Find a leafy haven or attend an educational workshop amid the magnificent array of exotic and native flora at one of the world’s finest botanic gardens.
Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens is a spacious Victorian-era landscaped garden and educational and horticultural treasure in the heart of the city. Established in 1846, the 38-hectare (93.9-acre) garden showcases over 50,000 plants, including rare exotic species and threatened native plants. Explore the complex of gardens, groves and conservatories and learn about the breathtaking diversity of the plant kingdom, as well as local Aboriginal cultural heritage, intriguing ecosystems and historic artifacts.
Stroll along the gardens’ paved pathways and experience a showcase of exotic and native plants. You’ll see heritage 19th-century plantings and ancient river red gums that pre-date European settlement in the area. Wander down to the edge of the lake and see if you can spot native ducks and black swans.
Delve into the shady bamboo grove or visit the Fern Gully to find a magical garden of tranquil greenery. At the southeast corner of the gardens, look for Guilfoyle’s Volcano, a man-made water reservoir that was built in 1876. Explore the reservoir’s landscaped gardens and see a fantastic viewpoint over the city.
Check out the Tropical Glasshouse to inspect an international collection of ferns, orchids and bromeliads. Kids can have an exciting hands-on experience at the Children’s Garden, while visitors of all ages can enjoy the interactive program of events and workshops held daily. Experience the Aboriginal Heritage Walk or get creative at the Plant Craft Cottage. Rest at one of the picnic areas or pavilions, or take a seat at one of the gardens’ two cafés.
Make the most of a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens by getting on board the Garden Explorer, a hop-on, hop-off service that completes a loop of the gardens in 50 minutes and includes live commentary. The gardens’ Visitor Centre contains maps and brochures for planning your visit, as well as a gift shop.
The Royal Botanic Gardens is located on the southern banks of the Yarra River in inner Melbourne and is easily accessible by bike, tram and car. The Melbourne Visitor Shuttle also makes a stop at the gardens. This popular Melbourne attraction is free to visit daily until sunset.