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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?

2022 has been another successful year of fundraising and social interaction for the Friends with plant sales, monthly talks, Jazz Under the Stars, Starry Nights Cinema, weekly guided walks and bird walks, the Sculpture Botanica Art Trail in October and purchases to enhance the gardens.

Monthly talks:

Put 9 February 2023 in your diary and pencil in the second Wednesday of each month for the rest of the year. Details will be provided re a program of talks preceded by a 6.00pm sausage sizzle. Talks are held at the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre and start at 6.30pm (No RSVP required).

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


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.

Christmas/New Year 2022/23:

  • the shop re-opens on 9 Jan 2023 after closing for the Christmas break

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. Open from Monday 9 January 2023 - 9.30am til 12.30pm - mornings only in January 2023.

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 or drop in if you can do a 3-hour shift for us. 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

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. Guided walks re-commence on Monday 27 January 2023.

A guided bird tour is conducted weekly on Tuesdays at 7.30am from Tuesday 3 Jan 2023.

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 $5 per head applies, with a minimum cost of $80.

Please email: info@botanicfriendscairns.org.au 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. Trolley sales resume on 1 February 2023 after ceasing over the 2022/23 Christmas break in December and January.
  • 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).
  • The three big plant sales in 2022 raised over $20,000 all of which is used to enhance the Gardens

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