We first came to the amphitheatre before we moved to Noosa, on the sunshine coast of Queensland, Australia, two years ago. Our friends took us on a picnic to Lake Macdonald in the Noosa hinterland at Cooroy. The Lake is spectacular and the bird life is abundant. This man-made lake is immense (260 hectares) and more if you include the swampland edges of it. Used for town water and fishing it is around 6 metres deep. Requiring a permit to fish, the lake is kept well stocked with Mary River Cod (illegal to catch at all), Bass, Yellowbelly, Saratoga and snub-nosed Gar. As no motor boats are allowed on it the peace and tranquillity is never disturbed.
We had our picnic in these idyllic surroundings then walked the short distance to the amphitheatre. Occasional concerts are held here at twilight in the late spring and summer. The back drop again stunning. After awhile we packed up and went back to our accommodation totally unaware of the gem we had been so close to but not seen.
Scanning the newspapers after our move I noticed a call for volunteers to attend a meeting with the aim of revitalising the Noosa Botanical Gardens. I tossed up whether to go, as I now didn’t have a garden, but decided that I had too much to do getting settled : I could do it at a later date.
It did get my exploration juices flowing and I had to find where their location. Surprised, I found that they were beside the picnic area we had lunched and that the amphitheatre was in the grounds of the gardens.
It has become a favourite place to visit – always when we have guests but also when I feel like a picnic by the lake in serene surroundings (and in the shade which is important in the summer in Qld.)
The gardens are beautifully kept, predominantly by a band of volunteers. There is also employment given to some of the communities handicapped people and for the visitor everyone is welcoming. As it is Noosa’s best kept secret you feel you have the gardens almost to yourself and the birds. And some of the plants are so different such as the South African Sausage tree and the colour of the Bougainvillea and the shade of the palms and ferns. Every time I visit I find a new area that I hadn’t seen before and I know the next time I am definitely going to explore the rainforest. As you can also see from the wander around below it is also wheelchair friendly (mind you I wouldn’t recommend a wheel chair that you had to push unless you are much, much fitter than me.)