The Flora & Fauna of the Cairns Botanical Gardens

The Flora & Fauna of the Cairns Botanical Gardens

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 04/28/2015

Reading time: 3 mins

The Cairns Botanical Gardens are a beautiful escape for every member of the family!

Situated just outside of Cairns itself, the Cairns Botanical Gardens are made up of the Flecker Botanic Gardens, the Tank Arts Centre, Centenary Lakes, and the Mount Whitfield Conservation Reserve. The diverse selection of sites and scenes make for a beautiful, cultural experience with a heavy emphasis on education and conservation.

Founded back in 1886, the Flecker Botanic Gardens form the main portion of the site, boasting a lush green rainforest of tropical plants and exotic animal species. There are numerous walks that weave through the trees and foliage, with plenty of sights to keep you busy.

The Animals of Cairns Botanical Gardens

Nestled in the Wet Tropics, the Botanical Gardens are a hive of animal activity, playing host to a number of native Australian species. Amongst the greenery keen birdwatchers can find an eclectic collection of birds in all different shapes and sizes. The region provides the perfect habitat for almost 200 species, including favourites like the Australian bush-turkey, the pink-eared duck, and the magpie goose. Keep your eyes peeled for colourful feathers, unusual features, and unique whistles.

As well as birds, the Botanical Gardens are home to a great number of butterfly species. This area of Australia is renowned for its exotic butterfly varieties. Look for the Ulysses butterfly here. Their vibrant black fringed blue wings make it easy to spot! Keep an eye out for the colourful Cairns birdwing, the largest butterfly species in Australia.

We can’t forget about the mammals. Australia boasts a large amount of native mammal species, 357 to be specific in fact! Many of these call the Wet Tropics their home, so there’s plenty of animal-spotting opportunities in the Botanical Gardens. You’re most likely sighting will be the striped possum, a very shy creature that snacks on insects, fruit, and plants. If you’re lucky you might also catch a glimpse of some of Australia’s other native species!

The Plants of Cairns Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens are a flurry of exotic colour, bursting with unusual plant species native to Australia, as well as those from further afield. For eye-catching colour there is the Golden Bouquet, the Fish Poison Tree, or the Flame of the Forest. These flowers flourish the best in the summer months, but year-round you can see the collection of other plants, including orchids, palms, and a variety of carnivorous plants.

There’s a number of collections within the gardens including the Aboriginal Plant Use Garden and the Bamboo Collection. Explore the evolution of plants in the Gondwana Heritage Garden, and learn how the tropics we know today formed. Kids will love the Nature Playground where they can interact with nature and learn through play. Green thumbs will love the daily free tours where they can learn about the gardens in depth.

Whether you’re an animal lover, or plant enthusiast, the Cairns Botanical Gardens provides the perfect day out. Surround yourself with lush greenery and the chance to learn about the Tropical Norths stunning environment.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.