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Parks and Gardens in Sydney

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Blue Mountains National Park
Scattered over more than 260,000 hectares and part of the UNESCO-protected Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, Blue Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in NSW and a favourite playground for Sydneysiders.Renowned for the Three Sisters rock formation, the park incorporates many other spectacular landmarks and offers opportunities for exploration and immersion into nature. Explore exhilarating walks, discover Aboriginal history, hike to tumbling waterfalls and enjoy picnics in parks with stunning, far-reaching vistas of ancient escarpments and forest-clad valleys.
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Taronga Zoo
One of Sydney's most famous attractions, the award-winning Taronga Zoo is home to over 4,000 animals, including Australian native wildlife, as well as rare and endangered exotic animals. Overlooking the magnificent Sydney Harbour, Taronga Zoo is just 12 minutes from the city by ferry. Open 365 days a year, admission includes daily keeper talks and shows, and access to the Sky Safari, Sydney's only cable car. Enjoy the QBE Free-Flight Bird Show overlooking Sydney Harbour, featuring some of the world's most spectacular birds and be delighted by the Daily Seal Show where Australian and Californian Sea-lions and the New Zealand Fur-seals will impress you with their grace and skill. Challenge yourself on Taronga's exciting new sky high adventure, Wild Ropes. Tackle obstacles, cross suspension bridges and soar through the trees while enjoying breath-taking views of Sydney Harbour.
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Centennial Parklands
Centennial Parklands is the 'green lungs' of Sydney. Comprising three urban parks – Centennial Park, Moore Park and Queens Park, almost 31 million people visit our parks annually.Dedicated to the people of NSW as an open space for recreation by Sir Henry Parkes in 1888, modern-day Centennial Park's sports fields, BBQs, playgrounds and picnic areas are aligned with his vision of ‘The People’s Park’.Popular with Sydney’s sport-lovers, Moore Park’s 115-hectares house the Hordern Pavilion, Hall of Industries, Entertainment Quarter, Equestrian Centre, E.S. Marks Athletics Field, a public golf course and sports centre.Queens Park is a haven for Sydney's sport lovers! Located in Centennial Parklands, the 26-hectare park features sports fields, a kids playground, free BBQ facilities, a café and spectacular views of the Sydney region.
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Queens Park
Queens Park is a 26-hectare urban park, set in a natural amphitheatre at the foot of dramatic sandstone cliffs, with panoramic views of the Sydney region.To this day Queens Park is used for informal recreation and organised sport, featuring cricket, rugby, soccer, and touch football fields bordered by sandstone outcrops and established trees. A viewing area located the sandstone ridge on the eastern edge of the Park offers spectacular views of Queens Park with the Sydney City skyline as a backdrop.Queens Park has cricket pitches, soccer, rugby and touch football fields available for hire on a casual or seasonal basis.
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Illawarra Rhododendron Gardens
In 1968 the search for a suitable site revealed a quiet valley, 229 to 274 metres above sea level at Mt. Pleasant under the north eastern summit of Mt. Keira. This land was owned by Australian Iron and Steel and then General Manager Mr A.A Parrish backed the scheme and a (peppercorn) lease over six hectares (14 acres) was granted to a Society set up to develop and manage the gardens. The Illawarra Rhododendron Gardens are located at Mt. Pleasant under the north eastern summit of Mt Keira and cover an area of 13 hectares. It's the perfect place for a picnic lunch or even a wedding. The garden contains thousands of azaleas and hundreds of rhododendrons in company with many rare companion plants including camellias. A section of rich rainforest is featured in the top section with walking trails.
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Nan Tien Temple
Visit or stay at Nan Tien Temple, the largest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere. Nan Tien is very different from most tourist attractions because there is so much on offer. The visual delights of grandeur architecture, art and culture including unique exhibitions and festivals, Buddhist festivals, vegetarian culinary delights, educational and healthy lifestyle classes and retreats, accommodation, top class conference and auditorium facilities. There is also the spiritual and religious experience that is unforgettable, and even life changing for some. Pilgrim Lodge, Wollongong's most unique accommodation setting is a 100 room facility, which is open all year round and located in the grounds of the Temple. The lodge overlooks the lotus pond, the peaceful Temple, splendid gardens, the beautiful rolling hills, and famous escarpment of the Illawarra.
