The Betty Sykes Wallum Garden is your head-to destination on the 'Restoring the Wallum in Keith Royal Park', which is one of the Sunshine Coast Wildflower Festival's Free Guided Walks and Activities. On the guided walk, Keith Royal Park volunteers take keen nature lovers to a very small patch of wallum at the southern end of the doggy friendly Keith Royal Park.
Look out for the Betty Sykes Wallum Garden on the southern side of the park
Being so easily accessible, with plenty of parking, my adventurous 'other' and I thought this would be the perfect outing for our Sunday walkabout, giving us a unique destination to introduce our new furry family member to uncrowded outdoor exploring. Our other logical reasoning was: if we could instil a love of local vegetation into her 'is it chewable?' mindset, we may avoid the indiscriminate 'weeding' of our entire garden.
Wallum ecosystems were once widespread across the Sunshine Coast region, but with constant clearing of urban and commercial projects, many of the original locations are no more. Although partially cleared, the Betty Sykes Wallum Garden within the Keith Royal Park, has been identified as providing habitat for a range of delicate wallum plants, including the stunning bonnet orchid.
Bright and colourful to welcome the onset of spring
This area also provides a habitat for a range of other dainty and graceful wallum orchids and beauties. Vanilla lily, sundew - one of Australia's carnivorous plants - and grass trigger plant blooms peek out from amongst the green of the wallum ferns and shrubs during spring and summer.
To ensure the survival of these protected plants, this area has been added to the adjoining remnant ecosystem, allowing regeneration of the existing wallum to continue into the future.
The Wallum Native Garden group meet every 2nd Friday to help care for this local ecosystem
If you and your friends would love to learn more about the unique plants of this small but very important piece of the Sunshine Coast region, the Wallum Native Garden group get together every second Friday at 7.30am to help care for this treasured local ecosystem.
The Keith Royal Park in Marcoola also boasts a heap load of other attractions within its perimeters -
Large open grassy area, perfect for that weekend game of cricket or footy
A contemporary and well-equipped children's playground and undercover picnic area lends itself perfectly to that next special birthday celebration.
A small pavilion with toilet facilities is provided for visitors as well.
Another advantage to visiting the Betty Sykes Wallum Garden is that if you happen to be an avid plane enthusiast or an 'AvGeek' as I've subsequently discovered on Dr. Google, a solitary viewing bench has been strategically placed in close proximity to the gardens, so that plane spotters can sit and leisurely enjoy the to-ing and fro-ing of planes at the local Sunshine Coast Airport.
The ideal spot to enjoy the to-ing and fro-ing of planes ...