The historic 136-year-old Farm Cove seawall, where the Royal Botanic Garden meets the harbour’s edge, has now been restored so the structure will remain secure for another 100 years.
The wall is integral to protecting the garden’s walking path along the water’s edge, a quintessential Sydney experience for many of the 9 million visitors to the garden each year.
Environment and Heritage Minister Rob Stokes said the original wall which spans 1.2 kilometres in length took over 30 years to build (1848–1879) and is of significant cultural heritage importance to NSW and Australia.
“This site is not only one of spectacular natural beauty, but also one of significant heritage value,” Mr Stokes said.
“Before the restoration, the wall had become unstable due to erosion and saltwater penetration, causing the wall to lean, and without this restoration, sections of the wall would have collapsed into the harbour.
“This project provides a dual legacy to future generations in both protecting an important link to our past, and preserving a means for our community to enjoy the abundant environmental assets that Sydney Harbour has to offer.”
Executive Director Sydney Parklands and Botanic Gardens, Kim Ellis, said that way back in 1880 the completion of the wall was considered by the media as a significant achievement and a great asset which enhanced the visitor experience.
“I completely agree with the 19th Century sentiment in the Illustrated Sydney News which described the walk as providing a view ‘of the finest character’ and ‘a picture which defies the artist’s pencil to successfully reproduce – visitors to Sydney should on no account omit a stroll through that part of the grounds’. It really is an experience not to be missed,” Mr Ellis said.