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Mount Coot-tha Botanical Gardens Frog Ponds

Home > Brisbane > Animals and Wildlife | Escape the City | Free | Outdoor | Parks
by Meg Forbes (subscribe)
Meg Forbes is a mum, freelance writer, and photographer living in the Redlands, South of Brisbane. https://www.instagram.com/megforbesphotography/
Published March 8th 2020
Do you have a frog lover in your family?
The ponds outside the library at the Brisbane Botanical Gardens at Mount Coot-tha are affectionately known as "the frog ponds" by many Brisbane nature lovers.

An eastern sedge frog at Mount Coot-tha's frog ponds
An eastern sedge frog at Mount Coot-tha's frog ponds


These ponds seem to have a reliable population of frogs almost the whole year round, although they are most prolific during the summer months after rain.

When the frogs sit on the lily petals they are much easier to spot!
When the frogs sit on the lily petals they are much easier to spot!


Several frog species call these ponds home, but the tiny eastern sedge frog (Litoria fallax) is by far the most common.

Sometimes the frogs hide amongst the reeds rather than the lilypads
Sometimes the frogs hide amongst the reeds rather than the lilypads


These tiny frogs are one of Australia's smallest. Although they occur commonly along Australia's east coast, from around Cairns in Queensland down to around Ulladulla in New South Wales, their tiny size means they are seldom seen unless people are actively looking for them.

These tiny frogs are experts at remaining hidden
These tiny frogs are experts at remaining hidden


When you get to the frog ponds, it is good to take some time to get your eyes accustomed to focusing on small sections of the reeds and lilypads within them.

Sometimes it seems like they hide in the most unlikely places!
Sometimes it seems like the frogs hide in the most unlikely places!


Occasionally a frog will jump or call, aways giving its position. But most often they sit still within the lilypads or reeds, and patience is the key to finding them.

This little frog was sitting in a surprisingly obvious spot
This little frog was sitting in a surprisingly obvious spot


When you do find a frog, it is very important not to touch, or allow children to touch them. Frogs absorb almost everything through their skin, so naturally occurring oils on our hands, and especially soap residue and sunscreen or insect repellant, can be very harmful to them.

An eastern sedge frog emerging from a lily's petals
An eastern sedge frog emerging from a lily's petals


These beautiful little frogs will often just sit and pose as you enjoy their company. They are fantastic for kids to watch. Occasionally one will go for a swim, or catch a small insect such as a mosquito - when they do, I always thank them!

These frogs may be tiny, but they are mosquito assassins
These frogs may be tiny, but they are mosquito assassins


These frog ponds are easily accessible to people in Brisbane. There is a free car park for the Botanical Gardens and Planetarium and a bus stop. If you are coming by public transport, you can plan your journey here.

These beautiful little frogs are well worth visiting
These beautiful little frogs are well worth visiting, and kids adore them


Useful things for your mini frog adventure
Sunscreen
Insect repellent
A hat
Plenty of water
A camera to photograph the frogs

An eastern sedge frog sheltering under a lily pad
An eastern sedge frog sheltering under a lily pad

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Why? Gorgeous frogs in easily accessible ponds
When: Anytime
Phone: 07 3403 8888
Where: Brisbane Botanical Gardens at Mount Coot-tha
Cost: Free
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