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.What 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.There were small lakes dotted all round. Look at that rock sculpture.
Gazebos are for wedding venue parties. A lovely place to celebrate that important day.
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.
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.
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.
Look at the buttress roots on these trees. In the background is the stunning views across to the Glass House Mountains.
A gaggle of Guinea Fowl were foraging around,
But 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…
Then we are ushered carefully into the next enclosure. This is the small parrot area.
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.
This delightful Galah loved his head being scratched, such a gentle little Australian parrot.
Then there was Harry…An 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.He came toward Jack and Jack bent down to get this close up of him.But 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.