Cultural Artefact: Pioneer Memorial Highway


The Pioneer Memorial Highway consists of discontinuous groupings of exotic, deciduous, coniferous and indigenous trees extending from Hobart to Launceston, along the Midland Highway route of the 1930s. The Highway was a vision of a living memorial to early pioneer settlers, and, most significantly, a grand concept to beautify Tasmania's rural landscape so visitors would see the island as a 'veritable paradise' or 'Garden of Eden'. While Mrs FG Dougharty was a prime figure in the memorial aspect, Alan Wardlaw (MLC), John Walker (horticulturist and nurseryman) and Louis Manton Shoobridge (MLC) were key proponents in executing the colossal project.

Started in 1935, planting out took five years, with over 6000 trees planted. Highway users can still view significant remnants of this vision where remaining coniferous and deciduous tree groupings occur. The Highway was the only one of its kind for its time in Australia, giving it rare significance.

Gwenda Sheridan

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