We were disappointed by this garden. Maybe we expected too much of Brisbane’s original botanic garden. I would describe it rather as a huge inner city park than a botanic garden, but that was before I realised that the gardens have been flooded 8 times between 1870 and 1974. With many plants being washed away, the council decided to establish a new botanic garden at Mount Coot-tha.
On the day we visited a big part of the garden was off limits as they were preparing the area for a festival. Judging by visitors, it became clear that the gardens play a vital role to all the people living in the high rises surrounding it. The gardens were established in 1855 and were first called “Queens Park”. It comes as no surprise that some of the older trees in the gardens were the first of their species to be planted in Australia. Presently the gardens have a great collection of figs, bamboo, cycads and palms.
It is a big park with a variety of attractions like the mangrove boardwalk, River Stage and ornamental lakes. Many council concerts take place on River Stage as well as the annual Lord Mayor’s Christmas Carols during December. There are also various designated booking areas for weddings or corporate functions.
Free guided walks leave twice daily (11am and 1pm, Monday to Saturday) from the Main Rotunda. The walk along the riverfront is quite relaxing and offers a beautiful view of Kangaroo Point. There are various picnic spots as well as the City Gardens Café. The Café is open daily from 8am to 5pm.
We strongly recommend that you use public transport to get to the gardens as parking is definitely a problem. The gardens are open 24hours and entry is free. More photos.