Each time I visit the northern capital, I usually end up taking a stroll through the gardens but this time my local friend Junine introduced me to corners Id not yet discovered. This refreshing retreat in the heart of the city is a habitat for wildlife of all kinds-including human. We took the official entrance close to my favourite coffee shop (Coffee Anthology) and were greeted by the ubiquitous Water Dragons near a large pond. These prehistoric looking creatures are completely unfazed by humans and remain motionless at your approach, hoping that you might be startled by his threatening looking demeanour and drop some tasty food. The Hibiscus garden is located in full sunshine, fostering the most radiant and healthy blooms of these tropical plants. Their vibrant colours form a striking contrast to the lush green palms which provide shelter and sanctuary on those boiling summer days. A group of curlews staked out their territory in a nearby space determined to ignore us yet all the while watchful of our presence.
“I didn’t give you permission to take my photo” one of them seemed to say.
Moving deeper into the Rainforest area we came across a Sacred Ibis on a mission. Collecting straws to build a nest for his lady friend who followed behind, he uttered low birds noises which seemed to say “Out of my way, woman I’ve got a job to do”. Naturally we deferred to the wildlife and moved down towards the river but not before I took a photo of the city from a vantage point, where Citysiders on a lunch break rested on deck chairs and a Tai Chi practitioner focussed her energies. We went our separate ways by the river and I started back along the path to the city. But not before stopping at the Banyan tree. Planted in 1870 its prolific roots spread out from the branches and along the ground. It somehow reminded me of the Bodhi tree under which Buddha became enlightened. I hoped this magnificent tree had the same effect on the students from QUT (Queensland University of Technology) nearby.
I returned to the busy lunchtime crowds, refreshed from a delightful experience in this urban oasis