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Father Woods Park

Father Woods Park

Father Woods Park is a heritage and historical site located 21 kilometres north of Penola and is a significant place of interest not just for the religious, but for tourists as well.

It’s best known for the seven sculptures that sit atop tree stomps, which depict the life of Father Julian Tenison Woods, and Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop.

Father Woods Park, History, Sculptures & Picnic Area, Coonawarra SA

Father Woods was a famous Catholic Priest in the south-east South Australian region during the years of 1857 through 1867. He met Mary MacKillop while she was working as a governess in Penola, where he then inspired her to be devoted to the cause of all children – no matter what their social or financial backgrounds. In 1866, together they founded the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart.

The statues are erected in the middle of the park – just across the Father Woods Tree, which marks the site where the priest used to hold mass.

The sculptures were made by Kevin Gilders, who used chain saws to create these intricate carvings. The land that the park is built on was donated by Mr Jack Gartner to the Archdiocese of Adelaide to honour the work of Father Woods.

Facilities at the park include a car and coach parking lot, walking trails, and picnic area. Father Woods Park is located on Riddoch Highway in Glenroy, South Australia.

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