A Hidden Treasure: North Coast Regional Botanic Garden
Text: © Garry Benson 2014
Images: © Garry Benson 2014
It was purely by chance that I noticed the Botanic Garden in Coffs Harbour. I now know that it is an incredible source of relaxation, research and recreation for Coffs Harbour residents and visitors alike.
In what was originally a night soil and rubbish depot in the 1900s, now exists a wonderful collection of botanic gems that the Coffs Harbour Advocate applauded when it was first suggested in 1973:
Garden a Visionary Plan… such a scheme would transform a neglected area in the centre of our future city into a garden wonderland…
Early in 1981 the Friends of the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden was formed to transform the extensive area that became North Coast Regional Botanic Garden.
Working bees of dedicated volunteers started to remove all sorts of rubbish by the truckload, grub out weeds and unwanted trees, plan walking tracks and generally clean up the area. the local council made funds available the following year.
It covers 20 hectares of Crown Land and is bounded on three sides by Coffs Creek, a wide mangrove-lined, tidal estuary. The garden was designed to feature natural forest, rare and endangered Australian species, and exotic plants from other sub-tropical regions of the world.
Officially opened in 1988, the Garden continues to expand, with the newest addition being a Japanese Garden featuring a lake, arched bridge and teahouse. There are five kilometres of well-made paths and boardwalks for visitors to explore this lovely botanic garden.
The North Coast Regional Botanic Garden is designed to feature the forest and plants indigenous to the local Coffs Harbour area, as well as rare and endangered Australian Native species, and species native to other parts of Australia in specifically designated areas. Exotic areas display flora from parts of the world suited to the sub-tropical climate of Coffs Harbour.
Special sections have been set aside to feature important information. These include the waterwise garden, the mangrove boardwalk and the Aboriginal plants walk. Informational signage describes important topics such as the role of mangroves in ecosystems, biodiversity and methods of coping with the changing climate.
So if you’re in the Coffs Harbour area take an hour to explore his great botanic resource – you’ll love it!