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  • Self-guided Walks

    Staying fit and healthy is just a walk in the Park! Download our free Centennial Park walking apps - available for Apple and Android smartphones. More info and download links here.

  • Swamp Closures

    Lachlan Swamp will close on days above 36C to minimise disturbance to the Flying Foxes. There will be no access to visitors.

  • Centennial Park History Book

    Our great new book on the history of Centennial Park is now on sale, and can be ordered online. Great gift idea. More info.

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History of Tree Plantings

Since the creation of Centennial Parklands, a succession of Director's have dictated a number of major tree plantings.


1860s: Moore Park is best known for the historic avenue of figs planted in the 1860s along the length of Anzac Parade (then called Randwick Road). Fine examples of Port Jackson and Morton Bay figs run the length of the park on Anzac Parade.

1880: A world wide boom in Park creation influenced Charles Moore’s plantings and layout.

1887 – 1896: In 1896 trees were planted around Grand Drive in a special sequence of two Port Jackson figs, a Holm Oak, followed by a Port Jackson fig, Norfolk Island Pine and Holm Oak. This design cleverly overcame the problem of arranging an avenue of trees around a circular road and means visitors can stand anywhere on Grand Drive and see three tree species. This planting continues along Federation Way, which links Centennial Park and Moore Park. Federation Way was originally envisaged as the park’s western gateway.

Trees associated with Charles Moore and James Jones (overseer) during this period include:

  • Moreton Bay fig
  • Port Jackson fig
  • Norfolk Island pine
  • Cook pine
  • Hoop pine
  • Silky oak

1889: First planting of Grand Drive with a range of species including figs, elms, poplars and pines.

1896 – 1924: Parkes Drive features magnificent Port Jackson figs planted in 1900. Next to Parkes Drive near the Paddington Gates is a prominent planting of paperbarks. Established by Joseph Maiden, Paperbark Grove is one of the most photographed areas in the park. A row of 65 paperbarks called Maiden’s Row has just been planted along Alison Road to commemorate Maiden’s work.

Shaded by huge trees, Loch Avenue leads down from Sandstone Ridge into Federation Valley. The planting along this roadway occurred during 1900 and features araucarias, Port Jackson figs and Holm Oaks.

Trees associated with the more experimental plantings of Joseph Maiden and William Forsyth (overseer) during this period include:

  • Cootamundra wattle
  • Coral tree
  • Port Jackson fig
  • Five-veined paperbark
  • Canary Islands date palm
  • Mexican cotton palm

1897: Grand Drive re-planted by Forsyth. This involved removing the elms, poplars and pines and replanting with the current planting sequence of two figs, an oak, a fig, a Norfolk Island pine and finally an oak.


1908: Parkes Drive was planted with rows of Canary Island palms. The perceived success of his heralded the widespread planting of palms across the Parklands.

1930s: Planting slowed significantly, perhaps due to the change of Parklands administration from the Royal Botanic Gardens to the Department of Agriculture. The Depression also contributed to reduced budgets.

1960: From the 1960s to the 1970s there was a renewed interest in planting, with the emphasis on native species. Behind the Parklands Office and south of the Parade Grounds is a grove of magnificent Cluster Pines. These were planted as a school project on Arbor Day in 1967.

1999: The Tree Master Plan was developed. In the same year, Maiden’s Row, a commemorative belt of 70 paperbarks, planted in Centennial Park behind Kensington Ponds.


2001: The replanting of Parkes Drive was a Centenary of Federation project dedicated to the many nationalities that make up Australian society. Parkes Drive was originally planted with Canary Island date palms, and, more recently, Washingtonia or cotton palms. Both these plant species succumbed to a destructive fungus. The replanting of Parkes Drive uses Kauri Pines, whose tall, strong trunks will create an elegant colonnade through the middle of the park.