System Garden Rainforest Boardwalk

Visit our award-winning Australian Rainforest Boardwalk located in the System Garden, and immerse yourself in a forest of ferns, palms, epiphytes and fungi.

The raised boardwalk allows visitors to enjoy the beauty of the rainforest while leaving it free from the impact of human footsteps, protecting the three mature trees in the area. As an educational hotspot for biodiversity at the University, the unique plant collection offers a space for relaxation and reflection.

Visitors sit along the rainforest boardwalk design
The System Garden Rainforest Boardwalk won the ‘Landscape Architecture Award’ in the 2020 Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) awards.

Award winning boardwalk

A collaboration between the University, architect SBLA Studio and builder Stokes Rousseau Construction, the boardwalk was awarded the ‘Landscape Architecture Award’ in the Small Projects Category in the 2020 Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) awards at both the Victorian and National award levels. The AILA awards quality design in public open spaces that work towards building stronger communities and greater environmental stewardship.

Visit the Boardwalk

Biodiversity in the Rainforest

The System Garden’s Australian Rainforest features a diversity of Australian rainforest species including climbing plants, palms, epiphytic species (plants that grow on other plants), ferns and fungi. Large-billed scrub wrens (Sericornis magnirostra) and southern brown tree frogs (Litoria ewingi) also enjoy hiding out in this secret garden.

Situated in the middle of the urban rainforest is a large rock fig (Ficus platypoda). Rock figs are native to central and tropical northern Australia. In central Australia, where water and food is limited, fruits of the rock fig were consumed by Aboriginal peoples.

The rock fig is a fierce competitor in the Australian rainforest. The species begins life as an epiphyte growing on a tree and sends down aerial roots to the forest floor as it matures. Roots of the rock fig eventually encircle its host tree, killing it allowing the species to grow without competition for light or nutrients!