Townsville locals are being encouraged to rediscover Palmetum, after the 17-hectare botanical garden underwent a number of recent enhancements.
With a major irrigation upgrade, pathway and accessibility improvements and the re-opening of the garden’s café, Tumbetin Lodge, Palmetum is ready and waiting for locals and visitors alike.
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the improvements had given the garden a new lease on life.
“We have three world-class botanical gardens located right here in our own backyard, which provide wonderful, free spaces for our community to explore and enjoy,” Cr Hill said.
“Over the last 18 months Council has invested heavily in improving the amenity of our parks and gardens all around Townsville.
“It’s wonderful we’ve been able to make a number of improvements to enhance the experience of the Palmetum for our community.
“The Palmetum has recently undergone a major irrigation upgrade valued at more than $2 million, thanks to the State Government’s Works 4 Queensland program, which will futureproof the garden and the amazing array of plants for decades to come.
“With 70% of our region’s yearly rainfall falling between January and March it’s important we’re able to keep this world-class garden looking its best year-round, in the most water-efficient way possible.”
Major accessibility works have also been completed throughout the gardens, including the replacement of several pedestrian bridges and a number of pathway enhancements.
Infrastructure Services Committee Chair Kurt Rehbein said improving accessibility in the Palmetum would allow more locals and visitors to experience all the garden has to offer.
“This garden truly is a beautiful part of the world, so we wanted to make sure we could enhance accessibility to ensure people of all abilities could make the most of what this wonderful part of our city has to offer,” Cr Rehbein said.
“As part of the works recently completed, our Council crews replaced a number of timber footbridges within the Palmetum, constructed a new pathway between Nathan Street and Yolanda Drive and upgraded a number of access ramps.
“I’d like to thank the Department of Transport and Main Roads for their funding of $400,000 for the pathway and accessibility works, ensuring our community has safer and more accessible linkages around the Palmetum.”
Community and Cultural Development Committee Chair Ann-Maree Greaney said the works, together with the re-opening of historic Tumbetin Lodge as a café had been welcomed news by locals.
“The arrival of Absolute Cravings at Tumbetin Lodge has been welcomed with open arms, and we’re very excited to see the historic building alive with visitors once again,” Cr Greaney said.
“As part of Council’s vision to become a globally connected community driven by lifestyle and nature, we understand how important enhancing the liveability of our natural space is.
“With more people visiting this wonderful local business we hope to see more locals once again discovering some of the wonders of their own backyard.
“People are always stunned that our city us home to three amazing botanical gardens which are free for locals and visitors to enjoy. Council will continue to invest in their maintenance and infrastructure so we can ensure these spaces will be inviting for decades to come.
“So I encourage you, if you haven’t ventured into the Palmetum recently, grab a treat from the café or pack a picnic and a sensible set of shoes because there certainly is plenty to rediscover at this wonderful botanical garden.”