Alice Springs ~ Snapshots from the Northern Territory

Miss Olive Pink, by unknown photographer - ph0091-0058
Miss Olive Pink, by unknown photographer NTGP Collection, Northern Territory Library, PH0091/0058

The Olive Pink Botanic Garden located in Alice Springs, in the heart of Australia. Founded in 1956 as the Australian arid regions flora reserve, the garden was established by Miss Olive Muriel Pink (1884-1975), an extraordinary individual and one of the Northern Territory’s historic figures.

Miss Olive Pink was an artist, anthropologist, Aboriginal rights activist and gardener. She contributed to the development of the field of anthropology and campaigned vigorously for the rights of Aboriginal Australians. An accomplished artist, Miss Pink was the visionary force behind the development of the first Arid Zone Botanic Garden.

In 1930, she embarked on a sketching tour of Central Australia and was to investigate the conditions in which the Aboriginal people lived. With grants from the Australian National Research Council to visit the Northern Territory in 1933-36 and work among the eastern Arrernte of Alice Springs and the Warlpiri of the Tanami region.

When the flora reserve was gazetted in 1956, Miss Pink moved into the reserve and established the haven that is now the Olive Pink Botanic Garden. Whilst many of the seedlings she grew failed to established, most probably because of the harsh summers and the long droughts in the 1960s, some of the trees she propagated from seed still survive in the garden. These original plantings form the basis of the botanic garden enjoyed by visitors today.

Olive Pink Botanic Garden is a must for those interested in the native flora of Australia. With a great cafe, it is also the venue for a range of activities, festivals, art and sculpture exhibitions.

More information coming…

Olive Pink Botanic Garden | Aboriginal Tradition | Crimson Fox Tail | Wild Passionfruit | Bat’s Wing Coral Tree


Footnote & References

  1. Miss Olive Pink. Available at: https://hdl.handle.net/10070/730064 (originally accessed 10 August 2012)