The Brisbane botanic gardens provide locals and visitors with many stress free hours of simple, natural pleasure in and around a very modern city.
This page is dedicated to one of them, the Brisbane Botanic Gardens at Mt Coot-tha. Although all of the botanic gardens in Brisbane are definitely worth a visit, the Mt Coot-Tha gardens are special.
Mt Coot-tha is also called Mt Cootha by the locals. The name means 'place of honey' in the local Aboriginal language, and is a busy spot.
The Mt Coot-Tha gardens have a number of specialist garden areas.
One of the most valuable to visitor is the Australian Plant Communities area.
It showcases Australian native plants and covers in total over 27 hectares, so you possibly won't see it all in one day.
© BrisbaneWalkabout.com | Mt. Coot-Tha
The Gardens are open seven days a week from 8am to 5.30pm in the summer months (September to March) and 8am to 5pm during the winter months (
April to August).
The Mt Coot-tha Gardens are located on Mt Coot-tha Road, Toowong about 5 kms from the city centre. There is plenty of parking on-site (it takes around 15 minutes to drive there from the Brisbane City centre) or you can travel to the Gardens using public transport.
Located within the gardens, is what is commonly known as the Lakeside cafe. The 'Botanical' cafe is open seven days, 8am to 5pm.
It serves breakfast lunch snacks and a range of beverages for when you need a break. The Cafe also has a number of rooms available for hire and it is a popular venue that can be hired to host weddings, engagements and other functions.
There are a number of specific attractions in the gardens. Of particular interest is the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium and Cosmic Skydome. This is the perfect spot to visit if you are interested in learning about what is in the sky above Brisbane.
As well there is the Queensland Herbarium, the Botanic Gardens Library and auditorium. School education programs are held in the gardens too. These can be booked through the Brisbane City Council.
© Brisbane City Council | Flickr - Mt. Coot-Tha Weeping Fig Tree
There are a number of picnic areas dotted around the Gardens and lot's of interesting things to see.
There are quite a few other particularly interesting areas of the Brisbane botanic gardens, which you may like to visit and this of course depends on your specific interests. These include...
What a lot there is to visit, but the good thing is that there is something for you to see, that is specific to your own individual interests. If you are thinking you would like to get married in the Brisbane botanic gardens, there are lawns that are especially made for holding weddings. These are quite popular and you will need to book your spot well in advance of the big day.
The gardens feature many Australian native plants, and in keeping with Brisbane's own climate, areas of the gardens focus on 'Mediterranean-climate' plants from around the world.
It has plants from Mexico, South Africa, and of course the Mediterranean shores.
© Brisbane City Council | Flickr - Mt. Coot-Tha Palm Grove
These lovely shade trees above the path, provide the perfect environment for strolling through the gardens.
To help you on your visit, volunteers will take you on free guided walks through the gardens between 11am and 1pm.
While these are available for most of the year, it is advisable to check before you go to see when they are on.
© Michael Zimmer | Flickr - Mt. Coot-Tha Japanese Garden
If you are part of a group you can book to have a a hosted walk, which can feature a specific interest of the group, such as the Bonsai Garden or the Japanese Garden. The garden within the garden known as the 'Japanese Garden' is located close to the 'Bonsai House'.
© Brisbane City Council | Flickr - Mt. Coot-Tha Arid Zone and Tropical Display Dome
The 'Arid Region' pictured above, demonstrates one extreme of the mediterranean climate. Many of the cactus kind of plants in the gardens come from the not-so-arid regions and as a consequence of being in a different climate, they have grow to the size of small trees.
In this part of the gardens, cactus and succulents are the rule and there are more than you would imagine could grow in near deserts. The 'arid region' of the gardens lies between the Tropical Display Dome and the 'lagoon'.
The Thematic and Geographical plants area includes cactuses, fig trees, African and American, temperate region plants and palms.
Now for some practical considerations for visitors. Strolling around the Brisbane botanic gardens is a joy, but its a big place.
Unless you're used to hours of walking in the sun, the best way to approach your visit is to drive and park at the various car parks around the edge of the gardens and explore from there.
Be aware that if you are a visitor who is not used to the heat and humidity of Brisbane you may get dehydrated, so its important to drink adequate water.
Drinking enough water also applies to locals too, of course!
There are many drinking fountains around the gardens so pick up a map before you set out, but it is valuable to carry a bottle of water too.
If you bring a picnic lunch and a blanket there are many lovely spots around the lagoon to sit and enjoy a rest.
You will always find people taking advantage of shady pots to do just that, and you can eat lunch while taking a break. While a picnic lunch is nice and is an inexpensive way to eat, you don't have to bring your own lunch.
The gardens have the perfect answer in the Lakeside Restaurant. When you need some rest and re-fuelling, the Botanic Gardens Cafe serves breakfast and lunch seven days per week.
The photo below shows the 'lagoon' part of the park, and although they aren't showing in this photo, you often see ducks and other water birds enjoying the laggon.
Children love this area of the park!
© Brisbane City Council | Flickr - Mt. Coot-Tha Lagoon
To learn about other Brisbane botanic gardens, there are other articles you might like to read including the Roma Street Parklands page.
You can also read about the oldest botanical gardens in Brisbane. They have now be renamed and are known as the City Botanic Gardens, and adjoin the Queensland University of Technology and Parliament buildings, and are a welcome place to realx when visting the Central Business District.