Cairns Botanic Gardens’ peaceful landscape and quiet surroundings draw bikers, joggers, and walkers. Clearly printed labels, informational brochures, and audio guides make it easy for visitors to become their own expert, but some city tours of Cairns do include guided walk-throughs of the grounds. Indigenous birding tours are also offered. Explore the site’s extensive orchid collection and its wide range of tropical flora, including exotic species of palms, gingers, bamboos, vines, aroids, and fruit trees. Plus, see rare plants such as the Amorphophallus titanum, which–due to the odor it emits–is also known as the corpse flower.
Things to know before you go
- Don’t feed the birds as it may discourage their natural foraging behavior and make them sick.
- Dogs are not allowed in Cairns Botanic Gardens.
- Some paths in Flecker Gardens are not suitable for wheelchairs and strollers; an accessibility map is available for download.
- Entry to the gardens is free.
How to get there
The Cairns Botanic Gardens are located on Collins Avenue between McCormack Street and MacDonnell Street, about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) from the center of Cairns. On-street parking is available along Collins Avenue and Greenslopes Street. There’s also a bus stop on Collins Avenue, directly outside the Flecker Gardens area.
When to get there
Cairns Botanic Gardens’ Flecker Gardens, including the Watkins Munro Martin Conservatory, is open from early morning until early evening every day, and the Visitor Information Center is open Monday through Friday from morning until late afternoon and on weekends and public holidays until early afternoon. It’s closed on Christmas Day.
Australian Butterfly Sanctuary
For those looking for more natural attractions, head to the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary in Kuranda, about 30 minutes away by car from the gardens. Here, you’ll be able to spot more than 2,000 butterflies, including the vivid electric blue Ulysses. This aviary also boasts a breeding lab where visitors can witness the birth of new butterflies.
- Red Arrow Walk
- Mt. Whitfield
- Muddy's Playground
- Cairns Aquarium
- Kuranda Scenic Railway
- Michaelmas Cay
- Cairns Night Markets & Food Court
- Esplanade Boardwalk
- Rusty's Markets
- Cairns Esplanade Lagoon
- Great Barrier Reef
- Green Island
- Cairns Zoom & Wildlife Dome
- Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park
- Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
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