I call this the “jewel” of the sunshine coast hinterland: Maleny Botanic Gardens. They are the most gorgeous, exquisite gardens I have ever seen. Set on over three hectares of beautifully manicured gardens, positioned high on the escarpment, the magnificent privately owned gardens are a panorama of waterfalls, ponds and colorful plantings. Uniquely landscaped layers, idyllic rainforest surroundings and the spectacular Glasshouse Mountains backdrop create a truly unique garden.
I had the honor to meet the owners, Frank from South Africa and his lovely wife from Munich, Germany, during my trip along the sunshine coast hinterland and wanted to share this amazing life story with you:
“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.”
The variety of plants and varied landscape attracts insects, birds and wildlife abounds. Wood ducks and green wing ducks share the ponds with swamp hens. Listen to wompoo pigeons and the many native birds that frequent the gardens. Hear a kookaburra ‘laugh’ and noisy lorikeet’s chatter. Brush turkeys scuttle about from the rain forest surrounds. Observe the sleek cormorant dive into a pond or perched on a rock spreading its wings to dry. Possums breed in nesting boxes originally provided for birds.
Frank and his lovely wife share the gardens with all kinds of amazing wildlife, including snakes at certain times of the year, such carpet pythons, green and brown tree snakes, as well as red belly black snakes, all of which are shy but can be observed occasionally. Unfortunately, I did not spot any during my visit :-(
The gardens are open to the public 7 days a week from 9am to 4.30pm and offer a self-explore experience on around 4 km of easy walking paths, allow around 1 to 3 hours. Special tip: enjoy their fabulous Devonshire Tea in one of the gazebos overlooking the gardens and mountains, bring a picnic to enjoy in the gardens by one of the many lakes, lounge on your blanket with a good book and soak up the peace and serenity. You can even bring your dog on a lead!
In my opinion, this is a must when visiting the sunshine coast hinterland! The photo opportunities are endless. Let the sights and the sound of running water enchant you and provide you with an experience that you will cherish for life. Believe me, it’s straight out of a fairytale <3
photo credentials: V’s World, Maleny Botanic Gardens
source: Maleny Botanic Gardens