The Royal Botanic Gardens
08 Oct 2005
Once you reach the other side of the Opera House, you go through the gates to Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens. They were founded in 1816 and are on the site of some of the first agricultural efforts in Australia. There is a large collection of native Australian plants here as well as plants from all over the world. The gardens are open to everyone for free, and a lot of people like to come here and sit in the sun and enjoy the trees away from the busy city streets.
As we began walking through the gardens, we saw some movement in a bush and found a pretty familiar site in Sydney.
These birds are rainbow lorikeets, and you see them in fruit trees a lot, since they like to eat flower nectar and fruit. In this photo they seem to be busy eating the nectar out of these grevillea flowers. They are very beautiful and I love seeing them because of their bright colours, but they are pretty noisy, too. I'm glad these two were so busy eating that they let me take a picture of them so close up.
One of the other things we saw in the park that was much rarer than the loris was the Wollemi Pine, which was thought to be extinct before it was discovered growing in the wild 10 years ago. In this picture we are showing Flat Stanley about Wollemi pines at the sign posted at the botanic gardens. It reads:
Inside this cage is one of the world's rarest plants, Australia's very own Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis). There are only three stands of adult Wollemi Pines known in the wild.
Wollemi Pines were only known as fossils and thought to have been extinct for millions of years. That was until a bushwalker discovered them in 1994 in Wollemi National Park, just 150 kilometres north-west of Sydney.
Here is a picture of the Wollemi pine itself. It is in a cage to protect it from animals, injury, or even theft! Because it is so rare, it is also very valuable. If something happens to the Wollemi pines in the wild, this one might be used to keep the species from becoming extinct.
When we got tired of walking around, we sat out on the grass in the sun, and saw another common sight in the park: the sulfur crested cockatoo. This one seemed to be trying to pick out something to eat in the grass.
Here is a photo looking back at the city's buildings from the park. You can see how close the park is to the main downtown part of the city.