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Rex Norman Park and Picnic Area

Home > Victoria > Parks | Picnic Spots | Playgrounds
by KJ (subscribe)
Published July 21st 2017
A picnic spot and playground located near the Otways

Gellibrand is a beautiful little town situated on the edge of the Great Otway National Park in Victoria. It's also home to the Rex Norman Park, which is a great place to stop to have a bite to eat, let the kids have a play, and learn a bit about the town's history.

The park is located on the main road that runs through Gellibrand (it's on the left if you're travelling from Colac), and is the site of the old Gellibrand Railway Station, which was part of the Old Beechy Railway.

The Timber Railway was in operation between 1902 and 1962, and the historical significance of the railway is apparent through the features of the park, which include:

The large metal sign at the front of the park, which displays the railway gradients,
Interpretive signage, which detail the history of the railway
Restored buildings (including the old railway house); and
An old rail cart full of timber at the front of the park.

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The Old Beech Forest Road entrance has a sign providing information about the history of the timber railway.


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A load of timber on display from the historic Old Beechy Rail Trail


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The Old Beechy Rail Trail Information Centre is located in the restored station building


Along with an Information Centre and Community House, the park features a large picnic shelter, with seating and two electric barbecues. There is also a rainwater tank on one of the sides of the shelter.

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The picnic shelter, wooden picnic table, and Gellibrand Community House


Outside the picnic shelter, there's a wooden picnic table, and further back, a playground and toilet block.

The playground is set over pine bark, and includes the following equipment:

Tunnel slide
Fireman's Pole
Flying Fox
Toddler swing and standard swing
Bouncy See-Saw

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The tunnel slide and fireman's pole


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The Flying Fox at Rex Norman Park Playground


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The fort with small slide


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The swingset and see-saw


The toilet block is located near the playground, and has one male toilet, and one female toilet, with a hand basin inside each cubicle.

The toilets were clean and well-maintained when I visited, and are normal "flushable" toilets, for those who aren't keen on using the pit toilets in the Otways National Park.

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The public toilet facilities at Rex Norman Park


The park is currently under redevelopment, and when I visited there was a section that was closed off as concrete had just been laid.

The future plans for the site look fantastic (they can be viewed on the council website, here), with the redeveloped park to include new picnic shelters, an electric pizza oven, exercise equipment, a play node and toddler play node, skate space, basketball area, timber seating, landscaped gardens, and an extension to the toilet facilities.

Overall, it's a great place to get out of the car and stretch you legs, stop for lunch, and let the kids have a run around on your way to (or from) the Otways.

Toilets: Yes, there are two cubicles (1 male, 1 female), with hand basins in both.

BBQ Facilities: Yes, there is a picnic shelter with seating and two electric barbecues.

Rubbish Bins: Yes

Fenced? No

Shade/Shelter: The picnic shelter is undercover, however the rest of the park (including the playground) is not covered.

Parking: There is free parking available on both sides of the park.

Closest place to grab some food or coffee? The Gellibrand River Store and Cafe is just across the road, and has a selection of hot food such as chips and pies, sandwiches, home-style food, cakes, hot and cold drinks, and ic-creams.

Extra Notes: The grass area was quite boggy in sections due to recent rain, so be careful where you (or the kids) step.
Also, please note that the park is currently undergoing a redevelopment, so sections may be closed as this takes place.
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Why? To have a picnic, let the kids have a play, and learn about the history of the Old Beechy Railway.
When: Any time
Where: 5 Main Rd, Gellibrand VIC 3239
Cost: Free
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