The first thing that struck me about the Maroochy Bushland Botanical Gardens - they are not in Maroochydore, but Tanawha near Buderim. I chose to visit on a relatively warm day and was feeling somewhat frazzled and distracted by my “what to do” checklist of washing, cleaning, grocery shopping, pay the bills (you know the sort). As soon as I entered the gardens, I was transported to peaceful surroundings with a light gentle cooling breeze. Looking up I was calmed by the dappled sunlight filtering through the very very tall canopy of trees. There was a contrast between the older forest bushland setting and newer native gardens, but despite the difference they seemed to merge seamlessly to create this living museum. As I wandered through the gardens, I noticed groups of all ages enjoying the day out; from young families in the sculpture garden, to couples canoodling in the fern glade and older couples enjoying a picnic by the lagoon.
I set off on a natural terrain bushwalk and soon forgot about the washing, cleaning, shopping. As I connected with this new environment, I began to become more aware of the sights, sounds and smells of the forest. I could hear birds singing, frogs calling, the trill of cicadas and even encountered a lizard dashing across my path. Warming up again after my walk I was tempted to dive right into the lagoon centrally located in the middle of the gardens but didn’t want to startle the ducks. Set amongst 82 acres there was lots of space and I didn’t get the chance to explore it all. I know this will become a regular sanctuary for me to escape and relax.
The Maroochy Botanic Gardens features picnic facilities, a Modern Arts and Ecology Interpretive/Function Centre and free guided walks on the first and third Wednesday of each month from 9am–10am. How to get there Take the Sippy Downs, Buderim exit off the Bruce Highway. Take the Tanawha Tourist Drive turnoff (25) and simply follow the signs. Opening hours 7.00am to 5.00pm (April to October) and 7.00am to 6.00pm (November to March).
Adventure and sports are synonymous with the Sunshine Coast, where the super weather lends itself to any fun-filled outdoor pursuit.
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For bush walkers, the Sunshine Coast hinterland is a paradise for anything from hard core hiking to gentle family strolls through the forest.
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