35-08 Olive grove in Victoria Park

The many surviving olive groves around the Adelaide Park Lands were a Victorian-era solution to the degradation of the land, after the first three decades of European settlement in the colony.

By the 1860s, due to the effects of grazing and clearing for firewood, most of the Park Lands had become bare dust-bowls in summer and quagmires in winter.

Concern over the aesthetic degradation led to an increased public demand during the 1860's, for something to be done.

At that time, olives were seen as an optimal solution, because they were both fast growing and considered to be potentially lucrative. This sheltered grove was planted in 1872 by city gardener William Pengilly.

By 1884, about 1,500 olive trees bordered Victoria Park.

Although attempts were made by contractors to create an industry by processing the oil, they had limited financial success.

By the 1880s, the olive trees in the Park Lands had fallen out of favour - and more ornamental plantings were being used.

However this grove, and another one, across Wakefield Road in neighbouring King Rodney Park (Park 15) both remain much as they were set out in the 1870's

You can register to pick olives from groves in the Park Lands. Provided that you obtain a free permit you can pick enough for your domestic use.

From this point, head back east, across the Botanic Creek, and look for a wide bitumen road into the Park - the former motor racing circuit.



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