ABORIGINAL SCULPTURE IN THE GARDENS
An ancient Red Ash (Alphitonia excelsa) in front of the Visitors Centre carved by Aboriginal sculptor Worimi Dates. The carving depicts the people and totems of the Garuahgal tribe of the Raymond Terrace area.
Native animals and people emerge in harmony with the tree telling the story of Worimi's family.
The scaffolding necessary to do the work was supplied by Ace Scaffolds of Tomago, and chainsaw maintenance was provided by Terrace Mowers. The rich colour of the carving is achieved by using Preschem's Aussie Clear timber treatment, Preschem have sponsored the tree by providing a year's supply of oil.
We would also like to acknowledge Tattersall Surveyors of Raymond Terrace and Landcom for securing and arranging the transfer by DARACON and the replanting of the xanthorrhoeas which are now a feature in the garden surrounding the Red Ash.
The Hunter Region Botanic Gardens cover an area of 140 hectares, much of which has been preserved as natural bushland. The Gardens, which were opened to the public in 1986, are designed, developed and managed by a non-profit company of volunteers. 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.
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 such as music in the Gardens.
Our virtual Garden Tour shows how much the gardens have to offer.
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 mahogony forests and its under-storey of more than 150 native plants. Ther 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.
The Gardens are a delight to visit all year round and draw an increasing number of visitors. Individual visitors are always welcome. Tour groups are asked to book beforehand to ensure that staff and parking are available.
Gardens Sculpture Prize 2013Major Sponsors