Tea Trees Discovery

In 1770, after landing in Botany Bay, Captain James Cook continued his exploration north through the coastal regions of New South Wales. During this journey, he and his botanists noted huge groves of trees with sticky, aromatic leaves.

They observed the local Aboriginals drinking a brew from the leaves of this tree and applying a tincture of salve on wounds with paperbark. This is where the name “Tea” Tree was born.

In time, the North Coast would develop with early settlers. Richmond River and Coraki (known as 'meeting of the rivers') was the biggest trading port on the Far North Coast, known for growing strong trees such as the most spectacular red cedar timber. During the establishment of these various industries, the fair-skinned Europeans suffered very badly from sun exposure as well as bacterial and fungal diseases. The settlers noticed the native Aboriginals were crushing ‘tea tree’ and covering their wounds with it. The settlers followed their example to use the tree oil with a modern distilling technique and it wasn’t long before they set up “bush stills” in Coraki to extract the essential oil version out of the leaf. This was the birth of the tea tree industry worldwide, which quickly developed into local plantations for production.

Today, our properties are located in the heart of this unique region - the original birthplace of the Melaleuca Alternifolia Tea Tree. Our aim is to protect the integrity of this beloved tea tree in its natural state, ensuring the production of quality and organic products offering the many benefits to the world.

Jendale’s protected rainforest wetlands also feature many ancient tea tree ‘mother trees’. These magnificent mother trees are so sturdy and powerful they have lived to be thousands of years old and created a unique home for our thriving bees to produce the best quality, organic honey.

Bryan Easson has been a passionate and essential player in the tea tree industry for close to four decades. Committed to researching, producing and protecting this age-old tree species, he is honoured to be a caretaker of the beautiful and pristine wetlands that reside at Jendale.

Passionate about preserving the growth of the mother trees, Bryan practices the art of wild-crafting - interacting with nature in an unspoiled way that stimulates the biological defence system so the area can remain just as nature intended.