Munro Martin Park
Munro Martin Parklands, first known as Norman Park in the 1800s, is Cairns’ oldest Gazetted open space with a rich history as key gathering point for the community. Cairns Council asked for a vision to transform the lately under-used park into a destination for locals and tourists alike, and to provide a unique venue for open air events which in a tropical city like Cairns is useable all year round.
The resulting collaboration has created what is sure to become a nationally renowned symbiosis of flamboyant botanical displays and unique outdoor performance venue. The heroes of the scene are the 70 arbour frames, providing the stage for 275 vines including the Flames of the Forest (PNG), the elegant Jade vine (Philippines) or the exotic Indian Slipper vine. The supporting cast consists of 63 new trees, and almost 7,000 smaller plants.
The stage is equally furnished by the botanical actors with a 10m high proscenium flourishing with various colours of the Mandevillea vine (and some colourful steel added into the mix), and a backdrop created from local rock in the form of 6m tall curved gabion wall.
The stage has been designed to accommodate an entire Symphony Orchestra, with the flexibility to host a variety of professional, amateur and community events. The landscaped audience space is tiered at the rear with a capacity of over 3,000 in any configuration.
A 9m tall sculpture by a local artist, representing the local topography of mangrove deltas and the main entrance address the new Performing Arts Centre currently under construction which will complete “The Precinct” as a flexible vibrant cultural hub for the Cairns CBD.
The transformation of the park and precinct represent another step to the gradual revitalisation of the city centre supplying it with a unique gathering place emphasizing Cairns’ claim to a liveable City in a Rainforest.