The Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden is a haven of beauty and peace that highlights the flora of the Sunshine Coast region. The bushland garden features tall open forest interlaced with wet rainforest gullies.
The plant collection contains more than 350 naturally occurring plants of the Sunshine Coast region. This collection plays an important role in conserving rare and endangered plant species. Some of these species are found growing naturally on site, while others have been planted.
Twenty of the forty-two species that are listed as rare or endangered in the Sunshine Coast region are now protected in the gardens. Twenty-seven other rare or endangered species from the South East Queensland bioregion also grow here.
The diversity of plants in the garden provide homes for a variety of wildlife, including species which are threatened. Resident wildlife includes:
• 30 butterflies and moths
• Over 100 bird species
• Various amphibians, reptiles and mammals
• A small group of koalas
The gardens are managed to protect, repair and expand areas of native vegetation. Fauna habitat is being improved by keeping fallen logs and branches, replanting native vegetation and preserving large, mature native trees.
The Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden is a place where we can protect and feel connected to nature.
In 2022, 14 koalas were found in a survey of Maroochy Bushland Botanic Garden, Tall Gums Reserves and five surrounding properties (total of 176ha). This survey was a joint project between University of Sunshine Coast (USC), Sunshine Coast Council and Friends of the Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens. The survey consisted of two parts, an evening thermal drone survey and koala scat collection and analysis. Both components were carried out by the Detection Dogs for Conservation team at USC.
Watch this video to find out more about how heat-seeking drones and detector dogs are being used in koala research at the Maroochy Bushland Botanic Garden.
Read the report prepared by the University of Sunshine Coast based on the koala survey conducted at the Maroochy Bushland Botanic Garden in March/April 2022.
Listen Sarah Howells (ABC local radio) interview with the USC team following the koala survey.
Read the Drones and Dogs news article for more information on the survey.