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Victoria Park Rose Gardens
Walk among the roses in the magnificent Victoria Park rose garden in Goulburn. The garden includes some 1,500 roses of 100 varieties. All the roses are named for easy identification. Picnic tables and barbecue facilities can be accessed from Faithfull Street. There is an oval, playground, bicycle tracks and preschooler bicycle park available nearby.
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Tulip Top Gardens
See acres of stunning world class gardens at Tulip Top Gardens each spring. Look out for the watercourse and sensational waterfall - a natural landscape with 1000 blossom trees and hundreds of thousands of tulips all to be seen from the 70 metre high lookout.
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Harrington Beach State Park
Harrington Beach State Park is situated on the New South Wales Mid North Coast and comprises lands surrounding and including the Manning River's northern entrance. The 431 hectare site stretches from Harrington to the picturesque fishing village of Crowdy Head. The foreshores of the coastal beaches and estuary provide an array of year round recreation and tourism opportunities. The State Park also includes a small littoral rainforest that is accessible to the public.
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Brindabella National Park
Just a short drive from Canberra, Brindabella National Park offers a remote alpine bush experience, a great day trip or weekend escape for the whole family.
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North Brother Mountain
Situated in the Dooragan National Park, North Brother Mountain offers some of the most accessible, panoramic views on the east coast of Australia. The immediate view is over the magnificent Camden Haven Inlet with the Camden Haven River winding between Queens and Watson Taylors Lakes. Views extend to Crowdy Head in the south and as far as Mount Yarrahappini in the north. You will find excellent trails and walks suiting all fitness levels. If you are looking for more than a view, then try the challenging Laurieton Track - if you dare! You will go through spectacular blackbutt forests which mingle with enormous old stumps, reflecting the old days of timber harvesting in the park. The mountain is a 'mecca' for paragliders and hang gliders. If you are looking for than a view, then try the challenging Laurieton Track - if you dare!
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Old Bottlebutt
'Old Bottlebutt', a grand and ancient Red Bloodwood (Corymbia gummifera) tree located in Burrawan State Forest. Old Bottlebutt is unique in its shape - its large flared 'butt' having a massive girth of more than 16 metres just above its base. At over 200 years old and more than 16 metres diameter at its base, Old Bottlebutt is a towering and unique attraction. Old Bottlebutt is the main feature on a beautiful 600 metre loop walking track, beginning and ending at the Burrawan picnic area. Old Bottlebutt is a special place, a place to stay and enjoy the sounds of nature. Old Bottlebutt is located near Port Macquarie and Wauchope on the NSW mid-north coast. From Wauchope travel south on the Bago Road 10 kilometres, then turn left onto Internal Break Road and follow the signs. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week including public holidays.
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Whian Whian State Conservation Area
In Whian Whian State Conservation Area, north of Lismore, you’ll find cycling, hiking and horse riding trails, as well as waterfalls and creeks for swimming and fishing. Just to the north of Lismore, Whian Whian State Conservation Area was formed to protect an area that surrounds Nightcap National Park. This charming area and its surrounds are chock-full of fantastic, fun things to do outdoors.
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Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Explore this iconic Gold Coast Wildlife Sanctuary. Immerse yourself into the wonder and natural beauty of 27 hectares of Currumbin rainforest, wandering through open animal enclosures, feeding kangaroos and cuddling koalas along the way. Experience the wild lorikeet feeding, free flight bird shows and Aboriginal performances. Test your physical ability on the TreeTops Challenge High Ropes Course, an exhilarating 90 challenge canopy ropes course and see the wonderful vets in action within the Wildlife Hospital precinct. With a huge outdoor themed playground, Wild Island, there is plenty of entertainment for kids to enjoy as they tour the sanctuary on a miniature train. Lost Valley a new exotic precinct features five hectares of stunning rainforest, Lost Valley takes you on a journey through the ancient supercontinent Gondwana. Explore a forgotten world and get up close and personal with some of the world's most unique and distinctive flora and wildlife including friendly Lemurs, Cotton-top tamarins, Red pandas, Capybaras along with free-flying birds and exotic reptiles.
