Albury Botanic Gardens
BY Michaela Launer
Albury Botanic Gardens were opened by Mayor William (‘Coffin’) Jones in 1877.
Originally laid out in the formation of a Union Jack – as it was all straight lines – the gardens cover 10 acres and contain a fine collection of trees, shrubs and flowers. The first trees, the ‘Elm Avenue’, were planted in 1877 and the tallest tree is a Queensland Kauri reaching 46 metres.
Found also in the gardens is a historic monument to Hamilton Hume who first discovered this area in 1824. The monument was erected in 1858 and stood on the former site of Hume’s Tree, and was relocated to the Botanic Gardens when it was established.
The Botanic Gardens rotunda commemorates Albury’s first settler, Robert Brown, and the gates commemorate Robert Wilkinson, a draper who was mayor in 1903-1905.
The gardens were also used as Albury’s first bowling green, laid in 1905 at the western end of the gardens.
Mr J E R Fellowes was the curator of the gardens for 36 years during the 20th century.
The Albury Botanic Gardens has beautified the western end of Dean Street and Albury’s CBD for over 130 years. They are very popular with garden enthusiasts, with many travelling form all over the country to explore the 1,000 plus native and exotic plant species. The gardens currently attract around 300,000 people a year.
School children also explore the botanical showcase to learn about plants and environment, and there is also the children’s garden that provides a place where they can have space to play and explore the wonderful trails. There is an array of items to discover such as life-sized dinosaurs with interactive speaking tubes, the living cubes, a fairy temple, wetlands and creek line, and the troll cave.
Children’s Garden opening times are 8.30am until sunset, but closed every Wednesday except during NSW school holidays.
Improvements are ongoing with the regeneration and replacement of species that have reached the end of their lifespan, in particular the elm trees in Elm Avenue.
With the assistance of the Friends of Botanic Gardens, Albury City is making improvements to encourage people to keep visiting and using this beautiful attraction.
Weddings in the garden:
For over a century the Albury Botanic Gardens has provided the perfect place for a wedding ceremony, with the Robert Brown Memorial Rotunda being a popular location.
Their are nine areas to hold ceremonies, and many wonderful backdrops for couples to exchange their wedding vows and set the scene for a day to remember.
Music in the Gardens:
During Autumn and Spring, Albury Botanic Gardens features a series of free outdoor music on the third Sunday of the month. The gardens become an outdoor stage where everybody can enjoy some of Australia’s best musicians while soaking up the scenery.
Music in the gardens has become a great opportunity for family and friends to gather and enjoy a hamper from home amid soothing tunes and a great green expanse. Also available for purchase are healthy vegetarian foods, wood fired oven pizza, hot drinks and ice-cream. BYO alcohol is permitted.