The gardens cover over fourteen acres of land and the day I visited there was more construction happening to expand it even further. The whole property covers one hundred and ten acres which includes magnificent views of the Glasshouse Mountains and surrounds.
Great views of the Glasshouse Mountains (Author's Photo)
On arrival, I booked in for the 10.30am aviary tour. You are guided through a large bird aviary with over 300 birds of 60 different species. Tours are operated throughout the day and times can be advised at the office on arrival. We were advised by the bird handlers not to wear hats or jewellery within the enclosure that was important to us because the birds were curious creatures and would definitely try to take them off us or play with them if they could. The birds were very friendly and happy to land on your arm if you had feed.
Birds are very used to human contact, especially if you have food (Author's Photo)
My visit coincided with mating season, so it was lovely to see the pairs of birds snuggling together in readiness for the next breeding cycle. There are plenty of breeding boxes and bracken stick nests throughout the aviary and we were told it was common to see the small heads of chicks poking out waiting for their parents to feed them.
Nesting boxes now being used in breeding season (Author's photo)
Leaving the aviary, I headed off to explore the massive gardens and waterfalls. There is around six kilometres of walking paths; however if the walking proves too much, you can hire a golf buggy to get around. Buggies cost $15.00 per hour for a four to five seater or $20.00 per hour for a six seater.
If you prefer not to walk, hire a buggy for the day (Author's Photo)
There are thousands of different varieties of plants including roses, azaleas, cactus, annuals and some of the rarest cycads in the World. Beautiful lakes and the sound of running water cascading down rock waterfalls can be found all around the gardens. There are also plenty of areas where you can have a picnic or just sit and watch the world go by. Names of different types of plants and animals on the property can be located under a tab on their website.
A sea of colour brightens up a pathway (Author's Photo)
At certain times of the year, you could come across snakes including carpet pythons, green and brown tree snakes as well as red belly black snakes. They say they are more shy of us than we are of them; however as I am not a lover of snakes, I was very glad I didn't come across any.
As a keen gardener, nothing is better than being out amongst beautiful gardens, smelling the aromas of flowers and soaking up the great ideas you can take home to create. You can spend hours wandering around and wondering where the time has gone. Devonshire cream teas can be purchased to consume in one of the garden pergolas around the grounds. Cost of Devonshire Cream Tea is $11.00 which includes two scones and jam, cream and tea. A Gluten Free option is also available at $12.00. Drinks and ice creams are also available for purchase.
Take a picnic lunch and eat in one of the pergola's around the property (Author's Photo)
The Maleny Botanical Gardens opens every day of the year except Christmas Day. Cost of entry for both the aviary and the gardens if $26.00 for adults. If only visiting the gardens the cost is $16.00. Other options for entry are Annual Pass, Family Pass, Loyalty Pass or Gift Vouchers. All of these and more price options can be located on their website. Enquiries can be made online for group or school bookings. The gardens has a special section available for weddings along with a separate parking area for the event guests.
Beauty can be found everywhere at the Maleny Botanical Gardens (Author's Photo)
I would have to say apart from the gardens, the highlight of my day was observing the exotic parrots and macaws in the bird aviary, even getting the opportunity of having some land on me. The Maleny Botanical Gardens is certainly a place I would visit again and bring friends.