Norfolk Island Pine
Norfolk Island Pine, Araucaria heterophylla
Location: Marine Parade
Significance: Aesthetic Value
The stately Norfolk Island Pines extending the length of Marine Parade south onto Highway 2 create a prominent boulevard and offer a memorable welcome to visitors to the city.
The first trees were planted in 1888 as part of the design of the seafront associated with building a permanent sea wall to protect the roadway and township from heavy seas. At the time, Marine Parade was just a narrow track skirting the coast.
The plantings continued southward up until 1935 and a second line was added on the seaward side of the new carriageway from the Skating Ring to Ellison Street in 1958. In more recent years, the planting resumed, taking the parallel lines of trees further south again to Awatoto.
Noted for tolerating salt-laden winds, these hardy trees have thrived. Few have been lost in the line-up, although most have been struck by vehicles at some time and in one or two cases even suffered fire damage.
Coloured lights were threaded into the foliage of the downtown pines in 1936, which helped transform Marine Parade into a nighttime wonderland for Depression-weary residents and visitors.