Unless you find yourself in the sparse surroundings of the Outback, trees are a common sight to those that call Australia home. However, how many of us take a moment to really explore a particularly interesting tree, or even one which is passed by thousands of people on Sydney's streets every day? Not many, we'd wager, but the truth is, Australia is home to several trees of great historical significance.
The National Trusts of Australia's Register of Significant Trees states that there are 2,500 important examples growing in the country today, and this is a list that is expanded upon each year. Last time around, we took a drive down to the monumental Dig Tree, before exploring the strange, aesthetic delights of Queensland's Curtain Fig. Which incredible woody plants await in Part Two of our fascinating guide to Australia's trees?
Pick up the keys to your hire car and read on to find out!
Down in the wilds of South Australia – well, what later become known as Springton – a German man by the name of Johann Friedrich Herbig arrived, seeking his fortune. Eventually finding work, he saved up enough money to lease approximately 32 hectares of land, which cleaned out his bank account. However, it did give him ownership of an oddly shaped river red gum tree. So? Well, Herr Herbig had no money to buy a house, so he took up dwelling in the hollow base of the aforementioned gum tree.
Sound uncomfortable? Far from it. The huge girth of the trunk – some six metres at its widest – allowed Herr Herbig great shelter, as the opening faced away from the rain. What's more, it's located very close to a clean, freshwater stream, so the occupier never went without drinking water. Additionally, the tree grew just 1.5 kilometres from Herr Herbig's place of work – now that's true German efficiency!
The Avenue Of Trees
The London plane tree is so-called as it is found all over England's capital. Planted in great cities around the world, this tree has a great tolerance to air pollution, thriving in the smog and fumes of a traffic-choked city.
Though Adelaide isn't quite as large (or polluted) as its British cousin, it is replete with London planes, which may well have been planted by English colonialists way back when. Perhaps the most striking example of this species isn't just one singular plant, but many.
The Avenue of Trees lines the length of the city's Frome Road, planted identical distances from one another. The planes are of approximately the same age, meaning that they are of roughly similar size. This creates a grand, symmetrical avenue that just as pleasurable to drive through as it is to walk, especially as the seasons are turning. You'll bear witness to the leaves shifting through a kaleidoscope of colours, and the journey along the avenue is one of quiet solitude.
The Avenue of Trees lines the length of the Adelaide's Frome Road, planted identical distances from one another.
How about a whopper to finish things off? The flooded gum can grow to a height of 55 metres, but the example found in Myall Lakes National Park exceeds even those lofty numbers. The 'Grandis' measures some 76 metres from root to crown, and is thought to be over 400 years old.
According to the National Trust, Grandis is believed to be the tallest tree in New South Wales, and is freely accessible on the paths that lead through the forest. Still growing, and in outstanding condition, Grandis represents a great chance for a photograph next to a bona-fide giant, so set your satellite navigation system for NSW's Great Lakes and search this living tower out – it's difficult to miss!