City Botanic Gardens Are Brisbane's Original Gardens

The City Botanic Gardens in Brisbane were the city's original botanic gardens and were established in 1855.

Although the city gardens were not actually established until 1855, the early  planners of the city of Brisbane were aware of the need for a botanical garden.

They put aside the land in 1828, when the city was first settled for this purpose, because they were aware that there would be a need for these gardens in the future.

From 1855 until the Brisbane's new gardens were opened in Mt Coot-tha in 1976, there were nine major floods that each time inflicted damage on the valuable collection of plants in the gardens.

The frequent flood damage forced the move to the new site. We again saw that demonstrated in the recent floods in the summer of 2010-11. What occurred was really nothing new, but this again demonstrated the damage that nature can inflict.

That said, even though many plants were moved to Mt Coot-tha, what's left at the original site is still impressive. It is a pleasant walk along the Mangrove Boardwalk, located near the side of the Brisbane River.

© Brisbane City Council | - Brisbane City Gardens

Your walk then takes you to the manicured lawns and flowering trees around the Old Government House.

This is a pleasant afternoon stroll for almost anyone or everyone.

I say 'everyone' because for the most part the walks are level and well-maintained, and there are no climbing or tripping hazards here.

In common with the extensive parklands also in the city area at Roma Street, and the new Brisbane Botanic Gardens located at Mt Coot-tha, entrance to the gardens is free.

The area is more like a city park than a botanic garden, and although it does have some interesting plants to look at, it mainly used as a place thats close to the city shops where you can take time out from shopping.

This makes it all the more accessible, as some people may be off by the term 'gardens', particularly younger people, but this is a very enjoyable area that is utilized by people of all ages.

City Botanic Gardens, the boardwalk along the riverside

© Brisbane City Council | - Brisbane City Gardens

The are a number of entrances into the City Botanic Gardens, including from South Bank, across the Goodwill Bridge, or from the Queen Street Mall along Albert Street. The gardens have a number of walks through the park and plenty of places to stop for artistic and horticultural contemplation.

This ancient Banyan tree in the picture below, is just inside the Alice St fence near the Albert St entrance. Not far from the Banyan tree is the beautiful purple colorful flowering tree in the picture at the top of the page, that provided shade and scent to weary wanderers.

City Botanic Gardens, banyan tree

© Tim Williams | - Banyan Tree at the Brisbane City Gardens

Perhaps the best way into the gardens is from the CityCat terminal QUT (Queensland University of Technology), and along the Mangrove Boardwalk.

City Botanic Gardens, view from gardens across the river

© Michael Zimmer | - Mangrove Walkway

Not only do you see the mangroves, you see the busy traffic on the river.

Some of the views you can take in include the flowering shrubs and trees on the parkside bank, and the cliffs and buildings of Kangaroo Point on the opposite bank.

The boardwalk is also an opportunity to see Australian wildlife.

Birds such as ibis nesting in the boughs, kookaburras poised for prey, and herons hunting in the shallows around the roots, may be seen as well as many other land and water birds. Mangroves thrive in that watery edge to the land and provide a habitat for other creatures as they do so.

The City Botanic Gardens are an easy walk from the central business district and are a cool oasis for visitors who want to take a break from shopping. See more of the Gardens, without leaving home, here.

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