King’s Park and Botanic Gardens is a 900-acre park overlooking Perth Water and the central business district of Perth. It is a mixture of parkland, botanical gardens and natural bushland. There are over 324 native plant varieties.
Before European settlement Mount Eliza was known as Mooro Katta and Kaarta Gar-up, the names given by the Whadjuk people of the Nyoongar nation who had campsites and hunting grounds in the area which made it an important ceremonial and cultural place. Following the establishment of the Swan River colony, the freshwater spring at the base of what is now known as Mt Eliza (named after the wife of NSW Governor Darling) was an important water source and the reason for founding the city of Perth in its present location.
In 1872 the colony’s Surveyor-General, Sir Malcolm Fraser (1834-1900), persuaded Sir Frederick Weld (1823-91), Governor of Western Australia, to set aside 432 acres (now 990) as a public reserve. Officially opened on 10th August 1895 the park was originally called Perth Park but renamed on 23 July 1901 to Kings Park to mark the accession of King Edward VII. The State Botanic garden within Kings Park was officially opened in 1961. The park has become a very important site for war memorials, the first being the Boer War Memorial. The State Cenotaph was unveiled in 1929 and during visits to Western Australia, the Queen unveiled the Court of Contemplation in 1954 and lit the Flame of Remembrance on 1 April 2000.
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