These Heritage-listed gardens, begun in 1873, are a beautiful escape from often-sweltering Rockhampton, with tropical and subtropical rainforest, landscaped gardens and lily-covered lagoons. The formal Japanese garden is delightfully restful, there's a cafe, and the small, well-kept zoo has koalas, lion-tailed macaques, Asian small-clawed otters, dingoes, chimpanzees, a walk-through aviary and more. Tickets and Information Admission to the gardens (open 6am to sunset) and the zoo (open 8am to 4.30pm) is free. Guided tours are available for a fee and must be booked in advance. The cafe is open 8am to 5pm and there is ample space available for a picnic if you'd prefer. Domestic animals are not permitted within the gardens.