- Whites Hill
Whites Hill is a hill and public reserve situated in
Holland Parkin Brisbane’s South East. The reserve covers an area of 53 acres (21.5 hectares) bound by the surrounding suburbs of Camp Hill, Coorparoo, Carina Heights and Mt. Gravatt East. The site is popular with locals, with the reserve offering many sporting and recreational facilities.
Whites Hill is named after the White Family, who, in 1873, acquired 53 acres (21.5 hectares) of land surrounding the 120m elevation now known as Whites Hill. It was here where the White’s built their dream home, whose grandeur proved popular with the locals. Soon, the house was opened to the public where, as well as tea and meals, a spectacular view of Brisbane city was offered. Later, a camera obscura, that projected the Brisbane skyline onto a wall, was constructed. This, as well as the installation of a music machine, made the house ideal for functions, with many weddings and parties taking place.
Brisbane City Councilsought to acquire the land for development in 1924, offering Bob White ₤22000 for its sale. He declined and lived out his days on the property. Upon his death in 1927, the land was sold to the council for less than half the original offer. With clear views of the Greater Brisbane Area from its peak, Whites Hill became an ideal observation post during the Second World War. The house remained on the land until 1964, where it was torn down after repeated acts of vandalism forced the council to condemn the residence.
Soon after, the land was developed into a reserve. An area of land was set aside for a public park, which includes a playground area, BBQ and toilet facilities and a sizeable area of parkland. Further development from the 1980s to present day has seen sporting clubs for
Cricket, Soccerand Touch Football become established within the reserve. Kilometres of walking track also snake through the reserve, most notably to a reconstructed lookout that provides excellent views of the Brisbane CBD.
The reserve was also the site of the Whites Hill
Landfilland RecyclingFacility, which closed in 1994 in favour of a larger facility in the Brisbane suburb of Chandler. Portions of the reserve near Pine Mountain have also been used as a quarry. Through community action however, much of that land has been rehabilitated.
Whites Hill Reserve is characterised by a topographical ridge that extends from Pine Mountain through to Whites Hill (the highest elevation on the reserve at 120m). The reserve plays host to a range of local wildlife with a 1981 survey finding 58 species of bird, 1 of mammals and 4 species of reptiles. There is also known to be a scattered
Koalapopulation throughout the reserve.
The reserve's vegetation consists of
Tallowwood, Grey Gum, Brush Box, Queensland Blue Gumand White Mahoganywith small instances of Rainforest. The reserve is prone to potentially catastrophic bushfires during the summer months; given many residences (some in the multi-million range) border the dry bushland. The Brisbane City Council actively practices anti bushfire methods, such as sacrificial back burning. This involves burning selected sections of bushland to inhibit the spread of potentially damaging fires in the event of an emergency. The reserve is also dotted with a number of fire trails.
Whites Hill Reserve currently has a number of sporting and recreation facilities. For this reason, it is home to a number of sporting clubs. The Holland Park Hawks own two full size Soccer pitches on site as well as a club house. In addition, there are two Cricket pitches and six Touch Football fields. The reserve also features a number of BBQ areas and playgrounds, as well as several hundred square metres of cleared bushland. This cleared area is ideal for play.
Formally, the reserve was home to the Whites Hill Landfill and Recycling Facility, however this was shut down in 1994. This land has been partially reclaimed to build six Touch Football fields. Furthermore, a number of walking tracks have been constructed since the closure of the Whites Hill Landfill.
Brisbane native plants
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