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Beautiful Gardens in Brisbane
The sun is shining, and the outdoors are calling – with winter winding down and spring almost here, there’s never been a better time to plan an outdoor escape. Brisbane has gardens and parks aplenty, with so many spaces to lay down a rug and enjoy the warming weather. On your next day out, why not pack a picnic basket and check out one of these beautiful gardens in Brisbane.
Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens
Nestled at the foot of Mt Coot-tha, the 56-hectare Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens are a wonderland of flora, fauna, and beautiful spaces. Wander the paths surrounded by greenery and check out the highlights along the way – the insta-worthy tropical dome, the tranquil Japanese gardens, the impressive collection of succulents and cacti, and plants from around the world. The Kitchen in the Garden features edible plants of all types, and is a short walk from the lake which is the perfect spot for a walk and then lunch. If you didn’t pack your own, you can stop at the café on site, and eat in style with views of the lake. Also on the grounds is the fantastic Planetarium, or take a short drive up the mountain and take in the views of Brisbane city from up high.
City Botanic Gardens
Established in 1828 as the Brisbane penal colony’s first farm, the City Botanic Gardens are rich in horticultural history. After the penal colony was dispersed, the garden became a recreational retreat, with many of the original features surviving today. Plantings from the 19th century have been cultivated until today, along with many modern additions and features that make the Gardens such a great escape. Visit the excellent, shady playground with the kids to burn off some energy, and wander along the duck pond and spot water birds and other creatures. Visitors can meet inside the Alice St gates at the rotunda on Mondays to Saturdays at 11am or 1pm for a guided tour, or pick up a map from the rotunda and take in the beauty of the gardens along with an added appreciation for their history.
New Farm Park
Bordered by the Brisbane River, New Farm Park is one of Brisbane’s oldest and largest parks. It features plenty of wide, grassy spaces bordered by greenery, and big, established trees that are perfect for a picnic or BBQ. In the middle is a well-loved rose garden and the beautiful rotunda, which acts as the perfect meeting spot. For children, discover the large fort-like playground, ride bikes around the park, or take a stroll beside the river. Also on the grounds is the iconic Powerhouse, a historic building that now hosts arts, comedy, and music events. New Farm Park is just a few stops away from the CBD on the CityCat ferry, making it the perfect day trip for visitors to Brisbane.
Southbank specialises in the surprising, with a man-made beach and plenty of places to immerse yourself in nature right in the heart of the city. Take a stroll along the river and then check out the rainforest walk – within seconds you’ll be surrounded by trees, stopping to look at creeks and the wildlife they attract as you walk along the gentle paths. Dotted around are green lawns that are ideal for laying a picnic rug and getting away from it all. There are plenty of artistic installations and other attractions to discover, with the council holding many different free events around the area. For a different kind of garden, check out Epicurious – a community garden designed to educate and inspire visitors with their wide range of edible plants. At different times, volunteers hold information sessions and even give away free produce grown in the garden.
Getting Around in Brisbane
Airtrain will get you quickly and comfortably from the airport to Brisbane City in 20 minutes. You can disembark at your chosen city station – Airtrain runs express from the airport, but stops at Fortitude Valley, Central, Roma Street, and South Brisbane stations.
Brisbane is a great city for walking, and is connected by an extensive bus and train network with the river crisscrossed by the CityCat ferries. All Brisbane public transport uses a smart card for travel, or you can purchase a paper ticket. You can check out translink’s Journey Planner to find the best way to travel to your chosen garden destination.
While you’re in Brisbane, short term visitors should check out the go seeQ card, which allows you unlimited travel for 3 or 5 consecutive days on buses, trains, ferries, and trams. It also includes 2 Airtrain journeys to/from the Brisbane Airport. For longer stays, travel like the locals with a go card – just touch on at your station of departure and touch off when you arrive at your destination.
Exploring the Beautiful Gardens in Brisbane
Brisbane is rich in natural beauty, and there are so many destinations to choose from. Whether you spend an hour, a day, or a lifetime – there’s always something new to discover. No matter where you’re headed, start your journey well with Airtrain.