Goondiwindi Botanic Gardens of the Western Woodlands is a jewel in the crown of the Border Rivers region.
Updated 24th October, 2021
If you love Australian native plants, a visit to our Gardens is a must for you. Here you will find hundreds of species of trees, shrubs, grasses, and groundcovers native to the Upper Darling Basin, set out in plant communities around a central lake with an island in the middle. There are shelter sheds with free electric barbeques, and extensive lawned areas where the kids can play ball. There is nothing better than a swim in the lake on a hot summer’s day. You can take your dog unleashed around the extensive walking tracks, or just relax and soak up the ambience of nature.
Did you know? 152 different species of birds have been sighted at the Gardens! Check them out here.
Great news! The lake is 100% full and all the plants are thriving. Many of them are flowering now!
Situated on the Western edge of the modern, prosperous town of Goondiwindi, the Gardens play host to local residents and the many visitors passing through the town. Communing with nature, leisure activities, and a touch of education are the themes. An outdoor stage is used for performances like Opera in the Gardens and celebrations like weddings and christenings. Walking paths give access to all parts, and dogs can be let off the leash! Special plantings like the Eremophila collection, saltbush collection, wheel of native grasses, and the Aboriginal food and medicine plant collection are featured.
Acquisitions of public art are always being sought. A leaf sculped from sandstone by Jonathan Crowther is a feature, and a large floral sculpture in steel by Angus Wilson has just been installed.
Around the central lake and island, plants native to the Upper Darling Basin are displayed in communities as they occur in nature. Dominant species include Eucalypt, Acacia, Eremophila, Melaleuca, Callistemon, Dodonea and Casuarina. Many other species with smaller numbers are displayed, including endangered and restricted species such as Eucalyptus argophloia (Chinchilla white gum) and Cadellia pentastylus (ooline). There is rich biodiversity in a small area. To see the same plants in natural settings, hundreds or even thousands of kilometres of travel would be required.
Conceived in 1986 by Cec “Tiny” Cameron, a WWII fighter pilot and keen field naturalist, the first plantings occurred in the Autumn of 1988. From then onwards there has been major local and government support. Owned and run by the community for the community, the voluntary efforts of garden lovers and financial contributions of business, industry and governments have resulted in a wonderful asset that is visited and enjoyed by large numbers of people, locals and travelers alike. Many celebrations such as weddings and christenings are held at the Gardens.
The Gardens have interconnected environmental, scientific, educational and recreational functions. They:
- provide a source of genetic material for future generations
- support propagation activities by members to provide tube stock for the Gardens themselves, street plantings and on-ground works by landholders such as shade-lines and riparian zones
- enable studies and experiments to be conducted
- give students and interested people the opportunity to observe species and communities at different stages of their reproductive and life cycles
- offer peaceful, natural surroundings for social occasions