Developer hopes river site can be restored
Goulburn once had a beautiful picnic area where people swam and fished and rowed boats on a wide stretch of the Wollondilly River.
The Kenmore Pleasure Grounds, at the bottom of Wollondilly Ave, was in operation from the 1890s to the 1950s.
Now all that remains is the old boathouse.
The council owns the 3780 m strip of land around it, which is begging for restoration into a recreational park.
Then maybe the boathouse could once again become the scene of idyllic riverside picnics and boating parties?
There has been some recent activity at the site, with the clearing of privet and weeds.
Boathouse Developments Pty Ltd Director Graham Irving, who sold the land to the council in 2012, said the former Kenmore Pleasure Grounds formed a significant part of Goulburn’s history.
“It is a beautiful part of the river and it is great to get it into the public domain again.”- - Graham Irving
“In the 1890s, boats were hired from here - it was a well-known recreational area, but it was not part of the former psychiatric hospital,” Mr Irving said.
“There is even two submerged swimming pools just above the river on righthand- side. People remember a pontoon in the river there in the 1950s. It was a great swimming hole.”
He is confident the area can be restored to its former glory.
“It is a great asset for Goulburn - up there with the Waterworks, in terms of a beautiful location on the river for picnics, but it is not in the psyche of people to know what a great spot they have here. It is the ‘jewel in Goulburn’s crown,” he said.
“I’d love to see a canoe club down there or a regatta - it is a straight wide stretch of river for 1.5 km.”
Mr Irving said he sold the land to the council “for a nominal fee” and he hoped the area could be re-developed.
“The Boatshed is now owned by the council and I hope now that it is in public hands for the first time in 60 years that something happens to it,” he said.
“It is looking good, they (the council) are keeping the grass short and they have recently cleared some privet and weeds away, I am hoping they can link it to the Wollondilly Walking Track.”
Mr Irving is in the process of developing the nearby ‘Boathouse Estate’.
“I am in the process of subdividing the blocks - I am providing 25 lots on Wollondilly Ave, all with magnificent water views,” he said.
“There will be 10 houses on smaller lots and 15 standard houses on more significant lots. I have put a lot of infrastructure down there already - sewer and stormwater - and curbing is going in soon. Physically - it is all happening.
“In the next two weeks we will start building houses. We will be marketing blocks on Wollondilly Ave in the short term and will aim to finish the houses by end of this year and start on internal road in the estate next year.
“Hopefully, a bit of local history can be revived down there?” He said.
“It is a beautiful part of the river and it is great to get it into the public domain again.”