Former HMS Buffalo site to be renewed and repurposed

After the removal of the HMS Buffalo replica ship from Wigley Reserve in 2019, plans for a transformation of the space began in late May.

Image credit: City of Holdfast Bay

After the removal of the HMS Buffalo replica ship from Wigley Reserve in 2019, the planned space transformation project began in late May 2024.

The project will include re-alignment of the water frontage to remove the uneven surfaces and tight corners. Plus, the treatment of existing foundations of the former Buffalo replica. Fill material will need to be imported, and the site will be levelled.

The designs include an extension of the rock revetment wall, and infilling over the current Buffalo site to create a paved area at ground level. Balustrade and landscaping such as additional turf and native plantings, new improved lighting, furniture, signage and artwork will also be included in the project.

The area surrounding the site will also be remodelled to create a continuous footpath with more circulation space, improving access and connectivity to the playspace, kiosk, car park, and pedestrian loop around the Patawalonga.

In 1982, the replica ship of the HMS Buffalo was established at Wigley Reserve as a prominent restaurant and visitor attraction. Here it stood for many years, until the restaurant was closed to the public in late 2013. While plans to revamp the ship were put into action, unfortunately the infrastructure had deteriorated to such a condition that it was no longer financially viable to invest in repairing.

This led to the removal of the HMS Buffalo replica in 2019, but has now created an opportunity for this space to be reinvigorated and repurposed for the community to enjoy.

Funding for the project has been included in the City of Holdfast Bay’s Annual Business Plan 2023-24 to commence improvements to the site, and the project is expected to be concluded by the end of September this year.

For more information about the project, click here.

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