Our 200 years

Timeline

The Garden takes its name from the mountain on which it is located. The original owners of the land were the Darug Aboriginal people. 'Tomah' is reputedly an Aboriginal word meaning tree fern.

1804

Naturalist George Caley visits Fern Tree Hill, now Mt Tomah. He was the first European to visit.

1823

Archibald Bell discovers a route across the northern  Blue Mountains with Aboriginal guides, afterwards known as Bells Line of Road.

1823

Botanist Allan Cunningham (Superintendent of the Botanic Gardens in Sydney 1837-1838) visits the area.

1830

First land grant in the area made to Susannah Bowen. The property was subsequently used for dairying and resting paddocks for cattle. Three sawmills also operated at separate locations, miling Coachwood (Ceratopetalum apetalum), Sassafras (Doryphora sassafras) , and Brown Barrel (Eucalyptus fastigata). These species still dominate teh rainforest sections of the mountain.

1934

Property acquired by the French-born horticulturist, Alfred Brunet, and his Australian wife, Effie. The property was used as a cut-flower farm to supply Sydney florist, specialising in bulbs and other cool-climate plants. In the early 1950s, the Brunets proposed that their land at Mount Tomah should be donated to become an annex of the Royal Botanic Gardens.

1972

Land presented by the Brunets to the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney.

1987

With State and Commonwealth Bicentennial funds for development, Mount Tomah Botanic Garden opens to the public (1 November).

2000

Over a million visitors to Mount Tomah Botanic Garden since opening

2011

The name of the Garden was changed to the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah