This Sunday, 30 May, Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens is observing National Botanic Garden Day as well as celebrating its 45th year.

Curator Dale Arvidsson said the gardens, covering 56 hectares, commenced in 1970 and opened in early 1976. It boasts more than 200,000 plants representing approximately 5000 species from around the world.

Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens are the youngest of the gardens Mr Arvidsson is responsible for: the others are much older, with the City Botanic Gardens dating from 1855 and Sherwood Arboretum from 1925.

“We’re encouraging people to go visit one of these three botanic collections. Inner-city residents living in West End or South Brisbane, can walk straight across the bridge to the city gardens,” Mr Arvidsson said.

“Take a picnic lunch, and just go and explore them, and enjoy them.”

Mr Arvidsson said green space is amazing, but with the focus on science and education, the Botanic Gardens offer something entirely different.

“We’re really keen to teach people and get them to learn what’s special about our collections.”

On Sunday, Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens will host various activities, including pollinator workshops with the Garden’s Education team, a photography exhibition, and a free concert on the Bandstand Lawn in the afternoon.

And, there will be a series of free guided walks with the Garden’s Volunteer Guides will provide an insight into Queensland’s native flora.

“When people come to the gardens, they see the cactus collection, they see the tropical dome, and they go to the Japanese garden, but they actually don’t realise that two thirds of the Botanic Gardens is devoted to growing, showcasing and preserving Australian native plants.”

The ‘Ancient Land: New Eyes‘ walk takes in the ‘Botanic Encounters Garden’, and then moves into the, ‘Australian Rainforest’ section of the garden. The walk covers current day science and 50,000 years of Indigenous use of Australian native plants.

Sunday’s Event Program

Song Writers Festival

11am – 5pm, free

The Mount Coot-tha Songwriters Festival is held annually at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens. The event showcases the best in local blues, roots, folk, acoustic songwriters and celebrates our creative community of musicians. It’s a family friendly, open air, all ages, free entry event.

Guided Walks

10:30am – 11:30am, free

Join Volunteer Guides for a guided walk at Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha. Botanists were sometimes irritating passengers on Cook’s Endeavour, filling precious space with their collections. They would rove at every landing point, gathering intriguing, dramatic and sometimes unremarkable specimens. They also made some regrettable food choices.

Learn about them in our Botanical Encounters Garden and Australian Rainforest, our newest and oldest sections of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha. Booking required – Click HERE to find out how to book.

“Diversity” An exhibition of photographic prints by The Fine Monochrome Print Group

9am – 3pm, free

The “Diversity” exhibition underscores the broad range of subjects explored by the exhibiting photographers. Each photographer has created a cohesive portfolio of images around their chosen theme. The exhibit is eclectic and include stars, landscapes, cityscapes, people, figure studies, and architecture.


Free concert on the Bandstand Lawn from 1-4pm.

Visiting the Gardens

If you can’t get to the Gardens this weekend, there are always opportunities to take self-guided walks in your own time. Take your camera and capture images of plants, birds and insect that you might not see anywhere else.

Access to the gardens (via pedestrian entrances) is open to the public 365 days per year.

In the future, there will be new opportunities to engage with the gardens. Mr Arvidsson said not everybody has time to do a guided walk at a specific time on a particular day, so the Garden is developing an interpretation strategy over the next year.

“So, there might be audio tours which will provide access for people who have a vision impairment or physical disability. It also means that we’re looking at online opportunities for people to have access to information about the Garden’s. It’s a big project.”

Keep up to date with the Garden’s events, HERE.

Cover image, Shutterstcok by Andras Deak.