The city’s grandest century old park, New Farm, began life as the second farm (hence the name) that was established to grow crops to feed the convicts and this was followed by a brief careeras a racecourse of wild repute until the permanent and more civilized Eagle Farm Racecourse was established in 1863.
Years of wilderness followed until its land purchase by the BCC and establishment during World War I by Harry Moore, Brisbane’s first and arguably greatest parks superintendent, in collaboration with acclaimed city architect Alfred Foster (together they were like the Bernie Taupin and Elton John of city parks).
Most of the park’s original features have been preserved, including the ornate 1915 bandstand (designed by Foster) by the river, its circuitous avenue of jacarandas and the splendid rose garden which was extended during the 1950s and contains tens of thousands of roses of every hue including the Dolly Parton and the Nana Mouskouri.
The unrivalled attraction for children, however, is the swathe of interconnected tree houses set in a grove of magnificent aged banyan trees and the extensive playground of old and new that has sprung up around it. On Sundays jazz bands frequently play the rotunda as the park is inundated by picnickers, families and Sunday strollers.