Barwon River Reserve

barwon concept crop.JPG

Updated 23 January 2022

Following an unsuccessful design and construct tender process for the combined Barwon River Reserve Adventure Play Space and Gathering Space, Council reviewed its options for delivery of the works. 

The outcome determined that splitting the gathering space (mud hut replacement) and the Adventure Play Space was preferred. 

Here is an update on the two parts of the project:

Shelter update

Thank you to community members who recently provided feedback on the Winchelsea Mud Hut Renewal.

The much-loved shelter in the Barwon River Gathering Space – which is closed due its failing structure – was scheduled to be replaced in January 2023.

However we have become aware that microbats are inside the existing shelter which requires investigation. We have also received additional community input which we have taken on board, through a petition received at the Surf Coast Shire Council meeting on 13 December 2022.

We are committed to working with community members on the next steps for a suitable replacement for the mud hut.

We will run further community engagement in early 2023, with opportunities on how you can have your say to be promoted in The Winchelsea Star and through Council communications channels. Feedback will help us present options to Council on how the new structure will look.


Barwon River Adventure Play Space update

The Adventure Play Space and surrounding landscape works was re-tendered in Feb 2022 with tenders closing in mid-March 2022. Disappointingly the re-tender was unsuccessful. 

Council will now start a detailed design process for the playground and landscape works with a view to re-tendering the works for construction only once the designs are finished. 

An updated timeline will be provided once a consultant has been appointed to undertake the design works.



About the project

This project will provide an exciting new play space that is welcoming, inclusive and challenging for young people. This space is designed to complement existing active recreation and play facilities in this attractive riverside precinct and will be a great asset for Winchelsea and district families and visitors to the town.

Funding for this project has been secured from both the State Government under the 2021-22 Local Sports Infrastructure Fund and Australian Government under the 2020-21 Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program.

Mud Hut Shelter Update (CLOSED June 2021)

The mud hut shelter has been identified as reaching the end of its useful life. It was fenced off on 1 June 2021 and signage installed onsite as part of risk management activities in advance of its replacement. An audit of the Winchelsea Mud Hut identified splitting timber beams, rotting structural timber members, cracking bricks and a failing facia member that remains noticeably sloped today.

The shelter has been prioritised for replacement and Council has included renewal of the shelter as part of the Barwon River Gathering Space project. This means that the existing shelter will be demolished and removed, but it will be replaced with a new structure that is considered to provide the same features and useability particularly in terms of size and scale, but in a way that meets current day standards.  The shelter will be located in the same location as the existing mud hut shelter.

View the concept plan

Download the below image as a PDF(PDF, 332KB) or contact us if you aren't able to view the plan.


Project Scope

The scope of works for the adventure playpace includes:

  • Flying fox / zip line
  • Trampolines (in ground)
  • Climbing walls
  • Slide down the slope
  • High pods / tree houses / look out
  • Mindfulness area
  • Rocks and logs for climbing / balancing
  • Obstacle course
  • Ropes course

During 2019 Council ran a number of engagement sessions whilst redeveloping the existing playground at Barwon River Reserve. Feedback was sought on a future Adventure Play Space to sit between the existing playground and the pool at Barwon River Reserve. Participants were also asked what they thought of the existing Mud Brick Hut and how we should plan for its eventual replacement. Feedback received during these processes has been used as a basis for the next phase of development.

Community Engagement

A phase 1 community engagement process was undertaken in 2019 that sought feedback from the community about what elements they would like to see in the proposed playspace.

A phase 2 community engagement process was completed through May and June 2021 inviting feedback to the proposed playspace and gathering space.

Here's a summary of the community feedback:

  • Structure to replace mud hut is a must
  • Play activities to ensure there is a diverse range for all levels and abilities.
  • Natural materials and colour scheme as much as possible
  • Include seats and tables
  • Shade is important in and around the playground
  • Add pops of colour for interest, maybe in art element
  • Include some imaginative play elements



June 2021
Community engagement for input into the Adventure Play space design. Submissions Close.

October – November 2021
Tender released for Barwon Adventure Playspace and Gathering space.

10 November 2021
Tenders closed. No tenders received.

November – December 2021
Review procurement process and seek pricing for Mud Hut renewal (shelter replacement) and associated works.

February 2022
Re-tender closed March 2022.  Re tender process unsuccessful.

May 2022
Community feedback on style of proposed mud hut shelter replacement.

May 2022
Seek detail design services for Barwon River Adventure Play space and Gathering space works.