Storms pressed in all weekend that I was in Brisbane, sending the humidity sky high. Despite the hot weather, I headed out to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens at Mt Coot-tha. I love visiting gardens; they’re great spots to practice your landscape and nature photography.

Close to the entrance of the botanic gardens is the cactus garden. I am a great fan of the humble cactus, simply for their ability to grow vs my ability to garden. The giant, gangly cactii reminded me of the cactus garden in Monaco, high above the city.

Further into the gardens is the tropical dome… It’s beautiful inside and really what I imagined the future to look like as a kid – I thought we’d all be living in glass domes full of plants. In the centre is a surprising waterlily pond, which reflects the glass panels of the roof. I shot a few pictures using my ultra-wide angle lens to get the entire dome in.

From the dome, I walked to the Japanese garden. When I spent time travelling through Japan, one of my favourite pastimes was visiting Zen gardens. I loved the serenity of the lake and resting pavillions. Clutches of bamboo surrounded the buildings. Further up, a small building housed carefully maintained bonsai trees, twisted, wrangling creations.

This large tree marked the intersection between several paths, and I had to look twice to check that the bats on the right weren’t real. Nearby, you can play a xylophone shaped like a fern, which sounds a lot like a gamelan.

Continuing up the path (and my best tip is to pick up a map before you go inside – they’re free at the entrance), I walked around the rainforest section, a cool choice on a hot day. Yellow flowers littered the footpath leading away from the meandering creek which runs through the garden. I got stalked by a turkey who gobbled past me onto the grass. Turkeys were not the only wildlife to be found; water dragons abounded and scuttled under bushes whenever I got too close.

After spending an hour in the garden I’d sweated out my weight in water, so I headed back along the south side of the creek to the entrance, through a herb garden and back to the air conditioning of the car.

The Brisbane Botanic Gardens is well worth a trip if you’re spending time in Brisbane. It’s easiest to get there by car, however buses do go to the gardens. You can find out the most up to date information on the website.

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