A visit to Flecker Botanic Gardens could be your most memorable of all the things to do in Cairns. It's rainforest ecotourism at its best.
Exotic flowers and plants amass the gardens, along with a number of tropical animals and birds. If you want see plants in the rainforest in a beautiful natural environment, there's no other place like it.
It's not far from the centre of Cairns and entry is free. There are boxes scattered around the gardens for people to donate, just to help the park exist.
With only a few minutes drive from the city, you can jump on a bus or drive there in your hire car. You could even walk there!
It's broken into 4 parts which are the Flecker Gardens, Centenary Lakes, Mt Whitfield Conservation Park and the Tanks Art Centre, so it's huge! You could easily spend a couple of days wandering around here.
The gardens are gorgeous with so many tropical rainforest plants on display.
There's also a dedicated orchid house with different varieties blooming continuously. But, if you want to see naturally grown orchids in the rainforest, just look up. They're attach themselves to the tropical rainforest trees.
Because the gardens were created in 1886, some of the trees are massive.
The gardens are so lush and if you love rainforest flowers you won't be disappointed here.
You could also get some ideas for your own garden, which is what I've done.
If you need to rest a while, you can have a cup of coffee and a snack, or sit down to a meal at their outdoor cafe.
There's also an information centre and gift shop, so you can buy an interesting gift for someone back home. Otherwise you can find all you need to know about tropical rainforest facts here.
After your rest, hop over the road and take the boardwalk to Centenary Lakes.
The Lakes have all sorts of plant and animal species living in them, including water lilies, and turtles. You may even spot a croc if you're lucky! If you're fit…or would like to be, take a walk up the red arrow track.
It's well worth the puffing and panting because the scenery is fantastic, and once you at the top of the hill, the view is amazing overlooking the Cairns International Airport and Coral Sea.
There's benches to sit every now and again on your way up, so if you need a rest or just want to take in the scenery, you can.
If you're a really serious walker, there's the blue arrow track that takes you further around the Mt Whitfield Conservation Park and is about a 5 hour walk.
If you like a bit of culture, then visit the Tanks Art Centre.
These 3 huge oil tanks were built during WW11 for the naval ships. They're pretty unique and they use them for art exhibitions, musical and drama performances.
They also hold the Tanks Market Day here every last Sunday of the month between April and November. You can pick up a bargain or 2 of local art, craft, produce, plants, vintage clothing, natural health products and treatments and so much more…
When you visit Flecker Botanic Gardens it would be advisable to wear comfortable shoes and carry plenty of water. Also lather on the sunscreen and mozzie repellant as you can never be too careful.
Flecker Botanic Gardens want everyone to enjoy their experience here, but they're also passionate about protecting this valuable and delicate resource.
So, everything in the park, living or dead, is protected. Please don't take anything or disturb the animals and leave everything as you found it.
This is one Cairns attraction I'd highly recommend.
Have a fun day or two, or three!
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