Fox Studios Australia contains a number of separate planted groups and avenues. Much of the planting dates from the Inter-War Period (c.1915-1940) and Post-War period (1940’s-1960’s) with typical elements including Hill’s Weeping Figs (Ficus microcarpa var. hillii) and Brush Box (Lophostemon confertus).
The row planting of Hill’s Weeping Figs (Ficus microcarpa var. hillii) surrounding the Longford Studio are significant in terms of combined visual impact and scale. These trees have attained substantial proportions, typical of this species. Most of the other trees tend to be supportive of the historic thematic character of the Showground precinct.
‘Heritage Park’ located within the ‘studio back-lot area’ incorporates a formal grid layout with translocated mature trees from within the former RAS Showground. The tree planting includes a mixed generic palette of species with no cultural or historic context within the thematically re-created ‘Heritage Park’. The group includes two Port Jackson Figs (Ficus rubiginosa), three Hill’s Weeping Figs (Ficus microcarpa var. hillii) and a single Outeniqua Yellow-wood (Afrocarpus falcatus) dating from the Inter-War period. The trees range in height from 10-16 metres and appear to be in generally only in fair to poor condition.
Further mature transplants included thirty-one native Cabbage Palms (Livistona australis). This species has been sourced from naturally occurring stands in the wild (9-10 metres clear trunk height) and imported to the site during development of Fox Studios and the Bent Street shopping precinct in early the 2000’s.
The trees within Fox Studios have group significance at the local level with aesthetic, social and historic values and are important components of the broader Moore Park precinct.
The Fox Studios Australia site was host to Sydney’s Royal Easter Show – the largest event held in Australia, and the sixth largest in the world. Since 1869, the Show has opened every year, except during the Spanish flu in 1919 and between the years of 1942 and 1946 when, it was, interrupted by World War II. The first Easter Show was held in 1823 and, in 1881, the New South Wales Government provided land for the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) at Moore Park where the show was held for 116 years. In 1998, the Show moved to a new showground at Homebush and the former Sydney Showground at Moore Park became the home to Fox Studios Australia.
From 1902 to 1919, saw the expansion of the site to the south and from 1920 – 1937, the Moore Park Showground expanded to the north. The standout features of the complex by this time were the peripheral walls, the Members’ Grandstand clock tower and the tower of the Anthony Hordern building (now the Banquet Hall). The Government Pavilion, the Commemorative Pavilion, were built after 1938. Trees that line the former cattle-judging ring were planted during this time and add to the wonderful character of the present site although they are not considered particularly good specimens or significant in terms of this register.