The Guardian February 26, 2003


French garden rediscovered

"This is one of our nation's most stunning historic sites. It is also a 
proud part of France's history. I can hardly believe it is there and intact 
after more than two centuries", said Greens Senator Bob Brown.

Senator Brown was referring to the stunning discovery of 211-year-old 
French Garden re-discovered in Tasmania.

The garden was built in the Tasmanian forests by the great French 
expedition of Bruni D'Entrecasteaux in 1792.

The stone surrounds of the garden are a walk through the bush from the 
beach on Recherche Bay, south of Hobart. They measure 9.5 metres by 8.3 
metres, with two internal stone plinths.

A separate substantial stone wall, more than 20 metres long and one metre 
high, located at Bennetts Point one kilometre south of the garden may well 
be part of the observatory set up to study the planets of Jupiter and 
electromagnetic navigation by the scientists on the D'Entrecasteaux 
expedition.

The history of the garden and observatory have been tracked by the local 
Recherche Bay Protection Group which opposes the imminent clearfell logging 
of the 140 hectare peninsula by the giant woodchip company Gunns Pty Ltd.

The stone sites were rediscovered two weeks ago by Tasmanian farmers Bob 
Graham and Helen Gee.

"We are sending a dossier on this discovery to the Tasmanian Premier Jim 
Bacon who should make it a national park and to Prime Minister Howard who 
should nominate it for World Heritage status", said Senator Brown.

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