Way back in 1912, the rainforest that is now part of the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden was under threat. Luckily, a group of concerned businessmen saved the day when they purchased 700 acres and opened a 'conservation park'.
Known as The Jungle, the park included tearooms and a number of walking tracks to features like the Temple of Nature, a grotto with sandstone pagodas, ferns and rainforest trees.
In 1929, up to 100 cars a day traversed the unsealed Bells Line of Road to The Jungle.
The Jungle was officially opened on 23 March 1929, by Governor of New South Wales, Admiral Sir Dudley De Chair KCB, MVO. A plaque was set into a stone cairn to commemorate the occasion. That plaque can still be seen today on the Lady (Nancy) Fairfax Walk.
The Jungle never achieved its hoped-for destiny as a National Park. In 1934, the Great Depression, coupled with pressure for building funds for the Sydney Harbour Bridge, saw the land resumed by the previous owners, the Charley family.
In 2008, the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust purchased 33 hectares of the original Jungle, with the financial support of John and Elizabeth Fairfax and the NSW Government's Environmental Trust.
Now part of the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah, The Jungle is again in public hands giving Sydneysiders and future generations an opportunity to experience and understand Blue Mountains' rainforest.