City Botanic Gardens The City Botanic Gardens is the city's oldest park, originally planted by convicts in 1825 with food crops to feed the prison colony. These gardens include ancient trees, rainforest glades and exotic species. They run the full length of Alice Street, bordered by Parliament House on the one side and the Brisbane River's northern banks on the other. They provide a lush green haven for city workers and visitors. Grab a bite to eat in the beautiful The Gardens Club cottage, or pre-book a picnic basket to enjoy in the gardens.