Then and Now ‘Service Road’

2. pg 82 3 escarpment & background
3. lower road now 3

Service Road … from 1971 to today.

This road is the main access from the Lower Gardens to the rainforest in the Upper Gardens.

In the Australian Rhododendron Society (Illawarra Branch) – Newsletter No. 21, June 1971′, mention was made that surveying of the roadways was under way. Pegging of levels was to be completed soon. Outside engineering assistance had been gratefully accepted!

4. pg 03 3 entering the rhododendrond park
5. pg 82 3 road + escarpment now 3 2

Service Road … from 1971 to today

6. pg 16 3 bush scenes road then
7. pg 16 3 bush scenes road now

Newsletter No. 34, July 1972

The roadway is mentioned as having been marked out from the parking area to the escarpment. This provided easier access for walkers, if not yet wheeled transport!

The roadway to the Upper Garden was constructed without removing a single tree!

8. pg 15 6 lower dirt road near pines

Lower dirt road

9. pg 11 4 original road before development col darling & don stanton

Original road before development

10. pg 14 3 view base of service road

Viewing the base of the Service Road

11. pg 09 5 developing road near sundail

Developing the lower roadway

Newsletter No. 38, November 1972

Despite heavy Spring rains, the new road was still trafficable by car and the first plantings of Rhododendrons in the upper plateau were made.

Newsletter No. 66, April 1975

Only two and a half years later, and shortly after finishing the roadway, heavy rain caused landslides and slips in the Park. The new road surfacing was scoured and needed repair.

12. pg 15 3 1st stage main access rd to summit

First stage of the access road to summit

13. pg 15 5

First stage of the access road to summit

Newsletter No. 85, February 1977

A major problem was keeping the roadway open to vehicles. The road surface needed to be sealed – but financing this work was a major problem.

 Newsletter No. 100, July 1978

Ten drains were created across the road to clear excess rainwater. A load of stony coal wash was tried as a road surface.

14. plantings with coal wash pile

Coal wash heap in ‘Rhododendron Park’

Newsletter No. 176, March 1986

A grant was awarded, under the Steel City Assistance Scheme, to stabilise the roadway from the parking area to the upper park.

Newsletter No. 181, July 1986

Lord Mayor of the Greater City of Wollongong, Ald. Frank Arkell, together with C.E.P. members, Council, local media and Rhododendron Society representatives inspected the completed roadway. Everyone was ready in their praise for the five workers who completed the roadway ahead of time.


The topmost section of the road, leading to the deer-proof fence was replaced by the Volunteers of the IRRG. No Grant money was used.


The middle section of road was replaced using a Grant from the Community Building Partnership Scheme.

15. new road section 1a
16. new road section 1c
17. new road section 5
18. new road section 5

Thank you to Morgan Excavations, other tradies and volunteers for all their contributions.

We suspect a Brush Turkey left his footprints on the wet concrete for us!