ORANGE BOTANIC GARDENS

Orange Botanic Gardens

The gardens cover 17 hectares on what was originally Clover Hill Farm on the northern side of Orange. The gardens are part of the vision for the region designed by the Bathurst Orange Development Corporation (BODC) in 1981. With the demise of the BODC the baton was passed to the Orange City Council who together with Friends of the Orange Botanic Garden and other volunteer groups operate this great asset of the city and the region.

Orange Botanic Gardens
1 Yellow Box Way, Orange NSW 2800
Ph 02 6393 8000
Email council@orange.nsw.gov.au
www.orange.nsw.gov.au/parks-reserves/orange-botanic-gardens/
Open every day 7.30am till dusk
Entry free.
• Off-street car parking available
• Dogs on leads are permitted
• Bike riding is not permitted in the gardens
• Guided tours for large groups are available on request
• Self-guided walk brochures are available from dispensers just inside the entrance.

The “country walk” winds through the gardens and takes you through and past all the gardens features. Allow 30 to 45 minutes to see all the main features.

Here are some of the standouts:

Entrance Archway

This was donated by the Orange Garden Club in 1999 and its steel and bluestone provide a year-round contrast to the multicolour vegetation the greet you at the entrance to the gardens.

Weeping Elm Lawn

A few steps along from the entrance archway on the right is a formal lawn area with a spectacular weeping elm which is often used as a backdrop for wedding ceremonies. Children love to hide under the branches when it’s in full leaf. In autumn it is stunning.

Sensory Garden

This area is designed to provide sensory pleasure for all visitors and has disability access.

Fruit Orchard

Orange has been an important fruit growing area since the early 1900s and the orchard has heritage varieties of apples, crab apples and pears. Some of the old varieties have been budded from the original Macarthur orchard at Belgenny Farm.

Richard Niven Meadow

Remnant Yellow Box and Apple Box Eucalypts line the southern side of the meadow.

Magnolias

Over 20 varieties of magnolia grow under remnant Eucalypts on the northern side of the Country Walk. They flower in early spring and autumn putting on a spectacular display.

Sundials

Within the Orange Botanic Gardens, there is a fascinating sundial feature. They are located on a small rise in the centre of the gardens.

The sundials were donated by the Friends of the Orange Botanic Gardens in 1998 to mark the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the official opening of the Gardens. (See the detailed brochure available from the Orange Visitor Information Centre.)

The Horizontal Sundial at the Orange Botanic Gardens.
The latitude of the Gardens is 33 degrees, 15.5 minutes south of the equator so that angle is set between the top surface of the solid triangular gnomon (the raised part of a sundial that casts a shadow) and the horizontal dial plate containing the hour-scale of the sundial.

The longitude of the Australian Eastern Standard Time Zone is 150 degrees East of Greenwich. The longitude of the gardens is 149 degrees, 5 minutes East. This corresponds to a time difference of 3 minutes 38 seconds and this difference has been incorporated into the time correction graph on the sundial.

The Analemmatic Sundial at the Orange Botanic Gardens.
Unlike horizontal sundials, Analemmatic sundials have a movable gnomon and in the example, in the gardens, the gnomon has been designed to be a person and is therefore called a ‘sundial of human involvement’. So, when you stand on the marked spot your shadow tells the time.

Sculpture by Bert Flugelman

Federation Arch and sculptures

A superb example of the sculpture of Bert Flugelman it was commissioned by the Orange Regional Arts Foundation to commemorate the Centenary of The Federation of Australia.

In the billabong and on the small hill opposite are more sculptures by other artists that you should not miss.

Heritage Rose Garden and Little Old Wooden Church

Through a lichgate is spectacular heritage rose gardens which surround the historic little country church and is a much-photographed and visited part of the gardens.

HISTORIC BORENORE MARBLE

On the western side of the Botanic Gardens is an unexpected 500 million year old exhibit. It’s a large block of local marble.

Between 1901 and 1927, a high quality, beautifully marked marble was extracted from a quarry at Borenore, west of Orange, to adorn major buildings of the world. 

The quarry was worked by a company founded by Mr Frank Rusconi, a monumental mason who was born in Araluen, NSW, worked in Italy, Switzerland, France and England before returning to Australia in 1901.

Borenore red marble was used in public buildings in Sydney including the GPO, Central Railway Station and the former Farmer’s and Anthony Hordern’s buildings. Borenore blue marble, which featured fossilised corals, was used for ornaments and furnishings, including countless fireplace surrounds for houses around the world, one of which was Buckingham Palace. Mr Rusconi made a number of spectacular marble ornaments and structures, not all from Borenore marble, his best-known work is the base of Gundagai’s Dog on the Tuckerbox statue and his masterpiece in marble and an impressive legacy for Gundagai in the form of a unique cathedral-in-miniature. Built from 20,948 hand-cut, turned and polished pieces of NSW marble much of which came from his quarry at Borenore.

RUSCONI’S MARBLE MASTERPIECE AT THE GUNDAGAI VISITOR CENTRE
Photo © Gundagai Visitor Information Centre

Marble is formed from volcanic activity metamorphosing sedimentary carbonised rocks, usually limestone. Extensive limestone beds extend through eastern Australia from Victoria up to Wellington. However, it is only in volcanoes such as Mt Canobolas that the limestone has been exposed to the intense heat and pressure needed to convert it to marble. Coloured marble such as that quarried at Borenore contains mineral impurities that provide the texture and colour which makes it so distinctive and desirable.

The block of red marble on display in the Botanic Gardens is one of the last pieces taken from the Borenore quarry and was donated to Orange Botanic Gardens by the Milla family of Orange. It weighs 1.4 tonnes its preparation for display was funded by the Friends of Orange Botanic Gardens. 

Look closely and you will see fossilised corals and other fascinating forms of ancient life 500 million years old.

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