Norfolk Island pine
By the 1860s the informal parkland surrounding Vaucluse House was studded with several Norfolk Island pines. Planted as eye-catchers around the estate, the tall, symmetrical conifers would have been prominent landmarks for ships sailing through the heads and into Sydney Harbour. A single specimen tree stood on the pleasure garden lawn – a common gardenesque treatment.
Norfolk Island pines were fashionable trees in the colony from its earliest years, when Governor Phillip planted one in the garden at first Government House, the site of today’s Museum of Sydney. They may also have had particular significance for the Wentworth family. William Charles Wentworth spent his early years on the Island where his father, Dr D’Arcy Wentworth, was surgeon, and in 1814 D’Arcy donated two trees from his farm at Homebush to Governor Macquarie.