Come for a walk down Ferry Road, West End and you will encounter an amazing little rainforest garden blooming with native plants, orchids, butterflies, and frogs alongside a narrow path before you cross the bicycle and pedestrian paths to the river.

A resident in Riverpoint Apartments has planted a diverse range of native rainforest plants and orchids – creating a unique, naturally biodiverse environment. I have added a couple of ponds that are breeding frogs with small native fish that eat mosquito larvae.

Before these riverside apartments were built, there were about 20 tall Hoop Pines, Kauri Pines and Bunya Pines at the bottom of Ferry Road. Most were cut down by developers, leaving one 133-year-old Kauri Pine, two giant Bunya Pines and one tall Hoop Pine.

Mike Foley reported in The Sydney Morning Herald 31/12/22 that “Habitat destruction triggered by urban and agricultural expansion is a key threat to the survival of the Koala, listed as endangered in Queensland in February 2022 after a series of devastating losses from bushfires, feral predators, and vast land clearing. (….) Australia leads the world in mammal extinctions, and since European invasion and settlement, about 100 unique species have been wiped off the planet. The rate of loss …has not slowed over the past 200 years.


It is within this broader context that it shocks me to see the results of destructive behaviour by a small number of people in the local area who regularly destroy and damage plants in this precious and unique rainforest garden. They snap branches off tree ferns, fast growing Macarangas and endangered plants and have broken the trunk of a Red Cedar in half twice! Some small plants have been entirely pulled out by the roots.

Seating, vine trellises and bird waterers have also been smashed. An explanatory council sign erected by the local councillor was knocked down within hours of being erected.

There has even been an official complaint made to the Body Corporate about the small amount of water Riverpoint has been donating to the project.

There are six other plantings on Council land along West End Riverside Lands Park where other Body Corps look after these plants by providing water and gardeners. The Koko apartments are a good example of where this is occurring.

What is being lost is the natural diversity of West End. The  carbon offset of this small rainforest helps reverse the carbon impacts of the 2.5 hectares of roof tops and concrete at Riverpoint.

It was recently reported that we are destroying  12 million hectares (30 million acres) of rainforests on this planet every year at the present time.

It’s time for us to be grateful for the beauty of the plants, insects, birds and animals in front of us; to recognise what really matters; to stand up for natural diversity, and do our bit to reverse our carbon footprint, and retain a tiny area of rainforest that naturally grew throughout West End before European immigrants cut it all down for housing, factories and roads.

This tiny area of rainforest is a natural habitat providing a home for beautiful butterflies, many bird species, cicadas and other insects, frogs, and water dragons and will get even better as it grows.

This is a vital legacy we should all look after for future generations!

Appreciate its peacefulness! A thriving rainforest garden on the banks of the Brisbane River reminiscent of what was there originally.

We should be protecting this rainforest garden as the community asset it is. This garden gives us a wonderful opportunity to connect with nature!

As Costa Georgiadis said at Woodford Folk Festival on New Year’s Day:

“Garden daily! We can all support and act and infuse love in all we are and all we do!”

Ferry Road Verge Garden, mages by Jan Bowman