Beautiful one day, perfect the next. The old adage about Queensland holds true in the capital. One of the best things about Brisbane is year-round blue skies and perennial greenery. Brisbane’s seasons may be a little one-dimensional, but if I had to be stuck in any season, it’s summer. A Brisbane winter is blessedly a little cooler than its sweltering summers, but blue skies and lush greenery can be enjoyed year round.
A few weeks ago, I visited my hometown for a long weekend to celebrate my grandad’s 80th birthday and to see my family. On my last morning in Brisbane, my parents and I started the day with a coffee overlooking the city (or at least, the low clouds shrouding the city) at the Mt Coot-tha Lookout. Afterwards, we visited the Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens, one of my favourite childhood haunts.
Walking around the vibrant gardens and lake made my heart swell. It’s hard to appreciate how unique a place is without living somewhere else, and on that last morning in Brisbane I realised something that I found quite ordinary growing up, to be extraordinary.
Most of the gardens were exactly as I remembered, but there were some surprises. Since the completion of a road construction project alongside the gardens, the gardens have expanded with a new reserve. The area includes a creek, a water tank, an outdoor kitchen, community veggie patch and some spectacular sunflowers.
While Brisbane’s major botanical gardens in the city are quite lovely, there has always been something a little bit magical about the smaller, lesser known Mt Coot-tha Gardens. On a Friday morning, I don’t remember passing another soul as my parents and I wandered through with the place to ourselves.
You can get the 598 bus to the gardens, but as that route doesn’t pass through the Brisbane CBD, you’d probably be better off getting an Uber for the 15 minute drive from the city.