Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha

You all set off on the Hide ‘n’ Seek Children’s Trail, peering eagerly into the undergrowth. One child lets out a shout, spotting the replica panda hidden inside the clump of bamboo, then asks eagerly what they have to find next. It’s a race now to the Dragon Bridge to look for dragons…well, dragonflies anyway. The trail brochure says that 3 million years ago, dragonflies grew as big as your outstretched arms. The kids zoom off, pretending to be giant insects. A moment later they are crouched quietly, examining the fern frond embedded in a fossil rock and comparing it with the living king fern growing beside the creek.

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Contact details

Mount Coot-tha Rd, Toowong; (07) 3403 2532

Don't Miss

■ The Bonsai House (limited opening hours). Kids are fascinated by the tiny fig trees, conifers, camellias, azaleas and maples.

■ The adjoining Mount Coot-tha Forest, where you can take a walk to the J. C. Slaughter Falls.
■ The picturesque Japanese garden with its ponds and mysterious winding paths.
■ The Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium.
■ The self-guided Aboriginal Plant Trail (download leaflet), which teaches you the hidden uses of the plants you see.
■ The Fragrant Plant and Herb Garden, where kids may gently touch the plants to release and inhale the scents.

Fabulous Facts

Some of the plants you see on the Aboriginal Plant Trail are poisonous if eaten, but Aboriginal people have discovered ways to make them edible. The seeds of the candlenut tree can be eaten after they are roasted in a fire, but the chestnut-like seeds of the black bean tree need a long process of pounding, roasting and soaking in running water before they can be safely consumed.

Insider Tips

■ You can download the Hide ‘n’ Seek Children’s Trail from the website or pick one up in the garden. The trail leads you into the shady Exotic Rainforest.

■ Meals are available in the gardens at either a fully licensed restaurant or a cafe.

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