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Hunter Region Botanic Gardens


 

Southern Wetlands

ABOVE: The Southern Wetlands Boardwalk – Hunter Region Botanic Gardens

Late last week I decided I should do something with the final day of my annual leave that I had taken this time round, so I thought I’d pop into the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens near Raymond Terrace in New South Wales, Australia. I had been here before, but that was a long time ago. I wasn’t impressed on that first visit, so after more then a decade had it improved? Well that was the question I was keen to answer.

Rotunda

ABOVE: The Rotunda  BELOW: Succulents Section

Succulents

There was a $4.00 ‘escape’ fee, which would allow a token to be purchased and then the boom gate would rise once it was placed into the proper slot at the exit. So no entrance fee, just an exit fee. I was willing to pay this for a quick look and wander around the gardens.

So has it improved. Yes it has thankfully, but I still don’t rate it as brilliant or even what would come close to mildly impressing me for a botanic gardens. It is probably on the right track, but has a long way to go. And here’s the thing I think – a botanic gardens really needs time to develop, so those who will really benefit from the gardens are those who will visit it in about 25 years or so, when the plants have been allowed to mature somewhat across the gardens. It will also allow other pieces of infrastructure to be completed and for the gardens to achieve some ‘polish,’ so to speak. The central section of the gardens is very good and has been progressing well over the years (yes, it is a relatively young botanic gardens) – areas such as the bromeliad section, orchids, etc – even the succulent section a bit further away.

Orchid

ABOVE: Orchid  BELOW: Bromeliads

Bromeliads

So should you go? Look, it’s only $4.00 to get out of the place once you are there and you can get to see some great plants and do some good, easy walks – especially into the natural bush and wetland areas. So I’d say yes, just don’t expect a fully developed botanic gardens.

For more on the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens visit:
http://www.huntergardens.org.au/

Tree Ferns

ABOVE: Tree Ferns and Palms

Borenore Caves – Caving


Borenore Caves Reserve - Andrew HewittThis photo was taken quite a few years ago caving through Borenore Caves, near Orange, in the central west of New South Wales, Australia. We used simple torches for the most part in getting through the caves, though Andrew (pictured here) used a head lamp.

 

Borenore Caves – Caving


Borenore Caves Reserve - Graeme PageThis photo was taken quite a few years ago caving through Borenore Caves, near Orange, in the central west of New South Wales, Australia. As can be seen in the photo we used simple torches for the most part in getting through the cave.

Graeme, pictured here, never went too far into the cave. He stayed near the entrance while Andrew and I went far deeper into the cave.

 

Borenore Caves


Borenore Caves ReserveThis photo was taken quite a few years ago at the entrance to Borenore Caves, near Orange, in the central west of New South Wales, Australia. I was able, with a friend, to follow the cave internally for some distance. We used torches and eventually made our way out through a side entrance.

 

ONE OF OUR PONDS


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Spring has sprung at Tea Gardens Grange where I work – not that this particular photo shows that really. This photo is a picture of just one of the many ponds we have around the village. There is also a large central artificial lake.

This particular pond is one that requires very little maintenance and that is probably because of the lower light levels, which means fewer aquatic weeds and plant life are able to become established. This is largely due to the many tea trees that surround the pond.

It would be my favourite pond in the village.

More Spring photos at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinmatthews/sets/72157622203247845/