Rockhampton Botanical Gardens

Project QuickStats

Location 100 Spencer Street, Botanic Gardens, Rockhampton, 4700
Stone Colour Kirribilli Red (Variant of Glensanda)
Total Area 190sqm
Date Installed 3rd December 2020

As we enter summer theres actually some good news in 2020, for trees and gardens – Australia is in the midst of a La Nina cycle, meaning more rainfall for south east Australia.

Thats particularly great news for trees around properties we’ve paved with thousands of square meters of porous surfaces in the last decade!


Porous Pathways Ideal for gardens

Whilst most of La Nina rain will only fall on south eastern Australia, high humidity and rainstorms are the norm in the central Queensland region of Rockhampton! This subtropical region experiences frequent thunderstorms, particularly now during the wet season spanning October to March, bringing a deluge of rain.

This makes porous pathways an excellent choice for Rockhampton Botanical Gardens where this week StoneSet partnered with our Queensland approved installers Heritage Tree Care. The replacement of non porous paving pathways was part of building works by  GT Jeffreys Builders on behalf of the people of Rockhampton, managed by Rockhampton Regional Council.


Following footsteps of Pioneers

This year the Gardens celebrated an incredible 150 years. The botanical gardens were founded in 1869, the spot chosen as it lies next to the Murray Lagoon. The gardens gained heritage status just 20 years ago demonstrating significant importance as a “major urban centre” to the central Queensland region.

Home to a separate heritage-listed ANZAC cenotaph, porous tree surrounds were of immense importance, as seeds from the Lone Pine at Gallipoli grew into pines that now form part of an avenue to and around the Cenotaph.

A photo of a Rockhampton Botanical Gardens tree more than 100 years old.

The ‘practical mid point’ of the state has seen increased domestic tourism in the state, through events such as the  Rockynats motor show planned for Easter 2021.

Last month Rockhampton host to the 2020 developing northern Australia conference. The event surely making for heated discussions given controversial QLD State border closures and the devastating impacts on tourist regions.

A council social post below shows the concern over conserving water, with the local desalination plant at peak usage.


A such, Rockhampton regional council was looking to invest in a long term porous paving solution, upgrading the gardens pathways with a modern, durable an water smart paving solution to replace the 40 year old paved Garden pathways.

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Care in choice of paving required the rustic red-brick pathway ‘look and feel’ be conserved. Exposed aggregate gravel pathway would  best preserve the Gardens original look and feel, thus honoring the immense work and dedication of its 6 curators for decades to come.

Indeed StoneSet has been installed at multiple heritage listed locations around Australia, with the Governor Generals Sydney residence, Admiralty house using the same Kirribilli red stone, being one of the more prestigious heritage listed locations.

Improving Safety and Biodiversity

The obvious choice for tree health is porous paving and the stone colour kept the historic red-paved look and feel of the gardens in tact. Less less obvious was the no-puddle, non slip improvement to visitor safety in region which experiences heavy periods of rainfall.

With heavy rainfall, leaves and sticks are more frequently shed on to pathways. Where puddles form on non porous paving, this organic matter can encourage algal growth. With porous paving, the lack of puddles mean less stagnant puddles, and dried leaves and materials are more easily blown away by wind, or maintenance workers.

There was also the knock-on benefits healthier trees offer to the local ecosystem. In this video below, you can hear a vibrant colony of bats which rely on the humid climate to regulate their temperature. In turn many rainforest plant species require bat pollination.

With a ‘free draining‘ porosity rate of 60L/sqm/min the new porous pathways were a huge improvement adding a massive 190sqm of water permeable surface around the trees. The porous gravel adding an combined equivalent of approximately 1500 litre water tank of on-site retention each rain period. A durable porous paving solution that also;

  • Match colour profile of existing red pavers for heritage purposes
  • Increased tree health some almost 100 years old
  • Withstand vehicle traffic long term, from a service buggy  (800kg)
  • Cost effective and reliable installation, low impact on existing retaining walls/surrounds
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All up, applying StoneSet to this Pathway was a 4 day install, covering 190 square meters of resin bound stone giving the exposed aggregate look, at an average depth of 25mm.

See more Heritage locations near You!

Enter your Suburb using the map (link above) to view the job profile webpage of StoneSet installed in your area. Resin bound stone is not one of the first things that comes to mind when looking for Pathway ideas and particularly when paving over existing hard surfaces. You can read more detail on Pathways we’ve done and see photos of these projects here.