Perth in Western Australia holds claim to perhaps the largest Natural Park and recreation area contained within city limits. Spreading out across almost 400 hectares, Kings Park and Botanical Gardens consists of 37 hectares of developed parkland and 17 hectares of botanical gardens. The rest- amounting to almost 346 hectares – is purely natural bush land.
Originally known as Perth Park, it was named Kings Park in 1901 in honour of the ascension to England’s throne of King Edward VII as well the visit of his wife and his son the Duke of Cornwall.
The park was the first to be demarcated for public use in 1872. The land area is precious since it is home to such a large array of native flora and fauna as well as birds. Whilst some are indigenous to the park others are indigenous to Australia. The existence of 319 different species of plants and 80 species of birds – all of which are native – is noteworthy.
The State War Memorial inside the park is a much visited site and is made up of the Cenotaph- on which is inscribed the names of many war heroes from the Boer war, both world wars, Korean and Vietnamese wars, the Court of Contemplation, The flame of Remembrance and the Pool of Reflection.
Eucalyptus Trees lining the road ways inside the park are marked with a plaque honouring the service men and women who have died serving their country. These road ways are appropriately called Honour Avenues.
Apart from these other attractions found in the developed areas of the park include the Bali Memorial – honouring those who were killed in the terrorist bombings in Bali, Indonesia, the Edith Cowan Memorial clock – honouring Australia’s first female member of parliament, The aboriginal art gallery – portraying the unique art forms of the aboriginal tribes who were in the area as well as the Botanical Gardens which hosts the annual September Wildflower Festival at the park.
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