Brisbane Botanic Gardens, City

The oldest botanic garden in Queensland is located in the CBD and was established in 1855. It was among the first places to be listed under the Queensland State heritage legislation back in 1989 and one of the few non-buildings to be included. It has many points of significance (6 out of a possible 8 criteria) and the first one reads:

Criterion A The place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of Queensland’s history.

The Brisbane Botanic Gardens are historically important as the most significant, non-Aboriginal cultural landscape in Queensland, having a continuous horticultural history since 1828, without any significant loss of land area or change in use over that time. It remains the premier public park and recreational facility for the capital of Queensland, which role it has performed since the early 1840s.”

[Significance section, online citation for Brisbane Botanic Gardens, site Number 600067, accessed 12 October 2015; ]

Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt Coot-tha

Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt Coot-tha is not listed on the Queensland Heritage Register, but is described in the Oxford Companion to Gardens (Aitken and Looker, 2001, page 105).

After so many flood events at the city BBG, Brisbane City Council (in particular Harry Caulfield and Ray Steward) began searching for an alternative location for a new BG. They recommended Anzac Park, Toowong and more of the Mt Coot-tha Reserve adjacent. Unfortunately that link to Anzac Park was severed with the construction of the Western Freeway in 1975-1979). The initial development occurred 1970-1973 and the first designer was landscape architect Deane Miller. The MCBG was officially opened in 1976. Curators have been: Barry Dangerfield (1975-1980); Harry Caulfield (1980-1982); Ross McKinnon (1982-2014); and now Dale Arvidsson.


BBG, Mt Coot-tha also contains another treasure: Richard Randall Art Studio

Not many other places (none!) can boast of being moved twice and still retain themselves on the Queensland Heritage Register.

“The Richard Randall Art Studio was purpose-built in 1900 as a two-storey timber studio and residence for Queensland artist Richard John Randall. While located at its original address at 72 Cordelia Street, South Brisbane, it served as the artist’s residence, art studio, classroom and gallery for the last 6 years of his life, before his untimely death in 1906 at the age of 37. Subsequently used as a residence, the upper floor of the studio was saved from demolition in 1988 when it was purchased by the Brisbane City Council and moved to a site in Musgrave Park. In 2007 the studio was relocated for a second time to its current location within the grounds of Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha, Toowong.”

[History section, online citation for Richard Randall Art Studio, site Number 600299, accessed 12 October 2015; ]


Sherwood Arboretum, Sherwood

Was listed on the Queensland Heritage Register in 2007 and includes the John Herbert Memorial Vista.

“The Sherwood Arboretum covers an area of 15 hectares, containing approximately 1,100 trees from about 300 species. The arboretum comprises parkland, artificial freshwater wetland and has an extensive frontage to the Brisbane River…

Symbolically, Sherwood Arboretum was officially opened on World Forestry Day, 21 March 1925, with a planting of 72 Queensland kauri (Agathis robusta) along a central promenade named Sir Matthew Nathan Avenue in honour of the Queensland Governor…

In 1946 a number of land parcels and some connecting unformed roads were acquired adjacent the Arboretum. This addition is now named the John Herbert Memorial Vista, commemorating the State Member for Sherwood 1956-1978, who was an active member of the local community and had a long association with the National Trust of Queensland. The John Herbert Memorial Vista is managed as an integral part of the Arboretums natural biosystem…

Harry Oakman (1906-2002) produced a major redesign of the Sherwood Arboretum, although his design was not implemented at the time. It has served subsequent generations, however, and the essential characteristics and elements of today’s design reflect those advanced by Oakman by maintaining the original tree plantings and developing new elegant looping pedestrian pathways from the perimeter and within the main drive; capturing vistas overlooking the forests and the plantings; and culminating in the wharf and terminal. ”

[History section, online citation for Sherwood Arboretum, site Number 602456, accessed 12 October 2015; ]


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