Waverley Flora Park has a rich history. The caves and geological features of the area provided shelter to the Oyster Bay tribe of the Moomairremener people, and the land abounded with kangaroos, wallabies and possums, while the shores of the Derwent estuary provided nourishing shellfish.
In the 1840s, part of this land was leased for stone quarrying. By the 1860s, Kangaroo Point stone was being shipped to Hobart, Melbourne and even New Zealand, where it was used in a number of high profile building projects. In 1905, a rifle range was erected here, run by the Bellerive Rifle Club. In 1916 a 242 acre site in Mornington (which includes modern day Waverley Flora Park) was purchased by the Australian Government for defence activities.
Members of the Bellerive Rifle Club chose this location to erect a Soldiers’ Avenue of Honour, planting the first trees in September 1918. During the course of time, most of these trees were lost to urbanisation. For that reason, council re-instated the avenue in November 2019, marking the centenary of the Armistice which ended the fighting of World War One.
Twenty-three advanced gum trees, accompanied by a sandstone plinth and brass plaque, identifies each soldier.
With extra funding from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Tasmanian artist Folko Kooper was commissioned to create a memorial sculpture to complement the re-instated Soldier’s Avenue. Folko’s sculpture incorporates the shape of an inverted rifle butt, honouring both the fallen members of the Rifle Club and the cessation of hostilities.
Entry to the Avenue of Honour and Armistice Memorial is via Quarry Road.