The Palmetum is the third garden in a triage of botanical gardens of Townsville City. It covers almost 17 hectares and opened in September 1988. The Palmetum started as a garden specializing in palm varieties. It now has some 300 species with many rare species that are endangered in their natural habitat. The gardens also feature a Tropical Rainforest walk, a Swampland Habitat as well as other habitat areas suitable for various species of the dry tropics.
Many different species of birds are frequent visitors to the Palmetum
Many different bird species frequent the area. The Palmetum provides a leaflet with the various species you may see when visiting the park. It is a popular area with local bird watchers. It was late in the evening when we spotted a couple of brush turkeys scratching around in the garden beds, very tame it seemed, not particularly perturbed by our presence.
Moving along the pathway we were greeted with a rare treat when a family of five Blue-winged Kookaburras began their vociferous calling. Watching them high up in the trees, one disappeared into a hollow in the tree branch with only its tail feathers protruding. This must have been a co-operative group helping with the clutch of new chicks in the nest. We stood in awe, watching their activities; listening to their continued clamorous song as the evening shadows fell. Times like these it would be good to have a better camera to record and photograph birds. For photos of this event please visit my blog on the Blue winged Kookaburra.
A delightful Japanese Garden,Townsville City
The Palmetum has a delightful Japanese garden known as the Tokuyama Garden. It has become a very popular spot with locals for wedding ceremonies since it was completed in 1996. The initial development of the Licuala Walk and the Tokuyama Garden was funded by Townsville’s Japanese Sister City of Tokuyama. A Licuala is a fan palm, of which there are many beautiful varieties at the Palmetum).
The Blackhawk Memorial Townsville City
Within the grounds of The Palmetum stands The Blackhawk Memorial. The Blackhawk Memorial is dedicated to the soldiers who lost their lives in a training exercise accident at High Range Training Area. The Memorial was completed in 1997. The Memorial grounds are set in a quiet peaceful area, surrounded by a hedge and enhanced with graceful palms.
Tumbetin Lodge at the Palmetum, Townsville City
The Palmetum has a wonderful old tea house (circa 1934) known as Tumbetin Lodge, with an interesting history. It was built in Railway Estate for the Roman Catholic Church and until 1975 it was the St Francis Xavier School. It is mainly built from Australian Silky Oak and is a very solid structure, typical of that period.
Tumbetin Lodge relocated to the Palmetum in 1993 is a public facility (wedding receptions are held here); there are meeting rooms, as well as the Palmetum Restaurant and Tea Room. At the tea room you can have a coffee, Devonshire Tea or other delights. Alas, closed on this afternoon, and so looking forward to a coffee!
On the banks of Ross River tropical Townsville
Wandering leisurely around the gardens, we admired the Lipstick palms with their bright red trunks, and these magnificent palm or pandanus species on the lawn above. Continuing on through the walkways we eventually found ourselves on the banks of the Ross River. I just love these beautiful old river gums, bent and weathered by cyclones, wind and rain.
What else can I say about The Palmetum, Townsville city; another day in a tropical paradise!
Public Transport from the City to the Palmetum
The Sunbus provides a regular bus service throughout Townsville City and suburbs. Take the 201 Sunbus from Townsville City. The 201 service runs half hourly. Departure point is from Walker Street bus stop (between Blackwood and Stanley Sts). Drop off point for the Palmetum is near the Good Shepherd Nursing Home.Then just a short walk to Palmetum Botanical Gardens of Townsville City.
Bus Fare from the City
Adult Fare One way $3.40
Tumbetin Lodge at Palmetum – Opening hours Mon-Sun: 9.30 am – 3.30pm.
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