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Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk
Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk is a one and a half kilometre rainforest walking experience which inlcudes the Skywalk Bridge (steel-structured), the 40 metre Skywalk Cantilever (steel-structured) and the Cedar Creek Viewing Platform, joined by a winding pathway along the canopy floor. Accessible directly from the Eco centre, the walk showcases the pristine beauty of the lush rainforest in a safe and exciting way. The whole experience takes approximately 45 minutes at a leisurely pace and begins and ends at the main centre. The main centre includes, the Eco Centre, bus parking, gift shop, cafe and toilets. Located in the beautiful Gold Coast Hinterland, the Skywalk is 45 minutes from Surfers Paradise and 60 minutes from Brisbane International Airport.
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Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens
Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria is one of the world's leading botanic gardens and a centre of excellence for horticulture, science and education. Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens was established in 1846 by Lieutenant Governor Charles La Trobe. Over the next 60 years this swampy site was transformed into the world-famous landscape we know today. In 1958, Queen Elizabeth II bestowed the ‘Royal’ prefix on the Gardens. Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria is dedicated to the conservation, display and enjoyment of plants and extends over two locations, Melbourne and Cranbourne, and incorporates the National Herbarium of Victoria.
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The Queen Victoria Gardens
The Queen Victoria Gardens, which are set out on 4.5 hectares opposite the Victorian Arts Centre in St Kilda Road, are Melbourne's memorial to Queen Victoria. The gardens feature trees, roses, flowering shrubs, ponds and flower beds set in manicured lawns. There is a large emphasis on floral displays. Located within the gardens are ornamental ponds and monuments to Queen Victoria and King Edward VII. The Janet Lady Clarke Rotunda is a bandstand erected in memory of a 19th century philanthropist who worked for the welfare of women. The main feature of the gardens is a superb floral clock with 7000 flowering and bedding plants located in front of the King's memorial. The plants are changed twice yearly. The clock was given to the City of Melbourne in 1966 as a decorative timepiece by a group of Swiss watchmakers. The Queen Victoria Gardens are also known for their artwork, including Paul Montfords Water Nymph, which is set in the smaller pond, and two marble busts by Theodore Fink. A contemporary piece by The Genie , a sculpture designed for children to touch and play on.
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Maru Koala & Animal Park
Pat a koala, hand feed an albino kangaroo, walk with the dingoes, talk to the parrots, meet Honey the golden possum and then get all wrapped up in a python snake, It’s all made possible at Maru where you can really get in touch with wildlife.
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Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Only 12km from Brisbane City, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary with 130 koalas. Hold a koala, hand feed kangaroos and meet a large variety of Australian wildlife in beautiful, natural settings. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary opened in 1927 as a safe refuge for sick, injured, and oprhaned koalas, at a time when the species was being culled for the fur trade. Founder, Claude Reid, recognised something had to be done to help protect one of Australia's most iconic species. Today, Lone Pine remains as a destination for local and international guests to not only see native Australian animals, but to also connect and learn, and to leave feeling inspired to make small, positive changes in their daily lives to help protect their own native wildlife and habitats.
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South Bank Parklands
South Bank Parklands is Queensland’s premier lifestyle and cultural destination, open 365 days a year. Its world-class entertainment and leisure facilities include South Bank Parklands, Little Stanley Street, Grey Street and South Bank Cultural Precinct. South Bank Parklands covering 17 hectares of riverfront land, the free swimming facilities, walking tracks, licensed picnic areas and more. It is also home to a year-round calendar of events and plenty of eateries, including the award-winning River Quay. Little Stanley Street known as one of Brisbane’s most popular eat-streets, is bursting with more than 30 cafes, bars and restaurants offering an array of cuisines styles including Vietnamese, Italian and more. Like its sister street Little Stanley, Grey Street is a foodie haven - a stroll along the street will offer you plenty of places to eat. Grey Street is also home to the South Bank Cineplex, which is renowned for its cheap prices. The South Bank Cultural Precinct has something to suit all ages. It includes the Queensland Performance Arts Centre; Queensland Museum and Sciencentre; Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art; and State Library of Queensland.
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City Botanic Gardens
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. 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.
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Brisbane City Centre
Brisbane City has a unique blend of historic and modern buildings dotted with city parks and gardens where you can sit back, unwind and watch the thriving city go about it's business. Visit museums, go shopping, eat a picnic in one of the gardens or take in a show at the theatre. There's something for everyone in the Brisbane City CBD.
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New Farm Park
Only three CityCat stops from the Central Business District, the inner-northern village of New Farm has long been a place to connect with others. Relax in the beautifully shaded surrounds of New Farm Park, where picnickers seem almost permanently perched on deck chairs and checked rugs.
