A trip to Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens is sure to enchant young and old alike. For visitors with young children the highlight is definitely the "Hide 'n' Seek Trail" which starts at the Japanese Gardens.
The trail is a delightful walk through a marked area of the gardens with numbered sculptures and whimsical creations dispersed throughout. Pick up a trail brochure and join in the fun as you find the hidden treasures and at the same time learn interesting facts about the forest and the creatures and plants that inhabit it.
The artwork is thoughtful, interactive and aesthetically pleasing, blending into the surrounds making some treasures that much trickier to find, especially for naive little eyes. The information boards are equally impressive, presenting relevant information in easily digestible formats for young readers. My son particularly enjoyed the poetry boards but whatever your child's preference they are sure to fire the imagination of curious, enquiring minds.
Expect squeals of delight and excitement as the trail unfolds. This was truly a magical part of our day and I've included a pictorial guide to the trail below. Hopefully you will be encouraged to visit. Be warned though, this is not for little eyes. We don't want to spoil the surprises for them, do we?
Sign marking the start of the trail - "Who are we waiting for in our scented forest?
This is the first clue on the trail and very easy spot. Perhaps that was intentional and a subtle way to invite participation and build confidence having found the first one so easily. It's situated on a seat-like log and presents a lovely photo opportunity.
Bamboo Bear Nestled in amongst the gorgeous bamboo is a momma bear and her baby munching on their favourite food. The sun shining through the bamboo onto these metal characters makes this an enchanting sight to behold.
The trail then takes a menacing turn (not really) as we're presented with two scary forest insects - the Munching Machines. They are large stone sculptures and can't be missed. Brave hunters can even hop on them for a ride.
Find some feathered friends
Clue 9 takes us to the bandstand in search of birds that have flown out of the forest and nested in the bandstand mosaic. Back on the path, keen eyes might be able to spot these hungry little birds a nest.