Writer, adventurer and wrangler to little people and pets. Follow me on Instagram @whereiholiday.
Published January 7th 2013
Home of the Amorphophallus Titanum Corpse Flower
I sometimes feel cursed with a black thumb, causing all plants around me to eventually shrivel up and die. So a visit to a Botanical Garden is a nice way to remind myself that not all plants hate me. The Flecker Botanic Gardens in Cairns were originally started in 1886 and the plants within it are lush, green, vibrant and exotic- the exact opposite of my poor, wilted backyard veggie patch.
The gardens house an excellent selection of native rainforest plants as well as tropical varieties from South America and South East Asia. The George Watkins Orchid House is an area dedicated to the beauty of exotic orchids.
George Watkins Orchid House, Flecker Botanical Gardens
The park is also known for it selection of nefarious looking carnivorous plants, called Nepenthes. Carnivorous plants are a hit with kids, especially young boys who are amazed that plants can eat bugs. And let's talk about the Amorphophallus Titanum, better known as the Corpse Flower. If you are not into plants it may seem odd, but for plant enthusiasts the Amorphophallus Titanum is the holy grail of weird and amazing plants. The Botanic Gardens have one and it is a big draw for visitors.
There are plenty of plants to admire and the area is known for its bird watching. The kids enjoyed spotting the different insects and wildlife that call the Botanical Gardens home. The precinct includes freshwater and saltwater lakes which help support the diversity in the gardens.
The Botanic Gardens precinct has several areas including Flecker Gardens, Centenary Lakes, Mt. Whitfield Conservation Park and the Tanks Art Centre. The newly constructed visitor centre recently won a national design award and is a striking sight with its mirrored façade.
Entry is free to the Flecker Botanic Gardens and guided walks operate every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm. Visitors must meet at the Cairns Botanic Gardens visitor centre. The Gardens are a lovely spot for a picnic or you can have a meal at the Botanic Gardens Restaurant. For visitors staying in Cairns, the Gardens are approximately 4km from the CBD and can be accessed via public transportation.