Eucalyptus pilularis, the beautiful big Blackbutt at the south eastern end of Nowra Park is estimated to be around 400-years-old.
The majestic tree, near the intersection of North and Junction streets in Nowra, is listed on the National Register of Big Trees.
The giant stands 38 metres or 98 feet tall and has been part of Nowra's history for as long as anyone can remember - it is synonymous with the area also known as the Recreation Ground or to "old timers" simply "The Rec".
The tree has a circumference of 7.90m (307 inches) and a crown of 45m (147 feet).
It's one of a number of local trees on northern Sydney man Derek McIntosh's Big Trees Register.
"It's a beautiful big tree," Mr McIntosh said.
"I would estimate a tree of that size would be at least 400-years -old."
And while Nowra's Blackbutt is a giant and many a local has enjoyed sitting under it over the years, it's not the biggest of its species on the register.
Blackbut "Benaroon" which is at Johns River on the Mid-Coast, south of Kew, stands 60m tall with a 52m crown and a circumference of 15.10m.
Just 50m away is the second tree on the list, Blackbutt "Bird Tree" which has a circumference of 12.10m, a height of 54m and a 29m crown.
But the trees don't have to be tall to have a big circumference - another Blackbutt at Kangaroo Valley Road, Berry is only 33m high with a 42m crown, yet has a circumference of 8.46m.
Down south at Jervis Bay, another giant Blackbutt in the Greenfields Beach car park stands 48m tall, with a 37m crown and a circumference of 6.95m.
The iconic 'Bum Tree' which was on the road verge near the intersection of Beach and Gerroa roads before being felled in 2014, was in 2019 found to have been between 334 and 388-years-old.
The Bum Tree was approximately 35m high. At 'breast height', (defined as 1.37m above ground level), the diameter of the tree was 1.7m, and the circumference 5.34m. At ground level, the trunk had a maximum diameter of 2.20m (minimum diameter was 2m) and a circumference of 6.75m.
Berry Landcare organised an analysis of the tree's rings, combined with radiocarbon dating conducted by Dr Matthew Brookhouse at the Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University concluded the Bum Tree probably germinated sometime between 1626 and 1680 CE.
This places the tree well before European knowledge of the Australian continent and makes it a contemporary of the British monarch Charles II.
A leaked internal Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District memo to staff by CEO Margot Mains has said Shoalhaven City Council had given "interim in-principle support for the acquisition of Nowra Park" as part of the proposed $434 million hospital redevelopment.
Although there are at this stage no suggestions the tree would have to make way for any future expansion of the hospital, local resident Bill Hancock who has lived across from the park for 45 years said the tree has local heritage significance.
Mr Hancock who has long been an advocate for the Nowra Park precinct, has researched the park's history, saying the area had played a major role in a number of local significant historical events.
"And, of course, is also home to the massive Blackbutt tree," he said.
"I'd hate to think how old that tree is. It's almost eight metres circumference around the girth and features three major bark removal scars.
"I've spoken with well-known local Aboriginal spokesperson Graham Connolly Snr and he confirmed they were Aboriginal bark removal most likely for canoes."
Mr Hancock has extensively researched the location, with lots of that information included in his book, Shoalhaven Catholic Quarter, published in 2013.
Over the years, the park area has seen a range of local historical events, including the first annual exhibition of the Shoalhaven Agricultural Society in 1878.
A well was established in 1882 to improve Nowra's water supply, the first cricket game was held on the ground on Good Friday 1883 and a Sydney XI was captained by Dave Gregory who had the distinction of being Australia's first captain, with the local team taking the win, while in January 1885 an All England XI played a game against a local team of 22.
The National Register of Big Trees is not only about big big trees. It covers all the wonderful garden, pavement and park trees in our communities and wilderness areas.
The register started in May 2009 with 18 trees. In 2020 there are more than 850 trees listed.
And anyone can register a big tree go to https://www.nationalregisterofbigtrees.com.au