On the outskirts of Maleny, a lush hinterland town known for its quaint cafes and scenic views, lies the Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World. Surrounded by rainforest and with views over the Glasshouse Mountains, the 18 acres of sculpted, layered gardens are full of treasures for families to explore.
Maleny Botanic Gardens Entry and Cafe
Before you’ve even paid the entry fee at Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World, you’ll probably have a bird land on your shoulder and whistle a tune in your ear. Seemingly eager to greet their guests, the birds – everything from cockatoos to cockatiels – jostle up and down on their perches, call out and sing to attract the attention of passersby. “They’re a bunch of show offs,” laughs the bird keeper, who offers to take free photos or videos of visitors with birds perched on their heads and arms.
After saying “hello” to the resident cockatoo and listening to the operatic strains of a colourful parrot, the next stop is the cafe, which serves up Devonshire teas daily under a shady gazebo overlooking the rolling hills and distant mountains. The cafe is also where you can purchase tickets to enter the wider gardens and their other main attraction: Bird World.
Children can enter the gardens at no charge with a paying adult, but both children and adults must pay to access the aviary. The cafe also sells ice creams and drinks.
Bird World – Welcome to Parrot-dise
It is worth paying extra to visit the four large, interactive aviaries you can walk through. With more than 700 birds in four sections, the aviaries showcase a range of bird life including Australian parrots like king parrots, corellas, lorikeets and black cockatoos as well as more exotic varieties. Entry is with a tour guide only, who explains in detail the diet, behaviour and antics of the vast variety of birds housed there. Most of the birds are rescue birds and birds from deceased estates.
Because many were hand raised, the birds willingly interact with humans, will land unexpectedly on your head or shoulder, and may even steal your hat or sunglasses! The large South American Macaws are particularly cheeky…
Exploring the Maleny Botanic Gardens
The gardens can be explored by walking the six kilometres of paths which meander around beds of roses, azaleas, annuals and rare cycads. There’s also numerous lakes and waterfalls which make a pretty spot for a picnic or photos. There’s plenty of picnic tables spread throughout the gardens, but no BBQs.
The landscape of the garden includes a range of surfaces including grass, pebbles, crushed firm gravel and timber. Most of it can be navigated with a pram, and they also have a wheelchair which can be hired at no cost and a disabled toilet.
To walk around the gardens in their entirety can take up to three hours, but to see it a little faster, hire a buggy (they seat up to six people). Some treasures to look out for in the garden include:
- an impressive tree-house – parents will need to supervise their children carefully because the tree-house is very high!
- a fairy garden – a whimsical little area that children will love.
- a giant pink chair – this chair has great views and makes a fun photo prop.
- secret gardens – follow the map and see if you can discover all of the themed gardens.
Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World is located at 233 Maleny-Stanley River Road, Maleny and is open seven days per week. For more information, visit their website. For other locations near Brisbane with fairy gardens, follow our self-guided fairy trail!