The Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden

PROJECT The Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden

LOCATION Port Augusta, SA


Designed by Landscape Architect, Grant Henderson and opened in 1996, the Garden’s role is as a national showcase for arid zone conservation. This is important as most Australian’s live in densely populated coastal regions and are unfamiliar with the flora and fauna of these areas.

The Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens at Port Augusta displays arid zone ecosystems in an area which receives an average annual rainfall of around 225mm per year. Winters are cool and Summer temperatures may reach has high as 48°C in the shade. This 200 hectare site contains one of the most intact remnants of Western Myall (Acacia papyrocarpa)and Chenopod plain, close to the city.

The landscape surrounding the Arid Lands Centre is made up of a network of circulation trails displaying a range of plants from different dry regions. The gardens have a largeEremophila (Emu Bush) display, featuring around 155 different varieties. This is thought to be one of the largest collections of this genus in Australia.

As water for the township of Port Augusta is transported from the distant Murray River, water harvesting is a strong focus in the Gardens. Water efficient irrigation methods are employed within the gardens and treated waste water from the Visitor’s Centre is used to irrigate parts of the collection.

Paddock's Wetlands

PROJECT Paddock’s Wetlands

LOCATION Salisbury City,SA

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT Barrie Ormsby, Salisbury Council

Barrie Ormsby the Principal Landscape Architect for Salisbury Council, designed the scheme and was responsible for construction supervision and ongoing management of the site. In the early 1970’s projects of this type were scarce in Australia.

The Paddock’s Wetlands is a good example of an integrated wetland and stormwater management system combined with public open space that has stood the test of time. This was benchmark project not only for wetlands development but for aquifer storage in Australia. The wetland is also unusual as it was ephemeral, as most constructed wetlands have permanent water bodies.

Torrens River Linear Park

PROJECT Torrens River Linear Park



The River Torrens Linear Park and Flood Mitigation Scheme stretches for 32 kilometres from the Adelaide Hills to St Vincent’s Gulf. In 1975 Hassell Landscape Architects were commissioned to prepare a Master Plan for the corridor.

The team was faced with a polluted Torrens River and catchment degraded from years of poor land management practices. A plan was prepared to create a linear park which would act as a wildlife corridor and provide recreation opportunities for the community. Wetlands were introduced to filter water entering the river from surrounding developments.

The diverse environments and land uses along the river were integrated by plantings of Eucalyptus camaldulenis (River Red Gum) and locally occurring native riverine species.