Tidal River Open Space

Wilsons Promontory National Park (The Prom) is one of Victoria’s most treasured parks. At the heart of this magnificent natural environment is Tidal River, the launching pad for visitors, to help them begin their adventure into the wild. Tidal River’s string of facilities (including the provision of accommodation, food, supplies and information) supports the needs of the 400,000 plus annual visitors to The Prom. However, notwithstanding the excellent amenities already in place at Tidal River to serve The Prom community, there something missing… At present, there is no central coherent place for people to meet, gather, socialise and to begin their connection to, and appreciation of, The Prom.

What is Tidal River Open Space?

Tidal River Open Space is designed to draw people into the story of The Prom and bridge the gap between contrived and wild places that make this park so spectacular. The space is designed to reflect and complement The Prom, but does not dominate it. Gathering areas provide for school and educational groups, tour groups, walking groups, campers, friends and families who can meet in the day or early evening. Details in the space are designed to excite visitors’ curiosity about The Prom and invite them to explore the real thing.

 Tidal River Open Space – new design

Carefully located on site, the space is designed to allow buffer zones around all of the existing functional areas, especially the Commandoes monument and the campsites close by. It’s located on the doorstep of the existing Education Centre, which readily enables educational facilitators and students to take their discoveries outside. The designs incorporate the existing features of the space – trees, shelters and other cultural and environmental reference points already part of the space.

Current space
Design for future space

The space is designed to be central and multifunctional. In the words of the design team from Jeavons Landscape Architects:

The sinuous three-dimensional form provides opportunities to define spaces and link connected parts while deliberately separating other areas. For example:

  • Some areas are busy and active, and others are quiet. Active ball games are separated from the quieter, more contemplative areas
  • Some adults and older children might want to sit comfortably, seaparated from younger children at play
  • Campers want to maintain their privacy
  • Pathways and routes both over and under ensure the form doesn’t block off patterns of circulation nor views across the open space

The space has been designed to comply with access and mobility standards. The design provides accessible routes to all areas.


Who is Driving the Project?

Tidal River Open Space Committee

The Tidal River Open Space Committee is a group of dedicated local community members are leading the call for the establishment of an innovative, multifunctional, interactive and accessible open space where visitors and locals can meet, learn, create and play. They continue to work tirelessly towards their goal; consulting with community, generating resources, and engaging with supporters across a variety of sectors.

People and Parks Foundation

People and Parks is committed to supporting community to deliver funding for the project. People and Parks collaborates with community, government, philanthropic and corporate entities to develop resources for projects connecting people to parks. People and Parks’ vision is for all people to have access and opportunity to engage with nature now and into the future for health, wellbeing and sustainable natural environments.

Parks Victoria

Parks Victoria is committed to delivering works on the ground across Victoria’s park network to protect and enhance park values in the context of their surrounding landscape and in partnership with Traditional Owners. Parks Victoria works to foster constructive partnerships with other government agencies, non-government organisations and community groups in order to deliver healthy parks environments hand in hand with a positive visitor experience. Parks Victoria’s core philosophy – Healthy Parks Healthy People –is a key driver in the organisation’s objective to connect people and communities with parks. The Tidal River Open Space project represents the confluence of a shared vision between the Tidal River Open Space community, People and Parks Foundation, and Parks Victoria.

As an active partner, Parks Victoria have delivered in kind support over a range of components of this project. They have overseen the Cultural Heritage and Environment Mapping processes and have committed to project manage the construction.

What Tidal River Open Space Offers

Imagine a space where…

  • You can socialise, share and relax
  • You are inspired by new discoveries
  • You are encouraged to explore further into wilder, more remote areas of the park
  • You are always welcome in a space that’s always open
  • You are drawn into the park and encouraged to stay a little longer
  • You can discover more about the rich biodiversity of the park

A gathering place. ‘Meet you at the open space’ – walkers, campers, day trippers and every other visitor to The Prom have a wonderful place to meet, mingle, and begin their adventure.

A place for relaxation. Unwind at Tidal River Open Space after a busy day exploring the park.

A place to connect. Local community can gather together, forge stronger social connections and use the space for events and activities.

A place to play. The space encourages kids to play, imagine and discover. While it might not contain may traditional playground features, it’s only up to a child’s imagination to transform the open space into a fantastic playspace.

A place to celebrate the wilderness of The Prom. Tidal River Open Space is a place to recreate, but also to facilitate new discoveries for park visitors. Through native floral landscaping, the space offers visitors an interpretation of the park’s natural assets. Native flora is used to encourage conservation activities, and encourage visitors to assume personal responsibility for the health of the park’s ecosystems. Engaging with the park’s wild environments starts at Tidal River, and ends wherever your walking boots take you!

A place to discover the significant heritage of The Prom. Indigenous and European heritage is central to the story of Wilsons Promontory. The Open Space incorporates important references to the stories and events at the heart of the park’s cultural identity.

Visitors and Tourism

The Prom delivers critical economic benefits to the surrounding regions. Tidal River Open Space is designed to enhance the existing recreational facilities at Tidal River and increase visitation to the park, which directly benefits the local tourism industry. It provides an outstanding first impression for visitors, whetting their appetite to explore further. It also represents an opportunity to increase visitation to the region, providing a boost for the local economy, particularly those involved in hospitality and other tourism-based services.


The Prom community is wide and varied. Anyone who has an emotional connection to the park is a part of that community. Locals talk about The Prom with a sense of ownership and great pride. Visitors come back year after year, because their connection to The Prom and its surrounds is visceral and powerful. It‘s an important place featured extensively in the shared history of the region and contributing to countless personal stories. Tidal River Open Space reflects this sense of local connection in a tangible way.

Meeting Safety Standards

Safety for the users of the space, and ease of management by Parks staff are important considerations informing the design of the space. The design conforms to the latest playground standards, to be refined as the design develops.


How can you support the Tidal River Open Space project?

Please show your support by donating to this exciting project by clicking the Donate button.*  All donations, large or small, bring us closer to achieving our goal.

*A donation of $2 or more to the People and Parks Environment Trust is tax deductible in Australia.

Keep in touch online and follow our journey, or feel free to give us a call on 0413 455 111 or email us at info@peopleandparks.org.