Tropical Dome, Mt Cootha Botanic Gardens

Tropical Dome, Mt Cootha Botanic Gardens

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Posted 2024-02-22 by Gillian Chingfollow
Set among the natural beauty of the 56-hectare Mt Cootha Botanic Gardens, the Tropical Dome is an outstanding example of where form and function collide to create an unmissable building fit for the most plush of plants.

The History of the Dome
The Brisbane Botanic Gardens at Mt Cootha is Australia's largest sub-tropical botanic gardens, featuring more than 200,000 plants with 5000 species from around the world. It was commissioned in 1977 by Lord Mayor Clem Jones as "the new botanic gardens" as an addition to those gardens in the CBD, 7 kilometres away.

The new gardens featured the Brisbane Planetarium, and the Richard Randall Art Gallery as well as the centrepiece Tropical Dome which provides a fine, one-of-a-kind architectural structure which is just as fascinating as the plants it houses.

The Tropical Dome has been created using a "Geodesic Design" based on interconnecting hexagon shapes.

It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and opened in 1977 by succeeding Lord Mayor Frank Sleeman.

If you are considering checking out the Tropical Dome it is worthwhile dropping by the Gardens' Visitors Information Centre at the start of your adventure where you can pick up free maps (for adults and the kids) with friendly and helpful staff available to answer your questions.

What Will I See Inside the Tropical Dome?
The Dome is impossible to miss and sits behind the Information Centre. Opening the front door at the base of the dome is the start of the experience. Glass viewing windows give a sneaky view of the water pond from eye level. From here you can follow the winding path through the dome and its corridor of lush, green and some flowering plants.

At the top of the Dome is a water pond surrounded by plants with a viewing platform to get a full 360-degree view of the magnitude and impressive creative design of the building. Looking into the water you may notice that some visitors have tossed coins into the pond and made a wish for good luck. Let's hope their wishes were answered.

Looking up at the ceiling is a major highlight and gives a true sense of the scale and masterful style of the building.

Plant Varieties

The Dome houses a huge variety of plant species from around the world including Costa Rica, Peru and Indonesia

Just a fraction of the plant varieties you may see include:
  • Red Ginger
  • Heliconias
  • Heias
  • Alocasias
  • Monsteria and more

  • What Else
    The Dome is climate-controlled. It can seem a little humid at times to cater for the warmth required for the plant species but this is just something to consider during your visit. In terms of accessibility, there are some steps but also a steep circular ramp within the dome making it reasonably simple to navigate.

    Whether you are an avid gardener or not, it is hard not to be impressed and a little overwhelmed by the plant collection and this unique building which has stood the test of time. For residents or visitors to Brisbane, it is well worth checking out.

    Mt Cootha Botanic Gardens are located at 152 Mt Cootha Road, Mt Cootha and are 7 kilometres from the Brisbane Central Business District.

    Entry to the gardens and the Tropical Dome is free and onsite parking is available. Public buses also stop outside the site. The Gardens are open daily from 8 am to 6 pm (September to March) and 8 am to 5 pm (April to August).

    Make sure you see it.

    278625 - 2024-02-20 21:24:28


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