Brisbane City Botanic Gardens
The City Botanic Gardens, Brisbane’s most historic public gardens, is the perfect place to come for a little outdoors time. With so many different features on offer – such as bike and walking paths, expansive lawns, a newly updated playground, countless picnicking areas, and even ornamental ponds – you’ll never be at a loss for something to do. Whether you want to spend the day with the kids playing in the playground, or have a relaxing lunch picnic in the shade of a towering tree, the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens will offer a unique experience that you’ll be hard pressed to find elsewhere.
Brisbane City Botanic Gardens in the CBD
The Botanic Gardens, unlike the rest of Brisbane’s parks, is located right in the heart of Brisbane’s CBD, making access to its facilities very easy. There’s no hiking involved, and it’s only a 20 minute walk from the city centre; and no further from both Central and Roma Street railway stations. It’s also just a quick walk from the nearest bus stops and City Cat terminal, and has several different entrances for your convenience. You can access the Gardens through the Parliament House entrance off George Street, or through the entrance found at the intersection of Alice and Albert Street. However, if you want a more picturesque entry into the Gardens, you can enter by way of the Goodwill Bridge, which takes you directly from South Bank into the Botanic Gardens. This is a great way to go if you want to do a bit of exploring in both locations, and, as a walking/cycling only bridge, it’s a quick and easy (not to mention, free) way to get between the two points.
Cycling or walking to the City Botanic Gardens from South Bank
If you decide that you want to cycle from South Bank into the City Botanic Gardens, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the nicely paved cycle and walkways that run throughout. As it is a shared space, you’ll have to keep an eye out for pedestrians, but if you visit on a quiet day, it is the perfect place to take the kids to build their confidence while riding in public and around obstacles. If you don’t want to cycle, but are instead searching for a nice nature walk, you’ll be spoilt for options. As a kid, nothing is more fun than exploring hidden pathways, surrounded by lush foliage, and in the City Botanic Gardens that’s exactly what you’ll find. For an experience that is both relaxing for you, and fun for the kids, you can also go for a walk along the boardwalk that follows the Brisbane River. The board walk winds along in the shade of the mangroves, allowing for a fantastic uninterrupted view of the river and the Kangaroo Point Cliffs. While you’re walking along the river, take a few minutes to read the signs that line the boardwalk explaining the importance of the mangrove ecosystem. This is a great way to teach kids about the importance of Brisbane’s natural spaces, while still having fun and being outdoors enjoying the day.
Brisbane City Botanic Gardens Playground
After a stroll along the Brisbane River, chances are that the kids are going to want to play in the playground. The newly updated play area in the City Botanic Gardens features an all-abilities playground which aims to allow children of all ages and ability levels to play together. With upgrades such as the rubberised flooring surrounding all of play structures, as well as features like a wheelchair accessible merry-go-round, the playground creates a truly inclusive and safe environment that allows every kid to have fun. One thing to note is that, while this is an all abilities playground, the area is not fenced, and so it’s important to keep the kids in your sights at all times. The playground has everything from a large sand pit, to swings, to musical instruments and noise makers, so your kids will have no shortage of ways to play and keep busy. Read more about this inner city playground in our review.
The history and wildlife of the City Botanic Gardens in Brisbane
If you enter the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens through the Albert Street gate (at the intersection of Alice and Albert St), one of the first things you’ll notice on your right is the beautiful and historic ornamental ponds. Designed and created between 1958 and 1960, the lower pond was a part of the Garden’s original natural creek system. The ponds are now home to numerous different plant and animal species, and are a great place to take kids to teach them about Brisbane’s wildlife.
Whether you’re looking to spend the day relaxing while the kids play, or you’re looking for a way to get out and active as a family, the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens is the place to go. With so many different things to do and see, it’s the perfect place for a family day out, and will offer you an experience unlike any other you can find in Brisbane.
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