Brisbane Botanic Gardens

This free, landscaped park offers walks through a lush tropical rainforest and bonsai gardens, and past a manmade lagoon with water dragons and turtles.

The Brisbane Botanic Gardens occupy 128 acres (52 hectares) at the foot of Mount Coot-tha. The gardens were created when Brisbane’s council decided to complement the original City Botanic Gardens, in downtown, with a larger and more easily expandable site. Both botanic gardens are free to enter, but the Brisbane Botanic Gardens are more extensive.

The gardens feature plants and flowers from all over the world arranged in several different habitats. There are tropical trees, cactus and herb gardens, walking trails, creeks and lagoons.

Wander through 66 acres (27 hectares) of rainforest, wetlands and eucalyptus woodlands in the Australian Plant Communities division. There are more than 40 endangered species and a large pond full of eastern water dragons and other native animals. Move on to the Lagoon and Bamboo Grove to see clumps of rare bamboo or sit back and spot turtles, birds and eels in the water.

Check out the Japanese Garden to walk amid a stunningly landscaped selection of plants and flowers. Its core theme of “tsuki-yama-chisen” (mountain-pond-stream) emerges in the winding pathways, rock sculptures and water features. Visit the nearby Bonsai House to see tiny conifers, figs and azaleas.

Drop into the Fern House to see more than 80 varieties or examine the prickly plants of Africa and Central America in the Arid Zone and Cactus House. To stimulate your senses, stroll through the Fragrant Plants and Herb Garden with the aromatic medicinal and culinary species.

You can pick up a map and take one of three self-guided walks or join a free guided tour starting at the Information Centre twice daily, from Monday to Saturday. Check the website for details.

The Brisbane Botanic Gardens are in the suburb of Toowong near Mount Coot-tha, about 4.5 miles (7.2 kilometers) from downtown. While here, it is worth driving to the top of the mountain for excellent city views. The gardens are open daily and admission is free. Note that the Bonsai House has limited opening hours.

Alice St, Brisbane City QLD 4000, Australia   |   View Google Map