 1952 Harry Oakman, then Manager of Brisbane parks, planted tallowwoods along the memorial drive to replace trees that had died or been removed.

A block of land in Bertha Street was acquired on 21 July 1952 to extend the park. During the late 1960s considerable work was untaken in the park including filling and topsoiling of the football and cricket fields. In 1965 the Scots Presbyterian Church Fellowship Association gained a seven-year lease of the two tennis courts. The Queensland Miniature Race Car Club constructed a circular fenced track at the eastern end of the park.

During the 1990s the Kalinga Karnival based on the park was run for several years, but was discontinued in 1998.

Land at 924 Sandgate Road, Clayfield was acquired in 1991, bringing the park area to 20.4285 hectares.

An interpretive sign for the Diggers' Drive was installed and unveiled on 30 April 1993m and the name was formally gazetted in 2003.The drive is now surfaced with bitumen, though the Council has no record of the date that this was done.

In 1996 the Access Arts organisation from Nundah undertook a project in the park utilising both professional artists and community members. They created sandstone carvings and hand decorated paving.

The park also contains a popular children's playground and picnic area.


Kalinga Park is an irregularly shaped section of open parkland bounded by Bertha, Kalinga and Lewis Streets. A natural watercourse, Kedron Brook, forms its northern boundary.

Bicycle and walking tracks run through the park and it contains a children's playground, picnic areas, a dog off-leash area and various sports fields and recreational facilities. These include tennis courts, a petanque playing area and ovals for cricket and football. There is also a fenced circuit for the Queensland Miniature Race Car Club.

A hut leased by the Kalinga Scouts is on the boundary of the park at the western end, though accessed from Bertha Street. It is a single storey timber building.

An avenue of mature eucalypts is planted along the edge of Kedron Brook and trees are scattered in clumps around the park. The railway and the airport monorail cross the western edge of the park.

Memorial Gates

The gates are at the entrance on Park Avenue. The posts are made of brown Helidon sandstone carved and topped with stone spheres. The central pair is inset with marble panels that read 'Erected by the residents of Kalinga and officially opened 23 October 1920' and 'Erected in commemoration of those of the district who served in the Great War 1914-1919.'

These posts support metal gates across the carriageway and are flanked by smaller pedestrian gates to either side. A matching wall topped by railings flanks each side of the gateway.

The drive runs from the gateway toward Kedron Brook and then along the line of the Brook to Sandgate Road. It is bitumened and kerbed and is lined by mature trees.

This area incorporates built and natural features including sculptures, shelters and picnic tables formed to resemble leaves.

Image gallery


Location of Kalinga Park within Queensland
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated
20 January 2016
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