The Gold Coast Botanic Gardens were established in 2003. When I first visited in 2006 it was still in the developing stages. Since then I’ve visited many Botanic Gardens all round Australia, so it is time I went back to see how our own Botanic Garden compares.
I was disappointed. This is a lovely parkland with a large lake system and board walks crisscrossing them. But look closer and the water ways are clogged with the invasive Salvinia weed.
There were large grassed areas, ideal for picnics and play areas. It was the school holidays and families were enjoying the beautiful sunny day. Children were running, biking, riding scooters and having a great time.
Notice the Salvinia on this part of the lake? It could easily be mistaken for an extension of the lawn area.
Further round the water was clear of the weed and look at the reflections.
Swans, moorhens and ducks enjoyed this part of the lake system.
A few attractive sculptures of native animals and birds were dotted around.
Further round a sensory garden with raised beds was a riot of colour for sight, another had a herb bed for smell. But it all seemed a bit uncoördinated and also needed some maintenance. Maybe I am being a bit unfair as it is winter and not the best time to view gardens.
Tucked away at the back of the gardens I found the fountain… I did my best to take a decent photo, but I don’t think I succeeded. It was not very inspiring.
I found a bench (actually there were a lot of benches dotted around the lakes) and I sat for a while thinking about these gardens. Am I being biased by all the other gardens I have seen? Maybe. Somehow it just doesn’t seem to qualify for the “Botanic” tag. It is a lovely “park” and fits the criteria for that label. But there isn’t that extra attention to detail, not many plants and trees labelled, no unique areas of special plant collections. As for the café, oh dear… I didn’t even take a photo. It was squashed onto a narrow deck around the side of the small information building. Only 4 small tables and hardly any room to squeeze past each table. Thankfully I had brought along a thermos and sandwiches…
Despite being disappointed with how the gardens have developed it was still a pleasant days outing. I think I will come again in another season. October/November is the best time for sub-tropical gardens, before the heat of summer sets in.
I was expecting to be more impressed. I think maybe the council do not think giving money for a Botanic Garden is very high on their list of priorities.
Come over to visit “Restless Jo” she is our intrepid leader and inspires people from all over the globe to join her cyber walking group each week.