Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Taking a walk through the Cairns Botanic Gardens in Far North Tropical Queensland

 We drove to beautiful Cairns in Far North Tropical Queensland last week where our daughter lives, with a stopover at Mission Beach, and on Sunday afternoon after lunch, I went for a walk through the remarkable Botanic Gardens.  If I was asked what are my favourite things to do when I'm travelling, besides going to the beaches and restaurants,  one of them would definitely be visiting the nearest Botanic Gardens. I have been to the Cairns Botanic Gardens several times during previous visits, and each time I just escape into the wonderful world of lush tropical plants and not so tropical plants, some thriving in dappled sunlight, some growing in full sun, but always interesting and inspiring. It is easy to forget that the gardens located in trendy Edge Hill are only 5 minutes away from the Cairns City Centre, with very easy access. It is a marvellous form of escapism for me and very calming to the soul. So dear reader, I invite you to take a walk with me through the Cairns Botanic Gardens and let the photos tell most of the story. I was only there for 90 minutes this time, leaving many more areas to explore next time I visit. The Gardens are open from 7.30 am to 5.30 pm every day, no pets allowed.

The bright orange flowers of the large exotic Panama Flame Tree were one of the highlights of my visit and one of these trees is close to the Gardens entrance. I've never seen this one in flower before. That is the wonderful thing about gardens, there will always be different plants in flower depending on the seasons and the time of year you visit, and they are a mirror of what home gardeners in the area might be planting as well. So inspirational.

The Panama Flame Tree

My first place to visit in the  gardens is always the enclosed Watkins Munro Martin Conservatory, because as my friends and family know, I am a fan of tropical orchids. This is also the butterfly conservatory, but it's very tricky to catch those little darlings on camera. All the photos here were taken on my phone.

I loved this perfectly vivid orange orchid. 

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This delicate Vireya Rhododendron "Kisses" thrives in a tropical climate. I was quite taken with 

Coral Seas "Rhododendron"

Pretty Phalaenopsis Orchids

The Tropical Pitcher Plant is quite eye catching, don't you think?

I took a photo of this one to remind me to repot my yellow Aggregatum orchid which is quite similar to this one, into a larger pot.

Can you spot the butterfly below.

This yellow and white soft cane dendrobium is one of my favourite orchids in flower right now.


Hardy and butterfly loving Pentas

And there's important information.

Very lush, and reminiscent of a tropical rainforest

Lipstick Palms, very popular in Cairns gardens

I did walk with care.

By this time, I was in need of some refreshment, and the Cafe is appropriately rustic, licensed, and serves good food. There is also a much more modern cafe located closer to another entrance, which I didn't get to this time, but we have enjoyed good coffee and food there during other visits.

A sample of locally produced jams and preserves available for sale at the cafe.

Cafe menu

Interesting formation, spiky and growing in full sun

A very large Staghorn

An elusive Scrub Turkey, red head, black feathers

I was excited to find an Australian Native Bee Hive.

Can you see the tiny native bees entering the hive through the black hole?

Cooling and calming waters nearby.

Enter the Heliconias and Gingers with Fanfare

Mmmm, a conversation starter? Just popping up out of the ground, in response to the heat and humidity.

Beautiful Medinillas

Medinillas are one of my favourite plants, so delicate, and they always seem to be in flower here in Cairns. As you can see I took plenty of photos of these. I love them. We have one growing at home in our garden, and one in a hanging pot, which I bought from the Friends plant stall at the Cairns Botanical Gardens. The potted one flowers almost continuously, but after two years the one in the ground still hasn't flowered. However I am persisting.

A magnificent prized Tassel Fern

Back to the Orchid House for another peek before I leave.

I hope you enjoyed this sojourn with me through the tropics. The Staff and Friends of the Botanic Gardens do an amazing job to grow and maintain these plants under sometimes quite dry and trying conditions. Cairns hasn't had any decent rainfall for a while now, but it will come with a vengeance.

Thankyou to you all for your very heartfelt messages after the passing of our Locky dog. A little piece of our hearts went with him, and it meant a lot to hear from those of you who sent a kind message. We still can't believe he has left our lives,  however since he has gone, Mr. HRK and I have been travelling and keeping busy and whilst we still miss him every day, we are trying to dwell on our happy memories of him.

Take care,



  1. So many plants and flowers that I have never seen in my life....thanks for the beautiful and relaxing tour, Pauline. I really enjoyed it.

    1. Thanks Angie, I'm so happy you enjoyed this tour though the Tropics with me.

  2. Oh How lovely to see your photos. I visited the cairns botanical grdens a couple of weeks ago and did a post on it as well. I featured many of the same plants as you did! I came home and repotted some of my orchids and told them that the other orchids were flowering and maybe they could kindly do the same. It has been so dry here. take care, and sorry to hear about your dog.

    1. Thanks so much, I would love to see your post about the gardens as well, but not sure where to find it. I have been giving my orchids some extra TLC on my return home as well. Lovely too hear from you.

  3. As a massive garden geek I need to say that this virtual promenade was such a pleasure! I really enjoyed seeing all these exotic plants! I shared few days ago an article about Valencia in Spain and there is a fair percentage about Valencia Botanical Garden, you might like :)

    1. Thanks so much FT, I'm so pleased you enjoyed this tour of the Cairns Gardens. I'll look forward to reading about your visit to the Valencia Gardens. We had a quick visit to Valencia a few years ago, unfortunately I didn't have time to visit the gardens but we enjoyed some delicious paella.

  4. A lovely visit, Pauline. Whenever we travel, we always hit the botanical gardens!

    1. Yes so do we, always a pleasure to be surrounded by the native and beautiful plants of the region. Food and gardens, two of the great pleasures in life, surely.


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