Writing for pleasure to showcase the best Australia has on offer.
Published August 25th 2019
Botanic Gardens showcase native plants from Wide Bay region
I have heard people say that when they visit different cities, they cannot go past a visit to the local museum or zoo. Being a keen gardener, my favourite pastime is certainly a visit to the botanic or city gardens.
The Botanic Gardens in Hervey Bay, Queensland are located on 6,000-year-old foreshore dunes and cover over twenty-six hectares. The land was established to showcase the plants local to the Wide Bay and Great Sandy regions and now consists of a mixture of natural bushland, a Chinese garden, Labyrinth, Formal gardens, Rainforest and Orchid House. Many locals choose the formal garden settings for weddings, which are conducted at the Bush Chapel. There are bridges across the lagoon so you can stroll across to the viewing platforms, which provide a better look at the lagoon and surroundings.
The rainforest area was spectacular with lush green plants hovering over and around me as I meandered around the tracks. I was particularly impressed by the labyrinth where I sat on the rock wall before taking the silent walk in thought. It is believed labyrinths have existed for over 4,000 years and resonate with people in various cultures and faiths. The winding of the path allows the voyager to contemplate on the twists and turns in his or her life through a slow and calm pace while being mindful of the thoughts and answers in their hearts.
There are several walking tracks, which lead in each direction along the lagoon and beyond, leading to the labyrinth, rainforests, bush tucker gardens and others. In the middle of the lagoon is a fountain, which is quite peaceful to watch as it flows up and down with spurts of water. Trees and bushes are labelled along with educational data presented on posts for the benefit of all who visit. The bush tucker gardens were planted to represent the original owners of the land – the Butchulla people.
Deep In Thought As You Walk The Labyrinth (Author's Photo)
As part of Hervey Bay's sister-city relationship with Leshan in China, a Chinese Garden was established consisting of pavilion, waterfall, vine arbour, pond, moon gate and contemplation court.
The objective of the gardens is to preserve and maintain a representation of the diverse native species in the local area as well as keeping records of the plants and promoting research into specific projects.
Unfortunately, on the day I visited, the Orchid House was closed for renovations. It is quoted that there are approximately 7,000 plants inside the Orchid House including tropical epiphytes (tree living), which are native to Australia and other species from New Guinea, Asia, America and Madagascar. Definitely, a visit for another time, as the two major seasonal displays occur in late Summer and Spring.
Cross The Bridge to A Better Viewing Point for The Lagoon (Author's Photo)
The Botanic Gardens host various events and activities throughout each year. These include presentations and workshops on native bees, herb culture, bonsais, orchid cultures etc., as well as tours of the herb and bush tucker gardens, charity fundraisers and their annual twilight tour. For more information on events or celebration bookings can be sourced by telephoning 1300 794 229. Entry to the gardens is free with gates opening from 6.30am to 8.00pm daily.