Three of a Kind
LAE NATIONAL BOTANIC GARDENS, PNG
Since their creation in 1949, Lae’s National Botanic Gardens have functioned as a centre of botanical research, conservation and education, and are looking better than ever following a regeneration and reopening in 2015. As a visitor you can stroll through this peaceful green patch of rainforest and grassland peppered with huge, vine-cloaked trees, meeting bright exotic birds, butterflies and reptiles along the way.
Inside the gardens you’ll find an RAAF DC-3 plane dating back to 1945, a reminder of Papua New Guinea’s place in World War 2 history.
DON’T MISS GARDENS BY THE BAY, SINGAPORE
Stepping into Singapore’s iconic 101-hectare Gardens by the Bay feels like entering a scene from James Cameron’s film Avatar. The first thing you’ll notice are the 18 steel Supertrees, ranging from 25 to 50 metres high, then the two glass conservatories popping out from the foliage like a pair of giant mechanical turtles. A 22-metre-high aerial walkway weaves through the Supertrees and, of course, hundreds of thousands of plants. The horticultural team travelled to every continent except Antarctica to source plants.
Make sure you visit the Flower Dome, the largest glass greenhouse in the world according to the Guinness World Records, which houses an ever-changing floral display including tulips, orchids and blossoms.
DON’T MISS MALENY BOTANIC GARDENS AND BIRD WORLD, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA
Once a rough cattle-grazing property, this piece of land was converted into the masterpiece it is today by a South African former engineer named Frank Shipp. Set high on an escarpment overlooking the magnificent Glass House Mountains, here you’ll find over six hectares of layered landscaped gardens and rainforest. There are waterfalls, ponds and vibrant flowers dotted throughout, and six kilometres of walking paths to explore. About a 90-minute drive from Brisbane.
Gardens by the Bay … like stepping into a scene from the science fiction fantasy movie Avatar.