The Australian Terraces are planted with a faithful representation of the riverine flora of New South Wales. There are parts of this landscape in which the visitor is immersed in surrounding vegetation to the exclusion of all else except the shared sky itself. Growing plants in this style gives the feeling of what it is actually like where these plants originate from, whether the intensely sunny gumtree banks or shady treefern gulley.
Amongst this synthetic ecology are artificial rock formations created by Artecology Ltd. These are glimpsed through stands of Eucalyptus, you will see recreations of aborigine-inspired artwork. The aboriginal people of Australia had no written language and often used artwork painted on rocks and the oral tradition to pass on their culture through stories and legend to new generations. Some of their artwork appears obscure and surreal, some very pictorial of wild animals and birds. Story-telling walls going back centuries have been found. One particularly profound collage depicts the arrival of Europeans (complete with ships, hats and guns) after which no more art was made.
This year we have installed a new artificial rock on the route through the Australian Terrace. This has recreated the original depiction of the European arrival artwork. The poignancy is complimented by the nearby Wollemi Pine, which since its discovery in 1994 has been both saved by human agency in cultivation and yet doomed in its wild state.