City Botanic Gardens picture
Alan Simpson / EyeEm/Getty Images

Key Info

Alice St.

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
5.0

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 5.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

If you're searching for a quiet respite from the city bustle, you don't have to go far: The City Botanic Gardens are less than a mile southeast of the CBD. In fact, visitors can get to this free attraction by walking, renting a bike from a local vendor, riding the ferry to the QUT Gardens Point terminal or taking the complimentary City Loop bus to several nearby stops. Limited free parking is also available. Once you've reached the gardens, which were the first in Brisbane, you'll find all sorts of relaxing spaces, including the Bamboo Grove, two ornamental ponds, a riverfront cycling area and the Weeping Fig Avenue.

To explore the gardens, travelers can take a self-guided tour using the Brisbane City Council's points of interest map or a free guided walk with one of the City Botanic Gardens' volunteers. Guided walks leave twice daily – at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. – from the property's rotunda. Whichever option you choose, visitors say you'll encounter stunning scenery.

The City Botanic Gardens are free to access 24 hours a day. In addition to the attraction's flora, visitors will find a cannon from 1803, a concert venue, restrooms, a cafe, a playground and multiple picnic areas. More information about facilities and walks can be found on Brisbane City Council's website.

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#1 Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha

After you've admired the sweeping views at the Brisbane Lookout, Mount Coot-tha, walk (or drive) about 1.5 miles northeast to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha. At this 138-acre subtropical conservatory, you'll find a host of native and exotic plants, not to mention the largest collection of Australian rainforest trees in the world. Within the garden you'll come across several themed spaces, including the Japanese Garden, the Lagoon and Bamboo Grove, the Fern House and the Fragrant Plants and Herb Garden – all containing different varieties of plantlife. When you're not admiring the spectacular flora, see if you can spot the fauna: Visitors say you'll likely come across iguanas and other reptiles, not to mention plenty of insects and birds.   

Past visitors said the gardens provided a beautiful setting for kids to burn off some energy. The Brisbane City Council also offers a "Hide 'n' Seek Children's Trail" with surprises and facts for youngsters to discover as they make their way through the garden. And do be sure to bring your camera since this outdoor attraction boasts plenty of photo-op-worthy spots, including areas with superb views of the city.

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