Originally developed from a first settlers farm and then a convict maintained Colonial Gardens, the crucial resource in the fledgling colony; a Botanical Gardens were born. The Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens were established in 1818 by Lieut-Governor William Sorell. He dubbed this place the ‘Government Domain and Garden.’
The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens now undertakes research and conservation initiatives in a world context. Among botanic strategies is the Millennium Seed Bank Project, under which the Gardens hold collections of hundreds of threatened taxa, or biological organisms. Separately, a unique Subantarctic Plant House is home to the plants of Macquarie Island.
In the Gardens today, one scientific focus is on the plant collections with strong thematic connections. For example the collations of Tasmanian native plants are significant as some 30% of species in Tasmania are endemic. Elsewhere, a Japanese Garden and French Memorial Fountain complement the sensibilities of the original nineteenth century Victorian park space.