A truly hidden treasure of Esk, just an hour and a half or so drive from Brisbane, is Sandra’s Memorial Garden, a beautiful outdoor space that blooms in honour of Sandra Conradsen, a much-loved Esk resident who, sadly, lost her battle with cancer in 2018.
Through the support and devotion of her husband, Trevor Page, Sandra’s love of gardening and community spirit helped her to manage her treatment, spending time outdoors and keeping active, as long as she could.
Hubby, Trevor, has since continued on Sandra’s legacy, cultivating more than half of their house block in an effort to create, what they hoped, would become a lovely tourist attraction for their quaint, rural township of Esk. After a visit, its pretty clear they achieved their goal.
Always designing and dreaming up quirky elements to add to ensure visitors have a reason to return, Trevor has even found a way, ironically, to give a second run at fame to the PA Duck Race fundraising ducks that he procured from Reverse Garbage.
A wander through the garden – which offers so much more joy than you can imagine possible on this suburban-sized block – is free, but a gold coin donation is appreciated, with proceeds passed on in full to the PA Research Foundation, which supports melanoma research in conjunction with the University of Queensland Dermatology Research Centre.
Chooks roam free and, in return, help in their own way to keep the garden fertilised and nurtured.
Likewise, children are encouraged to free-roam to discover whatever takes their fancy – it’s guaranteed they will delight at the whimsical fairy garden beneath the hoop pine, and revel in the cubby across the arched bridge where they can sit and read, just to name a couple of memorable spots they will stumble upon.
Regardless of age, faces light up at every turn and twist of the hand-laid, gravel paths that meander through, aided by the bevy of recycled yellow ducks beckoning you to follow, albeit some of them not as obvious as others. (Hint: Always keep your eyes out for a hint of yellow!)
A beautiful place for relaxed reflection, everyone who visits takes away their own version of ‘THE’ special spot, differently poignant, with it's own special reminder to you to appreciate the simple things in life.
From sitting by the Pond of Remembrance and admiring the water lillies, to jotting down the name of a lost loved one and attaching it to the overhead netting along with others who have been lost, Sandra’s Garden is a reflective place to revisit. And, whilst you might walk away with a tear in your eye, you will also have a smile in your heart.
Need to know – Pets aren’t allowed in Sandra's Memorial Garden, and children must be supervised at all times. Importantly, as most of Esk’s residents rely solely on rainwater, the garden will reflect the area’s current rainfall at the time of your visit, so bear that in mind.
Nice to know – If you wander through the outdoor seating area of Nash’s Café, you’ll find a gate to Sandra’s Garden – the perfect way to walk off the delightful fare of Nash’s.
By Danella Perrins
Looking for more ideas on what to do on when day tripping to Esk, check out our guide here. Or, if you’re wanting to spend longer in the region, think about staying with Pure Glamping, just a short drive from Esk, with romantic glamping and family glamping sites available.
10 Edward St
Open most weekends
Gold coin donation