Take a wander around the Garden and the neighbouring Freshwater Lake and Saltwater Lakes and enjoy the tranquility of this location. Close to public transport, and a short stroll from the ever popular Cairns Botanic Gardens Restaurant and Cafe and the Wild Bean cafe, it’s easy to spend the day amoungst the lush tropical gardens.
The entrance to the Garden welcomes visitors as they pass between tall red pillars. At the top of the pillars, reaching skyward, are artworks depicting clouds – white swirls on a red background.
Traditional Moon Gate
As we wander along the path we come to a fork where the right hand branch leads us through the traditional Moon Gate. Windows on either side provide a sneak preview of the tranquil waters of Freshwater Lake in the background, with plants both established and new flanking either side.
If we take the left hand path, or upon return from the Lakeside Pavilion, we pass beneath the Pergola. The carefully designed uneven geometric lines of the Pergola’s roof are in harmony with the surrounding Garden’s features. In time, plants at the base of the Pergola’s foundation posts will grow to climb up and adorn the structure, further adding to it’s character.
The highlight of the Garden is the Lakeside Pavilion. A contemplative space from which to view the waters of Freshwater Lake, watch the bird life, or pause in silence for a while. There is something truly peaceful about this building’s location. Cleverly located to be concealed by planting from the road and the entrance, there is a feeling of being away from the hustle and bustle, and it’s relatively easy to spend time here.
Through the Garden are various stone features, including some impressive examples at the entrance. Whilst these are large features, their presence blends into the overall layout of the Garden. More noticeable are the stone carved guardians of the Lakeside Pavilion. Modelled on the traditional stone dog sculptures of Zhanjiang, each granite guardian watches as visitors pass between their gaze.
There are a wide range of plants in the Garden, as this compliments the larger complex of the Cairns Botanic Gardens. Plants from the Cairns region and China are featured, as well as species from countries in Asia, South America, Africa and beyond. Some of the species of plant to be found in the Garden are;
- Liriope muscari ‘Evergreen Giant’ – Giant Lily Turf
- Leptospermum madidum – Weeping Tea Tree
- Iris domestica – Leopard Lily
- Lomandra hystrix ‘Luckystripe’ – Mat Rush
- Lomandra hystrix – Mat Rush
- Crinum xanthophyllum ‘Aureum’ – Golden Crinum
- Pandanus amaryllifolius – Edible Pandan
- Xanthostemon chrysanthus ‘Fairhill Gold’ – Variegated Golden Penda
- Podocarpus chinensis – Arhat Pine
- Xanthostemon chrysanthus – Golden Penda
- Acacia macradenia – Zig Zag Wattle
- Xanthostemon youngii – Red Penda
- Scadoxus multiflorus – Blood Lily
- Hippeastrum reginae – Royal Lily
- Costus productus – Spiral Ginger
- Xanthostemon verticillatus – Penda
- Gardenia psidioides – Glennie River Gardenia
- Dendrocalamus minor var. amoenus – Ghost Bamboo
- Bauhinia galpinii – Red Orchid Bush
- Buxus harlandii – Chinese Boxwood
- Findersia brayleyana – Queensland Maple
- Hibiscus rosa-sinensis – Chinese Hibiscus
- Heliconia rostrata – Hanging Lobster Claw
- Bambusa lako – Timor Black Bamboo
- Zephyranthes candida – White Storm Lily
- Alternanthera dentata ‘Little Ruby’ – Little Ruby
- Liriope muscari – Lily Turf
- Ficus microcarpa ‘Green Island’ – Green Island Fig
- Crytostachys renda – Lipstick Palm
- Clavija ornata – Ornate Clavija
- Dietes bicolor – African Iris