What the little bird whispered in Jack’s ear…

At the Garden Expo we heard about the Maleny Botanic Gardens and the Bird World so this was the main reason we had decided to visit Maleny. After a pleasant wander around the village and a tasty brunch we went in search of the Botanic Gardens

The story of Maleny Botanic Gardens began many years ago with an 8 year old boy in South Africa. His name was Frank Shipp, he had just bought his first plant and was hooked. Life threw many challenges at that boy, but he went on to become successful in business before moving his family to Australia in 2003. Frank was looking for a property to create a garden. A big garden.

  • In 2005 he purchased the land that is now Maleny Botanic Gardens but was a rough cattle grazing property at the time.
  • In 2007 he began to put his vision into action, terracing the slopes, creating waterfalls, lakes, mass plantings, access to rainforest areas and gazebos to enjoy the stunning views, including the Glasshouse Mountains in the background.
  • In 2009 the major planting began
  • In Oct 2011 Frank showcased the gardens in the Australian Open Garden Scheme
  • In July 2012 the gardens opened the gardens full-time to the public, 7 days a week, 9am-4.30pm
  • In November 2013 the walk through Avairy opens with a wide variety of most species of birds.

What an inspiring person. I love to hear stories of people who have followed a dream.maleny pc 053_4000x3000What a delightful place for a stroll in the sun. There are over 6 kilometres of walking paths. But we only had time to see a small area as we were booked in for the 2-30pm bird tour.maleny pc 033_4000x3000There were small lakes dotted all round. Look at that rock sculpture. maleny pc 042_4000x3000

Gazebos are for wedding venue parties. A lovely place to celebrate that important day. maleny pc 038_4000x3000

On another small lake a boat had been moored. I imagine it had been quite a job to get it launched here. But it won’t be going anywhere now.maleny pc 048_4000x3000

Not much is flowering at this time of the year, after all it is mid-winter, but this Tibouchinas hedge is making a lovely show. maleny pc 065_4000x3000

I admired the huge stag horns or are they elk horns, I find it difficult to tell the difference. But they are attached to many of the trees and are so healthy looking.maleny pc 044_3000x4000

Look at the buttress roots on these trees. maleny pc 056_4000x3000In the background is the stunning views across to the Glass House Mountains. maleny bird world 106_3901x2134

A gaggle of Guinea Fowl were foraging around,

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maleny bird world 077_1602x2028But now it is time to visit the birds aviary. This is a huge aviary over 1400 m2 and separated into 3 enclosures. It houses over 600 birds from all over the world and 60 countries are represented. WOW. A group of about 50 men, women, children and us queue, waiting to be let in. First ushered into a sort of holding pen before the door into the first aviary is opened. This is the area for finches and small colourful birds. the guide is telling us the names and details of the different species but unfortunately I couldn’t hear much of what was said, and I was busy taking photos so didn’t have chance to take notes. So you will just have to enjoy them with me… maleny pc 086_2443x1815

maleny pc 081_3272x2221Then we are ushered carefully into the next enclosure. This is the small parrot area. maleny pc 093maleny pc 168_4000x3000

Finally it is the large bird area and this is when the fun began. These large macaws and parrots just love interacting with everyone and there are birds coming at us from all directions. Before entering we had been warned to take off jewellery as the birds loved anything sparkly. But it was the buttons on the top of hats that seemed to be the main attraction. maleny pc 152_4000x3000

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maleny bird world 148_940x1080This delightful Galah loved his head being scratched, such a gentle little Australian parrot.

Then there was Harry…maleny bird world 177_2248x4000An Australian yellow crested cockatoo. A grumpy old man of a bird. He is 88 years old. He was waddling around the floor, sneaking up on people’s feet and giving them a nip.maleny bird world 200_4000x2248He came toward Jack and Jack bent down to get this close up of him.maleny bird world 202_4000x2248But can you see that wicked look in his eye and his beak poised for action. Next minute it was “chomp” onto Jack’s finger… Nothing gentle about this old bird…

It is now nearly 4pm and we have approximately a 2 hour drive home. Actually with the weekend traffic along the motorway it was almost 3 hours before we finally arrived home after a satisfying couple of days away.


I am joining “Restless Jo” and her energetic band of world-wide walkers again this week. Pop over and see where in the world they are all taking us this week.

I would also like to join with Cathy’s community “Travel Essence” and put this post into her “photography invitation” which runs every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month


  1. What fun have those beautiful birds alight on shoulders, heads and arms, but certainly not much fun to get pecked at by old Harry! Ouch! I love these colorful birds, Pauline. What a great place to visit for photos! I’ll add this to my next photo post of August 2. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Glass House Mountains are lovely, I was taken there in my first trip to Australia. Lovely photos PP of some very colourful birds. Jack is always a bird magnet (but don’t tell him I said that… ) 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Surprise, my like and comments are accepted on my HP lap top but not on my App[e Ipad.
    So I can tell you this is a wonderful post about a wonderful place to visit.
    Harry (the Sulphur-crested cockatoo) is forgiven it was my own fault nipped me, his body language gave me plenty of warning he did not wast his photo taken.
    Tony may like to know the recommended way of cooking cockatoos is boil them in a pot with a piece of granite when the granite is soft the bird is done.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Looks like a great place to spend some time – the birds are lovely but I would be very wary of old Harry. Someone I once knew had a sulphur crested cockatoo, it could be really vicious when it wanted to be and systematically destroyed the house – it was like a spoilt child and would kick up a huge fuss if it wasn’t being paid enough attention. The lady who owned it said she hadn’t realised how long they can live for – it was 18 years old then – and probably would never had got it if she’d known. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • They can do a lot of damage with those strong beaks. In parts of outback Australia they are a real menace destroying wooden decking etc. but some are real gentle, trouble is you don’t know which ones. Loved reading your comment Eunice


  5. Hi, its nice meeting you P and thanks to Jo for your link.
    I love visiting gardens and you have presented such excellent tour of Maleny Botanic Gardens.
    It seems that birds know how to befriends with visitors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was surprised they didn’t have more Australian birds, no lorikeets or corellas. But the ones they had were very colourful. Any Australian plans for the future?


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