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Exotic Plants

The international garden areas feature exotic plants from seven different parts of the world with climates and conditions similar to those of Coffs Harbour. They come mostly from regions between 30 degrees north or south of the equator. Botanists like to compare Australian native species with those of other places where the climate is similar to our own.  

Where continents were once joined, especially in the ancient supercontinent called Gondwana, there may be similarities across species. In other cases evolutionary processes on different continents has shaped trees and plants into forms very different, or exotic, to what is normally seen in Australia.

The international garden sections are grouped in seven regions:  

  • South Africa, Tropical Africa,
  • India,  China,
  • South America, North America, Central America

Stroll the various continents to discover a bewildering variety of shapes, colours and lush perfumes. Some of these exotic plants will be familiar – having become ornamentals or horticultural industries in Australia or grown in our backyards, such as citrus, coffee, and garden herbs. 

A waterfall at the edge of the grassy area feeds the lake by the Japanese Friendship Garden. The rocky watercourse to the lake attracts birds, lizards and other wildlife. A Chinese pagoda offers a quiet retreat nearby.  

Mosaics have been set into the pathway entrances for each section. Made by students of local schools they depict a distinguishing feature of each region or country:  South Africa: tribal masks (Toormina High School),  India: elephants (Woolgoolga High School), China: dragon (Orara High School)  Japan:  pagoda  (Bishop Druitt College) North America: bald eagle (Coffs Harbour Christian Community High School) Central America: quetzal  (John Paul College). On the path to the South Africa section is a mosaic depicting a Bird of Paradise flower (Strelitzia regnans)created by local artist Karen Allbury.