Early Days

“Although traditional life has long gone, Caloundra Region is rich in Aboriginal heritage, in the form of significant sites and place names. A number of families of Undumbi decent still reside within Caloundra and have traditional ties to this country. It is recorded in Caloundra’s early history that Aboriginal families lived in the Duck Hole Creek area, Golden Beach and somewhere in Arthur Street, Shelly Beach.” 
“Eventually they no longer worked for Tripconys and they split up. Some of the family lived on Bribie Island, a few went to Duck Holes creek and eventually they left.” 

The Rotary Club of Caloundra established the Park

In the 1981-82 Annual Report of the Rotary Club of Caloundra, the Community Services Director reported on the establishment of the Rotary Park at Duck Holes Creek – and its first use - in this way:
“… after much preparation and planning, we commenced our first project for the year – our Rotary Park at Duck Hole Creek.  This has been a most pleasing project, as it has involved most of the Rotarians of our Club, as well as our Community Services Committee.  Much fellowship has been experienced due to this project. 
“To date we have marked out the park, erecting a fence on the Caloundra Road side.  Three sets of tables and seats have been constructed.  There have been a number of shrubs planted on ‘Gilligan’s Island’ and a man-made lake is now evident.  Many working bees have brought the Park to its present state.
“In the new year, we look toward the new Community Service Committee carrying on this fine work.  The first stage in the new year will be a toilet block; then barbecues, swings, slippery dip, and the balance of the tables and seats.
“Our park was the venue for our major fund-raising effort – our White Elephant Auction …”
Earlier in the year, the Club completed the naming of the trees in Ben Bennett Park.  So it was the story of two park projects to benefit the community, continuing the good work that Caloundra Rotary has achieved in the community.  Other projects have included (in no particular order) the steam train at Happy Valley that subsequently went to Alice Springs before its return to Gympie, establishment of the Tranquillity Garden at Caloundra Hospital, and construction of the rock pool at Kings Beach.*
Expenditure in 1981/82 amounted to $1,800.  The park was expected to be a three year project.

Work continues in 1982/83 and Rotary welcomes Scouts to the Park

Construction of the toilet block and other improvements costing $5,410 were completed with the help of Landsborough Council* which arranged to connect the sewer.  In addition to the toilet block, the work included fencing, and the planting of trees.  The ‘Bridge of Friendship’ moved due to flooding.
The toilet block was mainly built by club members under the guidance of Building Contractor Don Thomas who donated his time to the project.  Sellars Concrete donated the ready-mixed concrete.  The swings and slippery slide were donated by Rotarian Harry Wildman.
Then … the Rotary Club of Caloundra sponsored the Beaver Masters District Scout Group commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Scouting in the World by holding a camp over the weekend of 19-20 February 1983.  The club also presented a new shield to the camp for the troop with a ‘neat, simple and high standard of Hygiene’ – the winner was the Glasshouse Mountains Scout Troop.
*Note: The first meeting of Landsborough Shire Council was held on 22 February 1912 after splitting from the Caboolture Divisional Board.  Kilcoy Shire was also formed on that day.  1912 marked the beginning of Landsborough Shire Council and on 19 December 1987 the Landsborough Shire Local Government area became Caloundra City.  In March 2008, the three councils of the Sunshine Coast, Noosa Shire, Maroochy Shire and Caloundra City amalgamated. 

The work was ongoing

Installation of lighting and barbecues was accomplished in 1983/84 but work slowed in the early part of 1984/85 due to insufficient availability of funds.  A quote was required to obtain funding for the removal of Gilligan’s Island but it was delayed.

Major Extension planned

A development proposal (including an Engineer’s Report and estimated costing) for a major extension of Rotary Park was documented and presented to Council in 1985/86.  Cliff Ridout took responsibility for the presentation and Honorary Member Mike Ahearn wrote the Foreword to the proposal.  There was no response by year end.
Continued improvements were made in 1986/87 and 1987/88:  the Youth Service Committee organised a Working Bee to re-paint tables, chairs, etc in the Park and to carry out a few minor repairs.

Rotary Park handed over to the Council

A Club Assembly was held to give members a chance to consider the Board’s decision to return the maintenance of Rotary Park to the Caloundra City Council.  The view was that the Council was better equipped to maintain and service the park and that Rotarians had more urgent demands on their physical and financial resources.  The Club Assembly upheld the Board’s decision.
The minutes of the Board Meeting held 23 May 1988 recorded the receipt of correspondence from Caloundra City Council accepting responsibility for the Park.

But … the involvement of the Rotary clubs continued!

August 2007: 11 of our master painter members, in conjunction with a team from the Rotary Club of Caloundra Pacific, painted all of the park furniture at Duck Holes Creek.
September 2007: Merv Paddison presented to the Club Meeting on the history of Rotary Park at Duck Holes Creek. The project spanned from 1981 to 1988 when it was handed over to Council. The project spend was $7,200 and included the toilet block, lighting, BBQ’s and playground equipment.
October 2007: Past District Governor Nevell reported that the installation of eight (8) Hollow Log Boxes and a Duck Hide was to proceed with financial assistance from Caloundra City Council.
February 2008: Nevell reported that the club’s arbour day team of five planted 115 small trees and shrubs in the Park.
March 2008: President Ron thanked Nevell and the arbour team for their work at Duck Holes Creek.
April 2008: President Ron thanked members for the tree planting at Duck Holes Creek.
August 2008: President Alan noted that Council has advised that there will be further development of Duck Holes Creek and Nevell was to be club’s contact.
September 2009: President Jim thanked those who attended the working bee at Duck Holes Creek and reported that the area is now looking much tidier.  Nevell reported on the clean-up at Duck Holes Creek where eight volunteers raked, sawed, dragged, loaded and dumped two very large trailer loads of branches, sticks and flood debris. 


  1. Claim This Caloundra West Park As Your Own was the headline in the 21 November 2012 article in Weekend Notes!
“If you're looking for a park long forgotten by the general public and even the local council, you've come to the right place.  The Rotary Park Duck Holes Creek seems to have fallen off the radar for many but this can also work to your advantage.
“The Caloundra West Park is an ideal place for a picnic.  You'll find plenty of spots to set up for the day.  Bring a picnic blanket and sit under the shade of one of the many trees or take up residence on a picnic table by the lake.  They even have a couple of electric barbecues here so bring a couple of snags and fry up a barbecue.  It's as good as doing it in your own backyard.
“There aren't too many wide open areas here with all the trees, so kicking a ball around could prove difficult.  You will find however a small playground; it's nothing too special but it'll do.  It hasn't got a shade sail but with plenty of tall trees around you should have plenty of protection.
“There is a public toilet at the park but it has been closed.  Alternative public amenities are available adjacent to the Caloundra Visitor Information Centre.  That's just opposite the park but crossing Caloundra Road can be a bit of a hassle - especially if you've got young children in tow.”
  1. The Rotary Club of Caloundra’s Unsung Involvement in the Community
The club’s archives revealed Rotary involvement in the following parks:
  • Lady Wilson Park renovations at Dicky Beach
  • Stillwater Beach (aka Bulcock Beach) – large draughts board
  • Maleny Rotary Park
  • Bell’s Creek picnic area
  • Lighthouse Reserve park
  • Centaur Park headland picnic area
  • Steam railway engine restoration at Happy Valley
  • Duck Holes Creek park
  • Ben Bennett park
  • Establishment of the Tranquillity Garden at Caloundra Hospital
Many of these have been redeveloped over the years with no visible Rotary signage.



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