This is how I feel about gardening, unfortunately my garden doesn’t look like a landscape painting but I know where you can go to enjoy one that does.
Earlier this year I went to the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens, it was the first time I have been there and I did put it off for a few months during 2012 because the weather was so dry and I wanted to see the garden at its best.
January 2013 was my first visit and I was impressed, I wasn’t expecting such a contrast of space, rolling lawns, meandering pathways and bodies of water, including avenues of tall trees.
When you consider the gardens are only just ten years old and a work in progress so to speak, it is quite remarkable that they have come so far.
A little bit of background about the gardens
In 2002 things really started moving with a Garden Reference group formed with representatives from the community, friends, and the Gold Coast City Council all working together to help develop a Master Plan.
When you take into consideration the very existence of this garden was rooted in the 1960’s with the generous donation of land to the Gold Coast City Council but it would take a further forty years for the idea to spring to life.
I’m not going into the history it’s been well documented by Gold Coast Parks and I encourage you to read it before your visit, links are at the bottom of this page.
A commemorative inscription reads:
This area of Parkland was donated to the city on 14 June 1969 by local pioneers John & Essie Rosser.Their wish was to preserve the area as a sanctuary for native flora & fauna for the enjoyment of future generation of Gold Coast residents.
Where is Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens
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The Botanic Garden is located just off Ashmore Road, opposite Benowa State High School.
When you enter the gates the first thing that strikes you is how modern and well maintained the entrance is.
The road winds around to a parking area and straight in front is a lagoon that belongs on a cover of a picture book, that’s how I saw it on my first visit.
There was no particular plan; I just wandered around and was pulled in whatever direction my eyes were drawn. A splash of colour would send me to a planter box, a splatter in the lagoon and I was off looking at the water birds, or I was attempting to capture the dragon flies manoeuvring from plant to plant.
Now anyone would think I was working for National Geographic trying to get that picture, really what was I thinking? But this is precisely the effect this location had on me; I was like a kid in a candy shop wasn’t sure what I liked best.
There are many wonderful parks on the Gold Coast where you can take the kids for the day, or just go for a walk or run in a different area of the coast, check out another page on this site at this link.
The gardens are divided up into a number of sections; you can head directly to what appeals to you the most or follow the path around. In addition you can visit The Friends Information Centre, open from 10am – 2pm daily. These are some of the individual gardens continuously evolving.
- Mangrove to Mountains
- Butterfly Garden
- Sensory Garden
- Rainforest Gorge
- Rose Garden
- Horticulture Display Garden
- Gum Tree Corridor
- Myrtaceae Garden
Who would like these gardens?
Personally I see a number of different groups of people enjoying these grounds, anyone that loves walking would be at the top of the list.
- Nature lovers who just want to soak up the ambiance
- Gardeners looking for ideas and plant selections
- Birdwatchers with binoculars
- Artists with their easel capturing the magic of the lagoon
- Picnickers with red checked tablecloths eating cucumber and cheese sandwiches, with the crust cut off, that goes without saying.
- Walkers and runners
- Those who just want to escape from the Gold Coast noise, and meditate
- Mothers with their little ones first outing
- Playtime in the children’s area, let them run and bring them home worn out.
- Dogs off leash areas, where they can run like the wind.
- Education groups.
- Tourist wanting to visit another beautiful location on the Gold Coast.
It is estimated that around 200,000 visitors come to the Botanic Gardens each year and it’s becoming a leading tourist destination, with that said it is an important addition to every visitor’s itinerary the ‘top ten things to do on the Gold Coast’ this would have to be on your list.
Bird life in the Botanic Gardens
- Birds should eat only the food they would find in the wild.
- Larger birds can become over friendly if fed regularly by humans and can appear aggressive when approaching especially to young children.
- Food we eat can upset a bird’s digestive system, we have to protect them, they don’t know. For example desiccated coconut can not be digested by birds and can cause death.
- The waste produced when eating human food can contaminate the water.
- All birds have to depend on their instincts to stay alive, we interfere with that if they are fed human food, and they become vulnerable to their predators and especially their young.
Birds can’t read the signage but we can, so don’t feed the birds.
The day I was there a black swan swam over, he was very comfortable with humans and proceeded to climb out of the water thinking my camera was something to eat.
Please check out the links below and plan your trip to the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens.