City Botanic Gardens - Brisbane Tourist Guide

The Brisbane City Botanic Gardens are located at Gardens Point and are bordered by the Brisbane CBD and the Brisbane River. Originally the gardens were planted by convicts in 1825 with food crops to feed the prison colony. Then in 1828 the botanist, Charles Fraser, selected the site to become a public garden and by 1855 the garden was established. The gardens are now Brisbane’s oldest and most mature with many rare and unusual botanic species.

There are many areas in the gardens ranging from large open grassed areas perfect for picnicking on, rainforest, beautiful lilly ponds and a fascinating mangrove boardwalk with an avenue of bunya pines. There are free guided walks led by Volunteer Guides Monday to Saturday. You can join one at the Rotunda near the Alice Street entrance at either 11am or 1pm.

City Botanic GardensThese gardens offer a great escape for Brisbane’s busy city workers and if you haven’t brought your own lunch you can visit the City Gardens Cafe. The cafe is located in the 1905 Curator’s cottage and offer a fresh, innovative menu.

Walter Hill was the first curator of the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens from 1855 to 1881. He worked diligently for almost 30 years to establish the gardens introducing flowering trees, economic plants and decorative plants.

During his time he carried out expeditions to Tropical North Queensland to collect interesting native plants and was responsible for introducing mango, pawpaw, cotton and sugarcane to Queensland.  To commemorate the wonderful works Walter Hill did for the City Botanic Gardens there is the Walter Hill Fountain located inside the gardens.

You’ll also find the Gardens Cycle Hire at the Alice Street Main Entrance so you can explore the gardens by bicycle, follow the trail along the Brisbane River and then hop on board a CityCat and visit further suburbs.

There’s over 500 kilometres of bike paths in Brisbane so you can explore it all. There are bikes for everyone including kiddie carriers, baby seats and tandems. You can also pick up handy brochures and riding directions so you don’t get lost.

The Riverstage is located in the gardens and during the year is home to concerts, music festivals, exhibitions and shows. There’s a large grassy hill which overlooks the stage so it’s the perfect place to take a blanket and enjoy some great tunes.