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Level of Significance

  • File
  • Local
  • Regional
  • State
  • National

Age (approx)






Height - 29m


Common name
Banya Fig; White Figs
Botanical name
Ficus benghalesis; Ficus virens
Other name
Eagle Street Figs
Brisbane City (QLD)
Eagle Street Brisbane QLD 4000
  • Outstanding size (Scientific)
  • Outstanding species (Scientific)
  • Location/Context (Social)
  • Landscape (Social)
  • Landmark (Social)
  • Contemporary association (Social)
  • Park/Garden/Town (Historic)
  • Person/Group/Institution (Historic)
  • Attractive (Aesthetic)
  • Species/Location (Aesthetic)
Date of measurement
17 Aug 2014
Date of classification
03 Sep 2014

Statement of Significance

The trees are outstanding for their size and outstanding examples of their species with their large canopies, heights and girths.
They make a significant contribution to landscape and are in a unique location, adding a green oasis of calm amongst high rise buildings. Additionally, they are listed as being a visual and environmental amenity with the Register of the National Estate (1996).
The trees provide an important landmark at the intersection of several major streets - Elizabeth, Creek and Eagle Streets in the Brisbane CBD.
The trees form part of an historic park of Brisbane where they provided shade for the workers in an important commercial area which was adjacent to the wharves and the customs house.
They are associated with Queen Victoria and Queensland Governor Sir Henry Wiley Norman through declaration of the area as a reserve, and the first curator of the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens, Walter Hill, who planted the trees.
They have contemporary association with the community and are valued by workers in the surrounding high rise office buildings for the green relief that they provide.
They are superb looking trees with large canopies and prop and buttress roots and are larger than most of the other street trees in the Brisbane city centre.


The Queensland Heritage Register reads: ‘The small triangular reserve at the intersection of Eagle, Elizabeth and Creek Streets was granted to the North Brisbane Municipal Council by Queen Victoria, signed by the Governor of Queensland, Sir Henry Wiley Norman, on 16th May 1889. It was gazetted on 17th May 1889 as, "745 Folio 210 101/11 perches... Reserve for Plantation, urinal etc. only and for no other purpose whatsoever... Rent: 1 peppercorn per year if demanded by the Queen Victoria and her heirs forever. Mineral Rights reserved by the Crown." The land could be resumed if these conditions were not observed. Walter Hill planted the three fig trees located on the site. Hill was appointed Brisbane's first superintendent of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens in 1855 and remained a key figure in the management of the Gardens until 1881. As a representative of a mid-Victorian era Reserve, the Eagle Street Fig Trees demonstrate rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of Queensland's cultural heritage. Located in a busy trading precinct, the Eagle Street Fig Trees provided workmen with respite from the hectic wharf trading area. The Fig Trees have retained this function in their current setting.’
A plaque beneath the tree reads: ‘The land on which these old fig trees stand was included in just over ten perches granted in 1889, by Governor in Chief of the Colony of Queensland and its dependencies General Sir Henry Wylie Norman, to the municipal council of North Brisbane. A freshwater creek originally flowed from Roma Street through the city centre, north of today’s Creek Street, along this site, emptying into the Brisbane River near Charlotte Street. Its course is mapped as accurately as historical information allows, on the plaque opposite. It is said that by the late 1820s, the then convict settlement’s wheat fields extended on either side of the creek in this area and that the creek was known as Wheat Creek. After the advent of free settlement, this area became very important commercially, being adjacent to the wharves and the customs house. Shipping was the main means of transport, bringing in supplies and immigrants and taking away the produce of the fast developing settlements. With the decline of shipping as the main means of transport, associated activity in this area of the city decreased. However, with extensive building development, this area has again returned to prominence, bringing a new commercial heart to the city. These old fig trees have become a significant part of the environment and are listed by the National Trust of Queensland and the Australian Heritage Commission. ’