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Macquarie's Secrets at Royal Botanic Gardens

Home > Sydney > Gardens | Parks | Places of Interest | Walks
Published June 24th 2017
Discover the secrets of the Botanic Gardens
If you have visited the Royal Botanic Gardens, you have likely also made the walk down to Mrs Macquaries Point and sat at Mrs Macquaries Chair, but there are relics of the Macquaries in the Botanic Gardens that you may not be aware of.

Macquarie Culvert

Lady Elizabeth Macquarie loved to take a daily stroll from the original Government House (now the Museum of Sydney) to Anson Point (now known as Mrs Macquarie's Point). Under the instruction of Governor Lachlan Macquarie a road was built for his wife between 1813 and 1816, this was to be the original Mrs Macquarie's Road (also known as Lady Macquarie's Road).

During the construction of the road, they needed to build a bridge to cross a small stream, hence the creation of this culvert which is still a working culvert today. Although not as impressive as the Richmond Bridge in Tasmania or Lennox Bridge at Parramatta, it would make it the oldest bridge or culvert in Australia.

It was thought that no remaining evidence of the original road existed until it was rediscovered during some public works, the discovery surprised archaeologists and heritage architects from the Department of Public Works and Services who set out to have it restored and conserved in 2002.

The culvert can be found just up the path from the Palm Grove Centre which houses the Garden Shop and Visitor Information.

Macquarie Wall

Once you have crossed Macquarie Culvert you will discover the other secret, that being Macquarie Wall.

In 1810, at the instigation of Governor Macquarie, work began on a wall 950 feet long to separate the government domain from the town. Only a small portion of that wall now remains.

The original road ran along the side of the wall. The current footpath follows the curve of that road, and Swamp Mahogany trees still growing there were planted about this time. Most of the original trees have died from old age, but replacement Swamp Mahogany trees have been planted in their place.

So next time you are walking through the Royal Botanic Gardens, take a good look around as it may not just be plants that you discover.
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Why? Fresh air, flowers, trees, history
When: 7.00 am to 5.00 pm
Phone: (02) 9231 8111
Where: Royal Botanic Gardens
Cost: Free
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by Diana (score: 2|710) 842 days ago
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