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Roma Street Parkland
Roma Street Parkland sits on 16 hectares in the centre of the Brisbane CBD and a veritable oasis in the middle of the city. The parklands are adjacent to the Brisbane Transit Centre and Roma Street Station and are considered to be the world’s largest subtropical garden in a city centre. The parklands are home to grassy picnic spots, subtropical plant displays, colourful flower displays, fern groves, rocky peninsulas, barbeque areas and playgrounds for kids.There's something for people of all ages with a visual feast everywhere you look. One major drawcard is the artworks displayed in The Roma Street Parklands. When the site was first developed, 16 Queensland artists were commissioned to create a collection of 15 pieces of works for the parkland. They each tell a story in a different medium including sculptures, mosaic, paving, bronzes and murals.There’s a self guided walk which you can take to lead you past all the different works.
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Churchill Island Heritage Farm
Experience a piece of Victoria’s heritage on this historic island, where you can enjoy a relaxing stroll through the fragrant cottage gardens and lawns. Coastline walks offer magnificent views of Phillip Island and Western Port, while the restored farmhouse and cottages provide a glimpse into the past lives of early Australian settlers and past farming practices. Churchill Island, just off the coast of Phillip Island holds an important place in the history of European settlement in Victoria. The site of the first European agricultural pursuits in Victoria, the island has been farmed since the 1850’s and in 1872 was purchased by Samuel Amess, former Mayor of Melbourne. This tiny island of 57 hectares is now open to the public as an historic working farm that boasts significant natural and cultural values with world-class wetlands, ancient Moonah trees, heritage gardens and historic buildings.
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Phillip Island Nature Parks & Penguin Parade
Experience one of Australia’s most popular attractions. Each night at sunset you’ll be amazed by Little Penguins returning ashore after a day’s fishing. See the world’s smallest penguin in its natural habitat from viewing stands and boardwalks. Enjoy interactive and educational displays in the visitor centre and the spectacular coastal scenery from the Penguin Parade. This experience is sure to be the highlight of your visit. As the sun fades in the sky, Little Penguins waddle up the beach to the safety of their homes in the sand dunes. Witness this magical procession – it is a treat never forgotten.
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Geelong Botanic Gardens
Geelong Botanic Gardens, founded in 1851, is one of the oldest botanic gardens in Australia. It is celebrated for its heritage trees, many of which are classified by the National Trust. Come to admire these ancient giants in the heritage garden or simply wander amongst the many colourful shrubs and perennials or picnic on rolling green lawns. The 21st Century Garden is a complete contrast: a stunning modern garden, which celebrates local and drought resistant plants.
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Ballarat Wildlife Park
Founded in February 1985 through a passion for conservation of wildlife and the environment. The Parker family have long realised the value of allowing people and animals to come together in a relaxing, friendly and educational environment. The selection of animals is truly unique and features animals that can only be described as natural wonders of the world.
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Ballarat Botanical Gardens
One of Australia’s most significant cool climate gardens, the Ballarat Botanical Gardens feature a remarkable collection of mature trees and marble statues set amongst colourful bedding displays. Located on the western shore of Lake Wendouree, approximately four kilometers from Ballarat’s CBD, the Gardens are a popular and invaluable heritage and recreational location for residents and visitors. The Gardens cover 40 hectares and are divided into four distinct zones. The central part of the Gardens features the traditional, 'gardenesque' style, open parkland on either side are known as the North and South Gardens and the area alongside Lake Wendouree as the Lake foreshore precinct.
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Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens
The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens are located in Hobart, and are a short drive or walk from the City centre. It covers 14 hectares and showcases 6,500 species and varieties of plants, including over 400 Tasmanian species.
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Spinnaker Park
Award winning Spinnaker Park was officially opened in 2001 by the Gladstone Ports Corporation, the park has become the premier recreation area of Gladstone City. Two and a half kilometres of educational walking tracks along the ocean wall, through native wetlands and ponds makes the park excellent for walking, riding or rollerblading. The beached cove is wonderful for a dip on a warm day while the barbecue and picnic areas make it a great place to entertain.
