The Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens

Today we spent the afternoon at the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens in Mount Tomah. I’m so glad we managed to get back there (after needing to leave early last time because Anusha hurt her knee), It is really, quite a spectacular garden.
We arrived around lunchtime, and after a picnic, went to the visitor centre to pick up a Living World adventure trail quest pack for the children. I had read about it in a local guide to the Blue Mountains and thought it would be something they would enjoy.

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After having a look through the pack we set off.

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Before beginning the trail we viewed the gardens from the visitor centre lookout. It was a cool, misty afternoon, which I think just added to the garden’s beauty.

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Our first stop was Fern tree hill, where the children looked at the spores on the underside of fern leaves with a microscope,

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and, as at each of the stops, answered a couple of questions, learning that Mount Tomah is named for the Aboriginal Darug word Tomah, meaning Fern tree.

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Along the way we explored other areas, including the Bog, where the carnivorous plants live. With Pitcher plants (so beautiful and awesome!), Venus fly traps, and Sundews, it was a  favourite for all of us.

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We continued on the trail, Elki leading with the map and figuring out our route.

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As we went we also searched and listened for birds from a bird list. Anusha really enjoyed this.

Then the children ran on finding each spot on the trail and completing the activities.

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Smelling the oils in crushed Eucalyptus leaves.

There were some very special flowers and plants that particularly caught our attention,

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I especially loved this amazing plant ‘Swartkop’; it’s stunning leaves,

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and bright contrasting flowers.

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We were waiting to see this ‘Puya’, and were excited to find it still had some blooms on it’s flowerhead even though it was nearing it’s finish.

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The ancient pines that were alive when the dinosaurs lived. This one endangered and with surprisingly soft leaves.

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Sweet little flowers with deliciously furry leaves,

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and a prostrate Grevillea.

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I also captured these gorgeous and tiny Swallows gathering on a rock and darting into the water to bathe. They reminded us of our little Swallow family back home.

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At the last stop the children learned about Lichen, and found out the answer to the quest puzzle.

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Then we went back to the visitor centre (right on closing time and nearly too late!) to collect there little prize (which they are going to paint and decorate). Such cuties 😀

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