Queensland's first bitumen road connecting Brisbane to a seaside resort was 18 kilometres from Petrie to Redcliffe: it was also the state's longest WWI memorial avenue.
Anzac Memorial Avenue, now simply called Anzac Avenue, officially opened for traffic on 5 December 1925. It was built by returned servicemen as a re-employment project, starting in December 1922, and funded through public fundraising and government contributions.
Enhancing the streetscape, and in keeping with a growing tradition of living memorials, trees were planted along the motorway from February 1925, 2,000 trees in all. Not all survived. Weather and roadworks took their toll over the years and some were replaced.
Original plantings include the Cocos palms planted at Petrie by Governor Nathan in 1925, a Hoop Pine planted at the Humpybong Esplanade corner of the avenue by Governor-General Lord Stonehaven and a Fig tree at the roundabout terminating the avenue near Settlement Cove Lagoon.
Anzac Memorial Avenue was one of about 200 treed avenues planted in the wake of WWI across Australia.
The RACQ was a major supporter of its development, aligning with the newly-formed Main Roads Board. In this, the project uniquely blended WWI remembrance with the first car-driven tourism initiative in Queensland.
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