Wook-Koo Park

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Posted 2021-08-07 by Susan J Bowesfollow
Looking for somewhere peaceful to sit and contemplate, I decided to take a drive to , which is situated approximately nine kilometres west of Maryborough , Queensland. I had heard that it was not only peaceful, but the council had created a great space for family picnics, barbecues and for children to play.

According to an Aboriginal legend, Wook-Koo was the first inhabitant. The Butchulla people who lived in the area believed the name may have originated from two sources; a warrior called Wook-Koo or the Indigenous name for the native Echidna. Among the sculptures throughout the park, there is an enormous metal echidna situated near the lagoon, which was created by local artists.

Driving from Maryborough on the Maryborough-Biggenden Road, you turn right into Woocoo Drive and then in the carpark provided. Two signs at the entrance depict the legend and the history of the area, along with a description of the sculptures found within.

There are concreted paths, which wind around garden settings and wild bush animal sculptures partially hidden in the scrub, just as you would see in the wild. These paths represent the Mary River as it weaves between the life-size sculptures of pioneers, farming animals and wildlife. The paths open out into an area full of playground equipment, barbecues, tables and chairs, some even undercover from the weather. Dogs are allowed on a leash and doggy bags are provided at a post towards the entrance.

Due to vandalism, the council has installed cameras throughout the park . A large Emu sculpture had been taped off for repair and a fish sculpture had lost half its size through the destruction of others.

Large benches were found throughout the park at different places where you could sit and immerse yourself in the natural surrounding or look out on the lagoon. These benches were carved with pelicans in the side at each end of the seat as hand rests. I thought they were very cleverly created.

Mosaic frames were also scattered around the grounds, each with a plaque stating the animal which was depicted and the artist. The lagoon has a water feature that was operating the day of my visit and there is nothing nicer than hearing water movement while in nature.

Under an awning, you will come across a huge wood carving of Wook-koo, who represents the first of the Butchulla people to move from Fraser Island to Mount Woocoo and this area. He is carved entirely out of an ironbark tree by artist Kevin Banting and one I found very impressive.

When I first entered the park, I looked towards the back and thought I saw other people; however, when I got closer to the wooden arch bridge that took me across to the other side, these people were sculptured pioneers of the area in period clothing. These sculptures depict a time when pioneers first settled the area around Mount Woocoo. Cattle grazing, dairy farming and sugar cane farms played a large and important part in the area's history.

Mount Woocoo is a mountain within the St Mary State Forest and close to the small rural town of Tiaro, south of Maryborough. Today the land is freehold and used as small farms and local residents wanting a peaceful retreat from City life.

There is also a full-size tennis court near the carpark and a large skateboard park. With the passion shown by our Olympians in the sport of skateboard riding recently, I'm sure this park will get a lot of use by young enthusiasts wanting to perfect the sport.

I am sure this park receives lots of activity on weekends and after school as it is a great child-friendly and artistic educational park. Traffic would be minimal on the Maryborough-Biggenden Road compared to inner-city areas and is safe for young and old to wander around. The building and hall near the park were once home to the Woocoo Shire Council but are now used for hire when required or Australia and Queensland Day events.

I am so happy the area has been developed into a community space that has a tranquil yet inviting atmosphere encouraging everyone to sit, think, eat and play in a welcoming area.

79747 - 2023-06-11 05:20:50


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