Araucaria cunninghamii
Hoop pine

Marta Salamon, 2013. © The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust.

Carriage loop and succulent beds at Elizabeth Farm

The Elizabeth Farm homestead is set within a re-created early colonial garden – the centre of the Macarthurs’ once-vast agricultural estate beside the Parramatta River. The hoop pine at left is thought to be one of the oldest colonial-era plantings in Australia.

Photo © Paolo Busato for Sydney Living Museums.

View from verandah at Elizabeth Farm
Alice Allport, c1860, watercolour
State Library of New South Wales PX*D 117

In the 1860s John and Elizabeth Macarthur’s granddaughter Elizabeth Macarthur Onslow and her friend Alice Allport made several sketches and watercolours of the garden at Elizabeth Farm. This view from the eastern verandah shows a young Araucaria, perhaps a hoop pine, at the back of the garden.

Elizabeth Farm, showing some of the old trees
Photographer unknown, 1917
State Library of New South Wales PXA 182

Hoop pines were a popular choice for marking country properties, as their distinctive silhouettes stood out dramatically from the native eucalypts. A hoop pine (just right of centre) dominates this 1917 view of the Elizabeth Farm homestead; the tree still stands today. Bunyas, a Chinese elm, a kurrajong, a stone pine and a pair of grey-leafed olive trees planted by the Macarthurs in 1805 or 1817, are also visible.

The First 'Sheep Station'
Ernest Abbott, c1920, etching
Sydney Living Museums

In 1905 the Swann family moved into a now dilapidated Elizabeth Farm. They cared for it for the next six decades, and planted jacarandas, a crepe myrtle, and other ornamental trees and shrubs that still give the garden its character today. In this 1920s etching, a Macarthur-era hoop pine is visible at left in the background.

Hoop pine

Araucaria cunninghamii