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Gardens history

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In mid-1998 a small group of like-minded individuals with a common goal met and formed a steering committee of Friends of the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens, to be led by Founder, Kate Heffernan. Regular committee meetings followed with the first general meeting in May 1999. Not long after, the Friends made their first proposal for a Regional Botanic Gardens to the Gold Coast City Council.

Rosser Park was selected by Council in late 1999 as the most suitable site based on criteria of international standards. In 2004 the Friends appointed Gene Rosser Patron of the Friends. Gene’s family kindly donated to Council in the 1960’s part of the land that is now Rosser Park.

A Gardens Reference Group, formed with representatives from the Friends, the community and Council, helped steer the development of a Master Plan which was completed in 2002. The planning process involved extensive consultation with the wider Gold Coast community.

In 2003 the first steps towards establishing the Gardens were taken by the Friends with a number of successful planting days in the Mountains to Mangroves section. Since then more than 20,000 local Australian natives have been planted by the Friends with community support. 

 In 2006, Council working with Rotary International and Friends established the Sensory and Horticultural Display Gardens around the lagoon.

The addition of pathways and further plantings by corporate volunteers and students of Gold Coast Institute of TAFE have seen the Mangroves to Mountains section extended in 2007 and 2008. Friends Community Planting Days continue to be held four times each year.

The opening of The Friends' Centre in 2009 was a great milestone.  The Friends' Centre is the hub for visitor information, botanical workshops and community groups.  The activation of this great facility brings even more passion, enthusiasm and activity to the wonderful Botanic Gardens.


For further information on the amazing Gardens visit:

garden attractions   plan your visit

garden attractions   plan your visit

What's on   friends of the gardens

fact sheets


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