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Parks, Museums and Art Galleries in Australasia: 1896


Dear Grandpa Pencil looks at early Australian development through journals, official reports and newspaper excerpts of the day. Readers should remember that these accounts are based on personal observations at the time and some have, since, been shown to be flawed.

Parks, Museums and Art Galleries is from an article in The Seven Colonies of Australasia,
1895 - 1896 by T. A. Coghlan

All of the Australasian capitals are liberally supplied with parks and recreation grounds.

In Sydney and suburbs there are parks, squares, and public gardens comprising an area of 3,053 acres, including 530 acres which form the Centennial Park.

Then there is the picturesque National Park, of 36,320 acres, situated about 16 miles from the centre of the metropolis; and in addition to this, an area of 35,300 acres, in the valley of the Hawksbury, has been recently reserved for public recreation under the name of Ku-ring-gai Chase.

Thus Sydney has two extensive and picturesque domains for the enjoyment of the people at almost equal distances north and south from the city, and both accessible by railway.

Melbourne has no less than 5,329 acres of recreation grounds, of which 1,730 acres are within the city boundaries, 2,817 acres in the suburban municipalities and 782 acres outside of those municipalities.

Adelaide is surrounded by a broad belt of park lands, and also contains a number of squares within the city boundaries, covering altogether an area of 2,300 acres.

Brisbane, Hobart, Perth and the chief cities of New Zealand are also well provided for in that respect.

In all the colonies large areas of land have been dedicated as public parks.

There are fine Botanic Gardens in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Hobart, which are included in the areas above referred to.

Each of these gardens has a special attraction of its own.

They are all well kept, and reflect great credit upon the communities to which they belong.

The various capitals of the colonies, and also some of the prominent inland towns, are provided with museums for the purpose of instruction as well as recreation; and in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Hobart there are art galleries containing excellent collections of paintings and statuary.

All these institutions are open to the public free of charge.


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