The Rockhampton Botanic Gardens and Zoo is a green oasis next to the Murray Lagoon in Rockhampton. Spend some time exploring the beautifully laid-out botanical gardens, which date back to 1873. Follow trails shaded by magnificent rainforest trees or bask in the sunshine with the cycads and palms. Make your way to the gardens’ on-site zoo and meet native Australian animals, as well as creatures from around the world.
Stroll around the heritage estate and admire the pretty plantings dating back to when the gardens were first established. In the Outer Gardens, you’ll find the Old Office Garden, the palm grove and the serene Lassen Fernery. Wander around the Lower Gardens to see the beautiful rainforest and bamboo grove that fringes the edge of the lagoon.
Make your way to the Upper Gardens to explore the barren beauty of the Arid Garden or relax beneath towering banyan fig trees. Learn about Australia’s friendship treaty with Japan, which was signed after World War II and commemorated with a beautiful Japanese-style garden. Designed by Kenzo Ogata, the garden has tranquil trails, stepping stones and ponds full of koi fish.
Don’t miss a visit to the Rockhampton Zoo to discover more than 70 species of Australian native animals, as well as a selection of exotic critters. Themed exhibits showcase the zoo’s playful chimps and otters. Check out the wombats, koalas and dingoes or spy one of Australia’s most fearsome birds: the cassowary. The aviary features several species of parrots and finches. Feeding times occur at several intervals during the day. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the gardens’ spacious lawns or stop by the Gardens Tearooms for a snack and a refreshing drink.
The Rockhampton Botanic Gardens and Zoo is situated in the city’s southwestern quarter. Both are open daily for free, but donations are appreciated. There is a bus stop outside the gardens, as well as free parking for cars, caravans and motorcycles. Find out about the animal exhibits and feeding times at the zoo’s information center.