Australia has around 100 regional botanic gardens, and Gladstone boasts one of the nation’s best according to the writers of Australian Geographic Magazine.
The January/February 2018 issue of the magazine lists the top 10 regional botanic gardens from all over Australia, representing a huge range of climate zones and biodiversity. Tondoon comes in at number eight.
The magazine entry on Tondoon reads: “With an emphasis on species from the local Port Curtis region and far north Queensland, more than 3000 species – 90 percent of which are native -are cultivated at this rolling 83 ha property neighbouring Mount Biondello. Some endangered species are in the collection, aiding conservation of the region’s local flora. Walking trails wind through a variety of rainforest types and an arboretum of blue gums.”
Most regional botanic gardens are run by local councils and Tondoon is no exception, but it’s a team effort with support from community groups and volunteer guides with a passion for plants.
Botanic gardens are defined by technical guidelines which distinguish them from public parklands. Specimens must be labelled and documented and collections made on a scientific basis.
They increasingly play a critical role in conserving threatened species with many having propagation and reintroduction programs, and seed and specimen storage facilities.
Councillor Cindi Bush said: “The Tondoon Botanic Gardens has also developed a strong working relationship with the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra in trying to secure the future of endangered species such as the Macadamia jansenii.”
The full top ten list is:
- Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, Port Augusta SA
- North Coast Regional Botanic Garden, Coffs Harbour NSW
- Flecker Botanical Gardens, Cairns, Qld.
- Olive Pink Botanic Garden, Alice Springs NT
- Tasmanian Aboretum, Devonport TAS
- Euorbodalla Regional Botanic Gardens, Batemans Bay NSW
- Geelong Botanic Gardens, Vic
- Tondoon Botanic Gardens, Gladstone Qld
- Wollongong Botanic Garden, NSW
- Hunter Region Botanic Gardens, Heatherbrae NSW