ABOUT US

About Us
The Hunter Region Botanic Gardens cover an area of 140 hectares, much of which has been preserved as natural bushland. The Gardens are designed, developed and managed by a non-profit company of volunteers.

To welcome visitors, the Gardens have a Visitors Centre, outdoor cafe, gift shop and reference library. Devonshire teas and light lunches are served daily, or visitors can picnic in the Gardens. Walks and excursions are organised regularly, and there is a program of special events.

The Gardens are constantly growing as new displays are developed for recreational, educational and scientific purposes. Australian and introduced species are laid out in theme areas including acacias, banksias, proteas, grevillias, ferns, bushtucker plants, succulents and palms. Rare and endangered Australian species are also cultivated.

Many of the plants are suitable for the home garden, and the landscaping is an inspiration for the keen gardener. Expert personal advice is available on plantings and propagation, and a large selection of plants and herbs can be purchased at low prices.

Easy walking trails provide access to the natural bushland with its mature blackbutt, angophoras and swamp mahogany forests and its understorey of more than 150 native plants. Their forests are the natural habitat of goannas, wallabies, lizards, brushtail and ringtail possums, sugar gliders, bats, a small group of resident koalas and many birds.
HISTORY OF THE GARDENS
The original inhabitants of the area were the Worimi Aboriginals.

The site was managed by the Hunter Water Corporation from 1920 to 1986 when it was leased by the Corporation to the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens Ltd, a non-profit company of volunteers responsible for designing, developing and managing the Gardens.

Since 1986, through the steady work of the volunteers and with support from members and sponsors, the Gardens' collections and Herbarium have flourished, culminating in 1998 in receiving the 'Significant Regional Attraction' award in the Hunter Regional Awards for Excellence in Tourism.

The development of the Gardens was recognised in 1999, with the winning of the 'Significant Regional Attraction' award in the Hunter Regional Awards for Excellence in Tourism. The Gardens was a finalist in these awards in 2000 and won Newcastle City Council Environmental Awards in 1999 and 2000.
RARE AND ENDANGERED PLANTS
The Hunter Region Botanic Gardens cultivates many rare and endangered plants. A major threat to the Australian flora is land clearing. The Botanic Gardens assist plant conservation by undertaking research and growing and conserving the seeds of rare and endangered plants. You can help conserve flora and the animals they support by supporting the Botanic Gardens, maintaining areas of native bush on private land, and not collecting or damaging plants from natural areas.

Examples of rare and endangered plants can be found in the Grevillea Garden, Lamiaceae Garden, Rutaceae Bed, Hakea and Banksia Beds, Plants of the Hunter Region, Liliaceae Bed, Acacia Garden, Parry Place, Succulent Garden, Australian Arid Plants Garden, Gundabooka Trail, Rainforest Area, Fern Gully and Palm Garden.
NATURAL BUSHLAND
The Gardens feature a large expanse of natural bushland with several walking tracks up to 6km in length. The walks provide an opportunity to see local plants and wildlife including numerous birds, goannas, possums, wallabies and koalas.

The sandy soil supports forests of eucalypts dominated by blackbutts and bloodwoods with a tall sub-canopy of Banksias and Christmas Bush. The understorey of shrubs bloom with colourful wildflowers in spring. The Burrawang cycad is common throughout the gardens, and its seed cone is the basis for the design of the Garden logo. The site also contains two wetlands, one of which may be viewed from a specially constructed platform.

An area of bushland called the Gundabooka Trail is used to indicate the plants which were important to the local Kooris and were used for food, medicine and other purposes. Gundabooka is a Koori word for 'meeting place', and the trail includes a meeting area ideal for schools and tour groups.
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