This photo tries to show you the ants, but they were pretty excited and not staying still! I had tapped their nest sharply to make them come out so I could show you what they look like, so they had reason to be excited. They have a very sharp bite, and because they build their nests in trees from which they are likely to drop down onto you and then bite, most people (including us) don't like them in their home gardens. However, the ants do eat a lot of small garden pests. The aborigines used to eat them as sweets, but you would need to bite very quickly I think to avoid being bitten in your mouth!
This giant cactus is looking very spectacular at present. The plants in this garden were presented to the Botanic Gardens by an elderly Maltese lady who has a wonderful collection of cactus and other succulent plants. She is in her late 80s (I really did mean elderly) and doesn't want her collection to be just dug up when she dies. I think most of these plants are what they grew in Malta, so have special significance. We have a very large population of people of Maltese origin here - they came to Mackay in the early 1900s to work in the sugar industry after the South Sea Islanders were sent home , and now form an important cultural group here.