This is the site of the second water supply for the new penal colony of Sydney, the first being the Tank Stream which is now encased in pipes underneath the skyscrapers of the CBD. This area is known as Lachlan Swamps after Governor Lachlan Macquarie. The trees you see are paperbarks, a variety of melaleuca. Paperbarks occur naturally in swamps and love moist, sandy conditions. Specifically, these paperbarks are the broad-leafed Melaleuca quinquenervia.
Lachlan Swamps served as Sydney’s main water supply for twenty years until 1859 when the area became irretrievably polluted. After much agitation and considerable heavy landscaping, Centennial Park was created in time for the centenary of settlement in 1888.
Lachlan Swamp contains a natural, underground spring. This spring water, which can still be seen bubbling to the top, is slightly acidic and therefore cleaner than other pondage in the park because iron pyrites present in the soil oxidises, releasing sulfur dioxide, a natural cleaning process. The water is also filtered up to the surface through sand contributing to its clearer appearance. So the dark brown of the surface water in these images is beneficial to the environment.
|Information summarised from Centennial Parklands.|
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