We’ve lived in Brisbane for a few years but until recently I’d never visited the Botanic Gardens at Mt Coot-tha. Recently we had an hour or so to fill in before the start of Sunset Cinema, which is being held in the gardens, and it provided the perfect opportunity to wander around the gardens at their most beautiful time of day.
The Mt Coot-tha gardens were established in 1970 and officially opened in 1976. They are one of two Botanic Gardens in Brisbane – the other (much older) gardens are located in the city adjacent to the Brisbane River. After flooding in the city gardens damaged valuable plant collections on a number of occasions, an open woodland site was established on the eastern slopes of Mt Coot-tha.
The Mt Coot-tha gardens are arranged in thematic and geographical displays, including rainforest, temperate garden, fragrant plants, kitchen garden, an arid zone, Japanese garden, and a lagoon and bamboo grove. There’s also a fern house, bonsai house, and tropical dome.
The Botanical Café has a lovely view over the lagoon and is a great place to stop for lunch or a coffee, though be warned that it closes before the gardens do. We were disappointed that we couldn’t buy coffee or a cold drink after 4pm, even though the gardens were still open.
The Information Centre is worth lingering in, and you can ask here about the free guided walks and other activities. Among more recent additions to the gardens is a band shelter adjacent to the natural amphitheatre where Sunset Cinema is held.
All in all, it’s a lovely spot to walk and relax in, and I can highly recommend taking the time to enjoy these beautiful gardens.
If you go:
What? Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens
Where? Mt Coot-tha Road
Toowong Qld 4066
Cost? Entry is free.