Mother's Day Picnic
Are you looking for a special picnic spot for Mother's Day in Brisbane?
The grounds of Government House will be open on Sunday 8th of May from 11am to 2pm for picnics.
Entry is free.
Visitors can bring their own blanket, basket, food and thermos and find a shady spot in the beautifully manicured 4-hectares of formal gardens surrounding Government House – including by the statue of Her Majesty The Queen or under the majestic West Indian Cedar Tree which has shaded the lawns at the front of the House for well over a century.
The free picnic day is part of the year-long celebrations of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
More picnic days will be held throughout the year, including on Father’s Day.
- The Mother's Day Picnic takes place on Sunday 8 May 2022, 11am-2pm.
- Entry is free via the gates at 168 Fernberg Road, Paddington.
- All visitors are required to register (via the link above).
- Parking is in the streets surrounding the estate (on and near Fernberg Road) – no on-site parking.
- Picnic days are wheelchair and pram accessible, and staff can assist with drop-offs.
- Visitors are required to bring everything they need for a picnic, including hats, sunscreen, water bottles, picnic blankets and food.
- Unfortunately, alcohol and pets are not permitted.
- Access is limited to the 4-hectares of formal landscaped gardens surrounding Government House; the House is regularly open at other times for free guided tours.
- Entry to the estate and gardens is dependent on compliance with current Government House COVID-19 Policies, including being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
History of the formal gardens
Formal gardens have been part of the estate from the time of Fernberg’s construction in 1865.
Botanist, John Bailey, and horticulturist, Ernest Bick, worked closely together to create the first Government House gardens and lawns in 1910 when the estate became the official residence of Queensland’s Governors.
Their successors have respected the original plan and the integrity of the site after carefully considering the potential impact on the overall character of the site and its heritage value.
Beds of brightly flowering annuals have maintained the cottage garden tradition, and impeccable lawns have been an important feature of Government House since 1910, enabling Governors to host garden receptions and ceremonies.
Rose rockeries, featuring almost 100 plants, have been preserved since the early twentieth century when rose trees, imported from France for Old Government House, were transplanted to Fernberg.
Roses also line the remnant carriage drive which once encircled the House. Among the tropical species which have thrived on the site are significant feature trees, including the magnificent cedar (Cedrela odorata) which has shaded the lawns at the front of the House for well over a century.