Mainstay for recreation

In 1901 Tanunda had two recreation areas; the park in Basedow Road, which was established several years before the turn of the century, and the Tea Gardens, adjacent to the North Para at the southern entrance to the town.

Back in time: A gathering at the Tanunda Show Hall, circa 1912. Photo: Supplied.

Back in time: A gathering at the Tanunda Show Hall, circa 1912. Photo: Supplied.

Recreation Park,

Basedow Road

A community project, Tanunda's first public park was established on land purchased from The Adelaide Wine Co (Chateau Tanunda) in the 1890s. It was used for football and cricket matches and also for agricultural shows, in conjunction with the nearby club hall.

At school Arbour days children planted trees at this site.  When the park was needed as the site for the Railway Station in 1909, the residents of Tanunda were willing to sacrifice it to allow the station to proceed.

Recreation Park,

Elizabeth Street

With the loss of the original recreation park to make way for the railway station a new site was purchased in Elizabeth Street - it was actually part of the original Langmeil settlement. 

Plans for the new park were being formulated in 1910.

A Mr Menzel was laying out the park, with an eye to beauty, and he had marked out the oval which was surrounded with a post and pipe fence. The oval was to be second to none and was to be planted with couch grass and perennial rye grass.

A lot of voluntary labour went into the project including ploughing the site and erecting fencing. The formal opening took place in conjunction with the Tanunda Show in 1912.

The chief guest was his Excellency the Governor of South Australia, Sir Day Hort Bosanquet together with several members of parliament.

The largest ever meeting of Tanunda ratepayers  took place on March 1915 to discuss the possibility of the District Council of Tanunda taking over the park because of the debt.

The financial situation had worsened because of the effect of the severe drought of 1914 which continued into the early part of 1915.

The meeting was told that a total of £3,790 for purchase of land and improvements had been spent.

Of this amount £1,150 had been paid off. The annual interest on the money owed was £130.

At a subsequent meeting it was decided to hand the control of the park to the District Council.

Since 1950, the original show hall, which had a quaint charm, has been replaced by a larger and useful hall which is lacking in character.

As the original plantings of trees aged, many have been removed with new plantings taking their place.

Impressive: Recreation Park 1912 Show Hall (left) and the grandstand (right). Photo: Supplied.

Impressive: Recreation Park 1912 Show Hall (left) and the grandstand (right). Photo: Supplied.