In 1912, the rainforest of the Blue Mountains was under threat. Recognising the importance of saving the pristine wilderness, a group of businessmen came together, purchasing 700 acres (283 hectares) and converting it into a "conservation park".
Known as The Jungle, the park included tearooms and walking tracks through the park. The walking tracks made features like the Temple of Nature accessible. The Temple was a grotto filled with sandstone pagodas, ferns and rainforest trees.
In 1929 the unsealed Bells Line of Road brought 100 cars a day up the side of the Blue Mountains to The Jungle.
1929 was also the year The Jungle officially opened as a conservation park. Admiral Sir Dudley De Chair KCB MVO, then Governor of New South Wales cut the ribbon. The occasion was commemorated with the laying of a plaque that can still be seen today along the Lady (Nancy) Fairfax Walk.
Over the years, The Jungle had hoped to be incorporated into the growing National Parks network of protected natural spaces.
This dream was dashed in 1934 with the arrival of the Great Depression that, along with ongoing pressure on the state government to secure building funds for the Sydney Harbour Bridge, saw The Jungle's ownership transfer to the Charley family, previous owners of the site.
In 2008 the Royal Botanic Garden and Domain Trust, which encompasses the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan, Centennial Parklands and the Domain, purchased 33 hectares (just over 11 per cent) of the original Jungle site and brought it under their control.
This was achieved with financial support from the NSW Government Environmental Trust and John and Elizabeth Fairfax.
Now forming the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah, The Jungle is once again in public hands ensuring Sydneysiders and future generations have an opportunity to experience and understand the stunning Blue Mountains rainforest.