Kangaroo Point Natural History Trail

Kangaroo Point is one of Brisbane's oldest suburbs. In addition to being a scenic location for family gatherings, C.T. White and James Warner Parks at Kangaroo Point were once the home and workplace of some of Queensland's pioneering scientists and researchers.

In recognition of their contribution, Brisbane City Council has:

  • created a series of interpretive and botanical signs in the parks about the pioneers and their work -  Cyril Tenison White, Frederick Manson Bailey,  Harry Oakman, James Warner, Silvester Diggles, and Oscar Werner Tiegs
  • commissioned an artwork by artist, Mel Robson.

The trail commemorates Council's former Superintendent of Parks, Harry Oakman, by highlighting the remnants of his distinctive subtropical plants with botanical signage.

Pack a picnic and take a walk back in time in Kangaroo Point. Once you've walked the Natural History Trail, be sure to check out the Art and The River Public Art Trail, or take a ferry ride down the Brisbane River.

Kangaroo Point Natural History Trail map

Find the location of the interpretive signs for the Kangaroo Point Natural History Trail.

View Kangaroo Point Natural History Trail in a larger map.

Kangaroo Point Natural History Trail summary and images

Read a summary of the type of information you can expect to find on the interpretive and botanical signs along the Kangaroo Point Natural History Trail.

Artist - Mel Robson, 'Preservation', 2013

Artist, Mel Robson, created patterned sculptural forms to complement the existing cluster of Queensland Kauri trees that were part of the park designer's vision (Harry Oakman). Applying imagery by C. White, Silvester Diggles and Oscar Tiegs, 'Preservation' draws connections between the past and present. Encouraging people to rediscover both the existing nature of the park, as well as its heritage, 'Preservation' draws a relationship between people, flora, fauna and place, reminding us to reflect upon the diversity and vitality of this site.

Early pioneers

Cyril Tenison White

Cyril Tenison White was a Queensland Government Botanist from 1917 until his death in 1950. Born on 17 August 1890, he became an expert on identifying plants by sight. He drew almost one thousand illustrations for the Comprehensive Catalogue of Queensland Plants by his maternal grandfather, Colonial Botanist, Frederick Manson Bailey.

Frederick Manson Bailey

Frederick Manson Bailey was the Colonial Botanist of Queensland from 1881 to 1915. His encyclopedic knowledge of plants resulted in a long list of published works on Queensland flora, contributing greatly to the colony's fledging agricultural and pastoral industries. Bailey died at Kangaroo Point on 25 June 1915.

Harry Oakman

Harry Oakman was Council's Superintendent of Parks from 1946 to 1962. His passion for lush tropical foliage and flowering plants developed into the distinctive subtropical style of many Brisbane parks and streetscapes. Oakman's illustrated horticultural books on tropical and subtropical gardening have inspired many Queensland gardeners.

James Warner

James Warner was one of the first surveyors of Brisbane responsible for mapping the coastline, townships and rural selections. He is reputed to have constructed the first house in Kangaroo Point in 1844 and built up a successful business as a surveyor and real estate agent.

Silvester Diggles

Silvester Diggles was a notable naturalist, artist and musician of 19th century Brisbane. He helped establish the colony's first scientific institution, the Queensland Philosophical Society (1859) and published The Ornithology of Australia in 21 parts between 1865 and 1870. Diggles was a founder of the Brisbane Choral Society in 1859 and the Brisbane Philharmonic Society in 1861.

Oscar Werner Tiegs

Born at Kangaroo Point on 12 March 1897, Oscar Tiegs was a world-class entomologist and zoologist. He transformed an early fascination with insects into an outstanding career in zoology. Tiegs early collection of named beetles became part of the Queensland Museum collection and he was later instrumental in establishing university museum collections for further research.

Botanical illustrations

Harry Oakman, Superintendent of Parks for Brisbane City Council, designed CT White Park in 1961, featuring clusters of subtropical flowering trees. To commemorate Oakman, the Kangaroo Point Natural History Project includes a series of illustrated botanical signs depicting the trees that were part of his original design.

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Brisbane City Council acknowledges this Country and its Traditional Custodians. We pay our respects to the Elders, those who have passed into the dreaming; those here today; those of tomorrow.