Memorials and History

Lord Forrest memorialFor many thousands of years, Aboriginal people have been visiting Kings Park, which was previously referred to as Mooro Katta or Kaarta Gar-up, two of the many names for what is now known as Mount Eliza in Kings Park. It remains an important ceremonial and cultural place for the Indigenous people of Western Australia. Read more about Aboriginal life...

Two years after the settlement of the Swan River Colony in 1829, most of the area now designated as Kings Park and Botanic Garden was set aside for 'public purposes' by Lieutenant Governor James Stirling and Surveyor General John Septimus Roe.

In 1872 Governor Frederick Weld and Surveyor General Malcolm Fraser formally gazetted 175 ha of the 1831 reserve as a Public Park. An additional area of land was added to the park in 1890, essentially bringing it up to its current size of 400.6 ha.

John Forrest became Premier of Western Australia in 1890 and development of the park commenced in 1892. The park was fenced with gates at either end of a newly constructed Perth Park Road. Different sections of the road have since been renamed Fraser Avenue, Forrest Drive and Poole Avenue.

Forrest named the land 'The Perth Park' in 1895. The name was changed in 1901 to 'Kings Park' to mark the accession of King Edward VII to the British throne.

You might like to download Firesticks to Fireworks from the brochures section of this website or purchase the book: A Joy Forever - The Story of Kings Park and Botanic Garden, available from Aspects of Kings Park.

Aboriginal dancer, Kaarta Gar-up Lookout

For thousands of years Aboriginal people have been visiting Mooro Katta or Kaarta Gar-up, two of the many names for Mount Eliza, the highest point of Kings Park.

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Fraser Avenue, 1929.

Kings Park and Botanic Garden has a long and interesting history. Nyoongar Aboriginal people lived throughout Western Australia, including Kings Park and Botanic Garden (Kaarta gar-up) for some 40,000 years before European settlement.

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Subiaco Lodge, 1938.

Originally named Perth Park in 1895, Kings Park's design was heavily influenced by English and Aesthetic Movements that married natural-looking parklands, feature trees and expansive grassed areas with colourful displays and pavilions.

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John Forrest Memorial. Photo: D. Blumer.

Kings Park and Botanic Garden has more memorials, statues and honour avenues than any other park in Australia.

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State War Memorial Precinct aerial view.

The iconic State War Memorial is visited by more than 40,000 people each Anzac Day Dawn Service, with numerous wreath-laying ceremonies held every year.

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May Drive Honour Avenue.

The planting of trees as a dedication to individual Service personnel who gave their lives while serving their countries in time of war seems to be an Australian innovation.

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'Big Fig' by Howie Smallman.

Kings Park and Botanic Garden holds a special place in the hearts and minds of its millions of visitors and is the stage for many important events, milestones and celebrations.

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