Relax, rejuvenate at Botanic Gardens Open Day

Botanic Gardens - Cooktown Orchid

Get set to celebrate Botanic Gardens Day 2023

As garden enthusiasts across Australia and New Zealand gear up for Botanic Gardens Day on Sunday 28 May 2023, the Fraser Coast Council and community groups are preparing for the big day with activities and displays that highlight the role of plants in our lives. If you’re tripping around Australia, there are also many other gardens across our country that you can visit. Read on to find out more.

Displays of orchids, bonsai, and bromeliads, as well as garden tours and talks, are highlights of Botanic Gardens Australia and New Zealand Open Day at the Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens on Sunday 28 May 2023.

“More than 100 botanic gardens, arboreta, and gardens across Australia and New Zealand will celebrate Botanic Gardens Day,” Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour said.

“Botanic gardens are wonderful places. They allow you to get into nature, to relax, and rejuvenate.”

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See the Fraser Coast’s Botanic Gardens

The Fraser Coast Regional Council operates two botanic gardens – the historic Queens Park in Maryborough and the Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens.

“The gardens showcase the rich cultural and botanic diversity of the Fraser Coast through the plant life and community facilities such as the Fairy Fountain and Rotunda in Queens Park and the Chinese Garden in Hervey Bay,” Cr Seymour said.

The Open Day, which starts at 10 am at the Hervey Bay Botanic Garden, includes activities and displays to highlight the role of plants in our lives and the vital work in botanic gardens to preserve them for future generations.

Activities include garden tours, a talk on bats, a frog motel workshop, displays of orchids, bonsai, and bromeliads, and potting demonstrations.

The event has been organised by Council’s Botanic Gardens and Orchid House Team in conjunction with community groups.

Ancient sand dunes formed 6000 years ago

The sand dunes visitors can see as you walk through the Hervey Bay Botanic Garden were formed 6000 years ago.

As visitors wander the pathways throughout the 26-hectare property, they can marvel at the many different types of vegetation that make up Hervey Bay – including examples of rainforest, beach ridge, and heath country; or sit on the grass in the shade of the trees.

A feature of the garden is the Orchid House and the year-round display of orchids in flowers. There are about 5,000 orchids in the collection, which covers about 65 varieties from around the world and native Australian orchids.

The Chinese-themed garden has been created as a part of the Bay’s sister-city relationship with Leshan in China.

The garden features a moon gate, pavilion, waterfall, vine arbour, and contemplation pond.
Heritage-listed Queen’s Park, one of Australia’s earliest botanic gardens, covers 5.2 hectares in the heart of Maryborough.

It has sweeping river views, rolling green lawns, annual flower beds, ancient trees, Gallipoli to Armistice memorial walk, a miniature steam train circuit, and other unique heritage structures.

Botanic Gardens - Chinese Gardens, Hervey Bay

Queens Park, an outstanding example of landscape design

At Queens Park in Maryborough, Qld, there is something to discover at almost every step – including the spectacular Sausage tree, which bears bright red pendulous flowers and fruit that weigh several kilograms that resemble sausages.

Another highlight is the magnificent banyan tree, which is one of the largest and most outstanding trees of its kind in Australia.

Since its inception, the park has been regarded as an outstanding example of landscape design.

It also remains an integral part of a network of botanic gardens across the British Commonwealth – of which the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in London was the originating hub.

The honour of establishing Queens Park falls to Maryborough’s first mayor Henry Palmer.

During the mid-1840s, amateur botanist and explorer, John Carne Bidwill collected specimens of trees from the Moreton Bay region. The Bunya Pine, located in the southeast corner of the Park, near the entrance gates, is thought to be a surviving tree from his collection.

In 1865, his town was quickly evolving into a thriving port and centre of commerce, but the social and physical health of his residents was foremost on his mind.

Mayor Palmer lobbied the colonial government to allow a large block of riverfront land not used for the bustling wharves to become a public garden.

His belief in the great importance of the park “for fresh air, health, and exercise” was shared by one of Maryborough’s most influential citizens – Customs Master Richard Sheridan.

As the first chairman of the board of the Maryborough Botanic Garden, Sheridan oversaw the first 10 crucial years of the park’s development, including the introduction of hundreds of rare and beautiful trees, flowers, and shrubs.

Maryborough also holds a brilliant annual Open Gardens event in August that’s worth visiting if you’re in the Fraser Coast region at that time.

Botanic Gardens - Sausage Tree, Maryborough Qld

Fruits of sausage tree (Kigelia africana) in Queens Park, Maryborough, Qld. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

How to get there

Queen’s Park
16 Sussex Street,
Maryborough Qld 4650,
Open 24 hours,
Entry is free.

Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens
Elizabeth Street,
Urangan, Qld 4655,
Open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 2.30 pm,
Entry is free.

Text and photos contributed by Fraser Coast Regional Council.


Botanic Gardens in Australia’s Capital Cities

Botanic Gardens - Australian Capital Territory

Dusk at the national arboretum in Canberra. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK


Botanic Gardens - Brisbane

Looking across botanical gardens towards Brisbane city’s skyscrapers. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK


Botanic Gardens - Sydney

Spectacular view of the Sydney Opera House and the harbour bridge, surrounded with lovely jacarandas of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK


A row of trees leading to a fountain in front of the Royal Exhibition Building at Carlton Gardens in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK


Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens in Hobart. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK


Botanic Gardens - Adelaide

Palm House at the Botanic Garden in Adelaide, South Australia. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK


Botanic Gardens - Perth

Eternal Flame and State Memorial at Kings Park and Botanic Gardens in Perth, Western Australia, located on Mount Eliza overlooking. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK


Lush tropical flora along the footpath at the George Brown Botanic Gardens in Darwin. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK


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