And here I’ve been calling it the Mount Annan Botanical Garden when its proper name is much more formal than that! I did have a friend point out that by definition, all gardens are botanic aren’t they…..?
Anyway, last weekend we had to head out Campbelltown way to pick up some moving boxes I had bought on eBay so we decided to make an afternoon of it and visit the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan.
The Garden was developed as a major Bicentennial Project in the 1980s, a time when many great infrastructure projects around Australia got underway. It was officially opened in October 1988 (the last official Bicentennial project to be opened in NSW) and when I look at the timeline of development in the Garden since that time I’m sure it looks completely different today than it did back then. There has been a substantial amount of development work on a large site that housed farming and a riding school until it was turned into a conservation zone.
We were there in the middle of a sunny autumn Saturday afternoon and I was astonished at how few people there were in the park (although they apparently get over 320,000 visitors a year). This is a major piece of parkland, with facilities including picnic grounds, mountain bike trails (closed the day we were there due to storms during the week), a playground and walking tracks. A number of weddings were taking place and there was a large party that had clearly booked their picnic site but otherwise we saw very few people. There are more than 50,000 trees on site, and around 2,000 of them are individually mapped so that you are able to go on a self guided tour through the Arboretum.
There is science and research as well – the Australian Plantbank is housed at Mount Annan and is concerned with conservation of Australian plant species. The Plantbank is open to the public, but only Monday to Friday so we weren’t able to take a look at this important facility.
It was a good day out – we’d definitely go again and I’d be tempted to take either my bike, or my hiking boots next time.