The Friends of the Botanic Gardens Cairns

Preserving and enhancing the Cairns Botanic Gardens
Jump To: About Us | Flecker Garden | Location and opening hours | Friends House and Shop | Guided walks in the Gardens | Plant Sales

About The Friends of the Botanic Gardens Cairns

Friends Of The Cairns Botanic Gardens

The Friends of the Botanic Gardens Cairns was established in 1989 to :

  • stimulate interest and awareness in the Cairns Botanic Gardens
  • raise funds, generate ideas and initiate projects to enhance the Gardens
  • promote and support horticultural and botanical science
  • help conserve and grow the only Wet Tropics Botanic Garden in Australia

Members are engaged in a range of activities to support the Gardens, renowned for having the best tropical plant exhibitions in Australia. This includes propagating plants for sale to the general public, organising events, maintaining a small library, raising funds for enhancements, conducting guided walks and bird walks on a weekly basis, organising guest speakers and meetings and volunteering in the Friends' House shop which provides information, advice, maps and souvenirs.

What's Happening?

Alison Lee and workshop participants made masks which were hung in a tree near the cafe for the Sculpture Botanica Art Trail in 2022

We head into 2023 after a very successful year in 2022. Fundraising and social interactions will occur with plant sales, monthly talks (second Wednesday), Jazz Under the Stars, Starry Nights Cinema, weekly guided walks and bird walks.

Monthly talks: Pencil in the second Wednesday of each month from February to November. Details will be provided re a program of talks usually preceded by a 6.00pm sausage sizzle. Talks are usually held at the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre and start at 6.30pm (No RSVP required).

The committee: Our AGM on 8th March 2023 elected office bearers for the coming year and featured a talk with Dr.Charles Clarke, curator of the gardens. To contact the committee please email:

Jazz Under the Stars: held annually on the Saturday before Fathers' Day: 2 September 2023

Join the Friends to get newsletters re our talks or check out our Facebook page

Monthly Talk 13 September 2023

Join Cairns Regional Gallery Curator Kylie Burke for a talk about Ellis Rowan (1948-1922) on Colonialism and Nature Painting

Join us for a special evening with guest speaker Kylie Burke, Curator of the Cairns Regional Gallery. Kylie will be sharing about Ellis Rowan, of Australia's most adventurous and talented natural history artists, a naturalist and explorer, and all-round extraordinary trailblazing woman of her era. Don't miss this very special evening talk starting at 6:30pm, Sausage sizzle begins at 6:00pm

Flecker Garden

The Flecker Garden is a key botanic space in the Cairns Botanic Gardens precinct. It contains the Conservatory which was constructed with a large donation from the Friends. Friends also regularly purchase orchids and other plants to ensure that the Conservatory always looks spectacular.

The plants in the dry area garden, constructed in 2020, were all purchased from Friends' funds.

Friends' members share their passion for the Flecker Garden by conducting free weekly tours, guiding visitors along paths and winding their way through leafy undergrowth. They highlight the broad range of plants, trees and palms, exquisite orchids, bromeliads and ferns . . . and the bizarre beauty of insect-eating pitcher plants.

Location And Opening Hours

The Gardens are on Collins Ave, Edge Hill and can be accessed by public transport from the city (Sunbus) or by car (ample street parking available), by bicycle or on foot. Entry is free and the Gardens are open from 7.30am to 5.30pm every day of the year.

Friends' House - staffed by volunteers - is in the Flecker Garden and is open from Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 3.30pm, providing advice and information to visitors.

Friends House And Shop

The Friends operate from Friends' House, a heritage-listed building in the Flecker Garden, behind the cafe. Friends' members are rostered on from 9:30am to 3:30pm to provide advice and information to visitors. They also operate a small shop selling locally made souvenirs.

Friends' House is the meeting place for guided walks and also for the weekly trolley plant sales.

If Friends' House is closed, the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre - the glass building located between the Flecker Garden and the Tanks Arts Centre - also provides information.

We currently have vacancies in the shop roster so please call us: 07 4032 3900; email:; or drop in if you can do a 3-hour shift. It's most rewarding chatting to visitors who frequently tell us these are the best Gardens they have ever visited.

Guided Walks In The Gardens

Bill conducting a guided walk

Friends' volunteers conduct free guided walks, Monday to Friday, most weeks of the year. These walks commence at 10:00 am from Friends’ House, near the Gardens Café, and are designed to meet the needs of casual visitors to the Gardens.

The walks last for about 60 to 90 minutes and showcase a number of different areas of the Gardens including the Conservatory, the Aboriginal Plant Use section and any plants that are putting on a particularly good display at the time.

A guided bird tour is conducted weekly on Tuesdays at 7.30am.

Paid walks: Friends also conduct private, specialised walks for larger groups - for example bus tours - who wish to have walks tailored to their own particular needs.

These walks are designed in consultation with the tour leaders in order to best meet the requirements of the group. Factors considered include the start time, desired time frame of the walk and any special needs or interests of group members. Sufficient guides are provided to maintain a ratio of one guide to six or seven visitors. A charge of $10 per head applies, with a minimum cost of $80.

Please email: to organise a paid walk.

Plant Sales

Volunteers propagate plants which are on sale to the public:

  • Weekly trolley sales are held on Wednesdays from 9am to 11am.

  • Three bigger plant sales are held every year: on the Sunday before Easter (2 April 2023); at Carnival on Collins - Fathers' Day - each September (3 Sept 2023); and the Christmas sale on the first Sunday in December (3 Dec 2023).

Read Friends of Botanic Gardens Cairns Reviews

Download Files

Download and fill in this form. Then either pay the membership fee via bank transfer, scan and forward to:; or drop into Friends House between 9.30am and 3.30pm and pay the fee in person; or post to PO Box 223, EDGE HILL,...

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How the Friends work with Cairns Regional Council
The Friends are incorporated with Queensland's Office of Fair Trading
A summary of Friends' activities presented at the 2023 AGM on 1 March
Since the establishment of the Friends of the Botanic Gardens in 1989, several hundred thousand dollars has been raised to enhance the Cairns Botanic Gardens through projects, purchases and donations.

General Enquiry Form

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