The less known significance of this natural bushland
Everyone loves Belair National Park for its lakes, mountain biking trails, tennis courts and cricket pitches, but did you know that the park is also home to a significant number of heritage trees? I recently had the opportunity to learn more about them.
Before European settlement, the adventure playground area was used by the Kaurna people who often took shelter in trees. Such trees typically have a few openings as well as sufficient internal space. They are estimated to be about 750 years old and four of them still remain in the park today.
Originally from Queensland, the Bunya Bunya Pine can be seen in many places throughout the park. They are known to grow up to 40 metres in height and their seeds are an edible indigenous bush tucker.
Bunya Bunya Pine
Among all the park's River Red Gums, there is one in the walnut paddock that has the reputation of being the tallest. Its height was measured a number of years ago and is found to be approximately 35 metres.
Five beautiful oak trees were planted by Governor Sir Thomas Buxton in 1898. They remain to this day, despite removal campaigns, as his legacy to the park.
The tallest River Red Gum
Interestingly known as the grocer's tree, the Candle Pine was where the grocer tied his horse, picked up orders and delivered groceries in the early years.
Last but not least are the huge Sequoias in the Joseph Fisher picnic ground. Native to California, these trees are actually under threat over there due to urban development. We are blessed to be able to maintain the species here at Belair National Park.
Having fun measuring trees
Many other heritage trees can also be found around the park, therefore I would encourage you to check them out next time you're here playing tennis or cricket.