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Level of Significance

  • File
  • Local
  • Regional
  • State
  • National

Age (approx)

140yrs

Trees

1

Diameter

0.9m

Height - 21m

Details

Common name
Bunya Pine, Bunya-bunya
Botanical name
Araucaria bidwillii
Type
Individual Tree
Condition
Good
Municipality
Toowoomba Regional (QLD)
Location
Old Westbrook Hall Park Batch Court Harristown QLD 4350
Access
Unrestricted
Significances
  • Landscape (Social)
  • Contemporary association (Social)
  • Park/Garden/Town (Historic)
  • Person/Group/Institution (Historic)
  • Attractive (Aesthetic)
Date of measurement
03 Dec 2013
Date of classification
26 Mar 2014
Other register(s)
False

Statement of Significance

The rich, fertile soil, temperate climate and the interest of many of its citizens in things botanical, has resulted in the Toowoomba region’s ability to grow a wide range of indigenous and non-indigenous plants. In 1860, the area was the first to hold an Agricultural Show in Queensland – 15 years before Brisbane. Walter Hill, the then Government Botanist and first curator of the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens, travelled to Toowoomba to advise with the design and planning of Queen's Park and street plantings in Toowoomba. He subsequently imported many tree species from Europe, Asia and other parts of the world to be planted there. Hill Street in Toowoomba is named in his honour. The town attracts many visitors in September for its famous Carnival of Flowers, where people come from near and far to enjoy Toowoomba’s many parks and gardens. Old Westbrook Hall Park is a small, local park which is now surrounded by residential development. Here was the site of Westbrook Hall, one of Toowoomba’s earliest residences. Old Westbrook Hall was built in 1875 for Sarah Bell, the widowed mother of the owner of Westbrook Station, originally a very large sheep run to the south-west of Drayton/Toowoomba. Sarah Bell lived there until her death in 1901, when it became the summer residence of two Governors of Queensland, Sir Henry Wylie Norman and then Lord Lamington. In 1918 it was used as a convalescent home for returned soldiers, and by the 1920s it was abandoned and ruinous. It was bought by Toowoomba City Council in 1926 and demolished, with the bluestone (basalt) from the walls being used in the south-western corner of Queen's Park, Toowoomba. The area was cleaned up and the house remains covered with a heap of red soil as a mound within this small park. This tree is the last surviving original plant in the garden at Old Westbrook Hall.
This tree is an important landmark in this newly developed part of the city where there are few mature trees. It is a relic of an old garden, that of Old Westbrook Hall, once the summer residence of two Governors of Queensland. It is a majestic mature Bunya Pine.

The tree is located at the end of Batch Court, which is at the south end of Greenwattle Street.