Ancient trees of Gondwana
Did you know that present-day South America, Africa, Arabia, Madagascar, India, Australia, New Zealand and Antarctica were once connected in the super-continent Gondwana? Even though these places were joined millions of years ago we can still see this history in the plant families we share. Discover ancient conifers, cycads and ferns in the Gondwana Arboretum and travel back to the primeval forests of 150 million years ago.
This collection contains descendants of tree species that lived and grew alongside the dinosaurs. Imagine the thunder of a herd of massive, 16m tall, Brachiosaurus dinosaur running across the horizon. Or a flock of reptile-like early birds (Archaeopteryx) flying above, weaving through the trees, and perhaps pulling seeds out of cones with their toothed beaks.
The trees are grouped according to the countries they grow wild in today. Most belong to the Araucaria family and include the kauri and Norfolk Island pine. Get up close and check out the unusual forms, spiky foliage and peculiar fruits and cones of each individual tree. There is a certain symmetry and perfection to these majestic trees that lived millions of years before humans.