The Gold Coast is renowned for its surf beaches, party lifestyle and theme parks. But even if this is what you have come to visit, from time to time it is lovely to escape from the hectic holiday lifestyle and these Botanic Gardens give you a venue to do just that.
The idea of the Botanic Gardens was first put forward in 1998 by members of the community who have been involved with its planning and development ever since.
Today, the gardens are set on 31 hectares just 10 minutes drive from central Surfers Paradise. They comprise several different areas, which provide an experience for everyone – smell and touch plants and flowers at the Sensory Garden, take a mangroves to mountain walk, check out local South East Queensland species, visit the native Butterfly Garden or smell the roses in the Rose Garden.
The day I visited, it was hot and cloudy – we had just experienced a week of rain and high humidity and so the gardens were at their tropical best. The lakes and vegetation gave great relief from the heat. But I have to say I did not make it around the whole 31 hectares. Just the board walk around the Feature Lake was enough for that day – but I shall be back.
I was surprised at the clarity of the water in this lake – it was beautiful. The central island obviously a haven for birds and the water lilies were full of lily trotters and cootes.
Pathways and boardwalks made moving around the lake easy.
It was school holidays and although there were a lot of people around, it was peaceful and relaxing.
Because this is a sub-tropical garden, planting is mixed.
Exotic bamboo is used for feature planting.
And there are examples of other exotics from all sorts of climates. Tropical heliconias from Asia and variegated Jasmine with Xanadu showing how texture and leaf colour can be used in tropical areas.
Bright pink Pride of India and Aloes slow how feature plants can be used.
Many Australian plants were also on display.
This beautiful pink gum is grafted so the flowering species is hardy enough to tolerate the humid conditions on the East Coast of Australia.
And fire weed is planted to spill over the wall making a great splash.
When flowering, these are beautiful.