Water is an important component of the Gardens; the site has been designed to enhance these features which include natural creeks and a series of man-made lakes. These provide habitat for wetland plant communities and water loving animals.
Water, whether static or moving, natural or contrived, is a significant feature of the Gardens. Water adds the dimension of space and light, as well as illustrating the different plant communities that inhabit wet areas.
Deep Creek provides the central axis of the Gardens. Much development has been planned around this feature. The Creek is assured of a permanent water flow from the upstream Deep Creek Dam by a continuing release of about 60,000 litres per day. A few tributaries have an ephemeral flow or static pools and wet areas.
Some of the creek lines have been seriously disturbed, so a program of rehabilitation has been implemented to control the resultant erosion. The rehabilitation measures provide on site demonstration of natural resource management techniques. Further development along the creek system has been designed to avoid damage.
Island in the lake
A small lake was created in the centre of the Gardens by damming an ephemeral creek. The lake area has been further developed as part of the Display Gardens. An amphitheatre is situated adjacent to the lake. Tiered seating has been provided and the venue can be used for ceremonies, community entertainment or as an outdoor classroom.
Ponds in the Gardens have varied and overlapping functions.
They act as display areas for wetland flora, either growing in the water, or on the boggy margins. These plants play an important part in the ecosystem, as they improve water quality and stabilise soil banks. They also provide food, cover and breeding grounds for reptiles, amphibians, small mammals, insects and birds.
Some ponds are designed to act as silt traps, preventing flood debris from washing into the main ponds and so disrupting pond life and reducing water depth.
A series of ornamental ponds in the Sensory and Rainforest Gardens adds another dimension to the sensory experience. Flowing water also features in the ‘waterfall’ under the entrance bridge, and in the water feature near the Gardens Cafe.