Brisbane Botanical Gardens
Brisbane Botanical Gardens is a 52-hectare botanical garden located 7 kilometres from the Brisbane CBD, on Mount Coot-tha. It’s the second botanical garden established by the city council, and it is situated at Mount Coot-tha Road, in the town of Toowong in Brisbane. If you are a tourist visiting the gardens, you can stay at nearby lodges and motels, or you can stay at the hotels within the CBD and use public transportation to get to the gardens.
Initially, the name Brisbane Botanical Gardens was used for the first botanical gardens which are located in Alice Street within the Brisbane CBD, but there were lots of challenges with that original garden, which necessitated the relocation. First, there were issues with flooding which often ruined the plants, Secondly, there wasn’t enough space in the City Centre to accommodate additional species of plants. As a result, the City Council decided to move Brisbane Botanical Gardens to the Mount Coot-tha site, and the smaller botanical garden at the City Centre was named City Botanical Gardens. The two gardens are managed and operated by the same department.
The new Brisbane Botanical Gardens was opened in the mid-1970s. It was redesigned in 2015, and it’s now used for all sorts of recreational activities, including picnics. It’s right at the foot of Mount Coot-tha, and it's home to more than 5000 species of plants from all over the world. It has plenty of features and facilities meant for botanists and plant enthusiasts, as well as members of the general public who just want to spend some time in a serene environment.
At the Brisbane Botanical Gardens, you don’t have to pay for admission. You can get in as early as 8 am and leave as late as 5 or 6 pm depending on the time of the year. Pets aren’t allowed in the gardens because there are lots of rare plant species in there that need to be preserved.
The Japanese Garden is one of the most popular attractions at the Brisbane Botanical Gardens. It follows traditional Japanese garden design concepts, but most of the trees and other plants used in the design are native to Australia. It was made by a prominent Japanese designer, so its aesthetic is very authentic. It was thematically designed to feature a "mountain" (made of neatly arranged stones), a "pond" (which is a man-made water "bowl" at the heart of the garden), and a "stream" (running water in well-defined courses, complete with small waterfalls). The scenic Japanese Garden is very popular among visitors at the botanical gardens.
The Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium was constructed inside the botanical gardens, and it attracts lots of researchers and people who are generally interested in astronomy. Visitors can attend lectures at the planetarium and learn about the mysteries of the universe.
The Mount Coot-tha Library is located within the ground of the botanical gardens. It houses a vast collection of books about botany and astronomy. The botanical garden also features the National Freedom wall, which was put up to celebrate 50 years of freedom. Visitors at the garden can put up tribute plaques on the wall in memory of their loved ones.
Other key features at the botanical gardens include the Bonsai House, the Lagoon and Bamboo Grove, the Fern House, the Exotic Rainforest, the Arid Zone (which features the Cactus House), the Fragrant Plant area (which includes the Herb Garden), the Australian Rainforest, and the Australian Plant Communities.
There is a café within the gardens, which can seat up to 150 people and it’s open throughout the day. It serves modern Australian cuisines in a tranquil open-air seating area. There is a car park at the gardens, and it includes spaces for buses, which often ferry in school children on class trips. Most areas in the gardens are easily accessible to people with disabilities.
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