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Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens
Located just five kilometres from the Mackay city centre, the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens showcases the beautiful tropical flora from Mackay and the Whitsundays, along with other beautiful Australian native and exotic plants from similar climates around the world. This young botanic garden opened in 2003 and provides many resources to visitors - from over three kilometres of walking and cycling trails, wetland boardwalks, a unique cafe and gallery perched high above the wildlife filled lagoons, to excellent bird watching opportunities. Feature gardens include the luxuriant Fernery, the Regional Forest, rare and threatened flora of the tropical Shade Garden and the unique Coal Garden - tracing the evolution of plants and the importance of coal.
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Queens Park Orchid House
Relax and enjoy the beautiful Orchid House, intricately placed in the historic Queens Park gardens, boasting a broad collection of unique and exquisite orchids. With about 25,000 species the fascinating orchid family (Orchidaceae) is the largest group of flowering plants in the world and over 3,000 new hybrids are added every year. The Orchid House is one of the largest and finest orchid display houses in Australia. Built in 1988, the orchids are displayed in a natural type-setting around circular walkways. Stroll through the large collection of stunning orchids in all shapes and sizes, from the bizarre to exotic looking. The Orchid House displays over hundreds of varieties of orchids on show including native and tropical orchids from all over the world. The seasonally changing display, which is rotated between the Orchid House and the Council Nursery ensure a broad range of orchids are on show all year round.
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The Pioneer Valley and Eungella National Park
A wonderland of waterfalls, refreshingly cool rainforest and the chance to see a platypus in the wild awaits in Eungella National Park. Australia's longest stretch of sub-tropical rainforest, Eungella, is a must-see attraction. Travel through the lush lowlands of the Pioneer Valley, surrounded by sugar cane, stop in at Platypus Beach just after Mirani or visit the beautiful Finch Hatton Gorge. Scuba dive with the platypus, fly among rainforest canopy on a zipwire or take a stroll to one of Finch Hatton's waterfalls, before driving up the range to Eungella. See a diverse range of flora and fauna on a rainforest walk and experience breathtaking views of the Pioneer Valley, truly spectacular at sunrise and sunset. Travel to Broken River for the chance to see a platypus in the wild. Eungella National Park can be experienced as a day trip, or extend your visit to enjoy warm hospitality from one of the rainforest's many accommodation and dining establishments.
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Finch Hatton Gorge
A wonderful landscape of waterfalls, lush flora and volcanic boulder formations make Finch Hatton Gorge a must-see attraction. There are many walking tracks which weave through sub-tropical rainforest. One of the most popular trails starts at the Finch Hatton picnic area and takes you on a 1.6 kilometre journey to the beautiful Araluen waterfall. The granite boulders and surrounding vegetation make this an ideal place to take in the scenery. Take a refreshing dip in one of the nearby rock pools, a cooling haven favoured by locals in summer. Keep an eye out among the rainforest for rare and unusual flora and fauna, such as the rare gastric brooding frog, the orange-sided skink, Mackay tulip oak, Eungella spiny cray and Eungella honeyeater. Adventure opportunities are plentiful, with the opportunity to scuba dive in the rainforest waters with platypus, or to zip-line through the tree-top canopy.
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Anderson Park Botanic Gardens
Anderson Gardens is the largest of Townsville's botanic gardens, offering 25 hectares of fauna and flora to explore. Wander through the collection of garden displays or find a shady spot to sit back and relax. Centrally located in Mundingburra, the Garden contains fine specimens of tropical trees, palms and Pandanus. The World Cycad Garden, Grand Avenues and Tropical Orchard are of particular note. A representative collection of Cape York Peninsula rainforest specimens is displayed along with native plants and flora of the dry tropical regions of the world. Anderson Gardens were named in appreciation of the work of William Anderson, City of Townsville's first Curator of Parks from 1878 to 1934. Anderson Gardens is a quiescent beauty amongst Townsville's abundant natural attractions.
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Paronella Park
Today Paronella Park remains a unique eco-friendly experience where history and romance are seamlessly fused together. Paronella Park is a magical, unforgettable place nestled amongst heritage gardens and 13 acres of lush Australian rainforest situated on the banks of the crystal clear waters of Mena Creek, south of Innisfail. The ruins of the Spanish Castillo feature prominently on the grounds of Paronella Park, as do several other distinctive structures that were designed and built by the original owner of Paronella Park – Jose Paronella. Visitors can explore the architecturally unique ruins of the Castle and buildings of yesteryear, or wander through the lush gardens and Australian rainforest while being transported to another time and place altogether.