1. Orchid Collection

This is a large collection of PNG native orchid species and also a wide range of species and hybrids from other tropical countries. The main orchid display is in a fenced area beside the nursery. Some potted orchids are kept in the two display houses but most of the orchids can be seen attached to posts and trees. These orchids are true epiphytes, in that they grow in nature on rocks or branches. They are not parasitic but merely cling to the bark.

  1. Tropical Herbarium

The Herbarium was established in the 1940s and is the largest plant specimen collection in Papua New Guinea with about 400,000 specimens including 2335 type specimens. There are 100,000 spirit collections. The Herbarium holds a representative plant collection from the neighbouring regions such as the Indonesian provinces, the Solomon Islands, Western Indonesia, Malaysia and Tropical Australia.

The Herbarium also holds collections of a number of important collectors including Leonard John Brass, Lyndley Craven, J R Croft, Ruurd Dirk Hoogland, R Pullen, J C Saunders, Richard Schodde, Wayne Takeuchi and J S Womersley. The herbarium ranks third in size in South East Asia

In recent years the Herbarium has been involved in databasing and digitizing its collections. The Herbarium is collaborating with the National Herbarium of NSW on the project plants of Papua New Guinea.

  1. Rainforest Canopy

The remnant natural lowland rainforest is still retained and evident along ridges, escarpment and both sides of the internal Didiman Creek. The rainforest canopy reaches 25-30m high depending on the topography of the environment where these plants/trees are growing within the Gardens. The canopy cover is thick in the forested areas and this gives a clear representation of how Lae was forested prior to clearance for Lae city development in the colonial times.

  1. Nursery

The nursery is used for germination and propagation of plants from seeds or cuttings. Seeds and cuttings from botanical expeditions around PNG are brought back for nurturing till plants are established enough for transplanting. This way, the nursery continues to support ex-situ conservation of rare and endangered plants within a conserved environment like the Lae Botanic Gardens.

The Nursery also propagates ornamental and landscape plants for the public to buy and plant to beautify their homes. The nursery can also supply plants for new building landscapes. Sales of cuttings (flowers or new plants) and pot plants sale is allowable depending on requests and based on seasons (flowering) and if the stock is plentiful and available.

  1. RAAF DC-3

One of the most striking and treasured features of the Lae Botanic Gardens is the RAAF DC-3 Plane. She has had a busy and colourful history before she retired to the gardens and is a symbol and reminder of Papua New Guinea’s place in World War II history. The Morobe and Lae region and other parts of Papua New Guinea witnessed much activity during this time.

Recently a Steerig Committee has been established to take care of the RAAF DC-3 and you can learn more about her history here.

  1. Northern Precinct

This area comprised of public facilities like BSP Kids Recreational Park, the three picnic sheds, ablution block and a water tap. Further out from the fields, the Didiman Creek starts indicated by drains/waterway and going further inside, there are islands and ponds, which will be further developed for public access and enjoyment.

From BSP kids playground, there is a bridge to get you to the stairways/steps to the spring (groundwater) and up to the Aroid and Begonia sheds which gives you access to the nursery and the office premises.

Beyond the ablution block is the palm garden and on both sides of the road is royal palm. There are plans to develop the northern precinct into four international standard gardens through the Advancement Program. The designs are out and soon, we will look for sponsors to develop the new Gardens. Refer to main MAP and also DESIGNS for the four Gardens.