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With a favourable climate and abundance of natural resources, it’s no wonder there are so many great gardens to visit in Melbourne. You’ll find dozens of lush locations like the Royal Botanic Gardens which are free to visit throughout the year.
Public gardens are fantastic places to explore if you’re really passionate about gardening. These locations are often home to some rare and exotic plants you may not find anywhere else. Public gardens are also great places to visit for a picnic with friends and family.
To get you inspired for your next day trip, we’ve narrowed down some of the best public gardens to visit around Melbourne. Each with their own unique features, we highly recommend visiting these gardens when the weather is favourable.
No list of Melbourne gardens would be complete without mentioning the Royal Botanic Gardens. This lush location is situated just a stone’s throw away from the Melbourne CBD in South Yarra.
The Royal Botanic Gardens were initially established to conserve and display plant species from Australia and around the world. Today, you’ll find over 8.500 plant species on display along with lakes, lawns, and long walks to get lost in.
For a uniquely Australian experience, book yourself in for an Aboriginal Heritage walk. An Indigenous guide will take you on a tour around the gardens where you’ll learn about the history of the Kulin nation and experience a traditional smoking ceremony.
There’s plenty more to explore including the camellia collection, Fern Gully, and the Tropical Glasshouse that’s home to an extensive range of colourful flowers and palms.
High on the banks of the Yarra River, you’ll find the Como House and Gardens. The centrepiece of this elegant location is a Victorian gold rush era mansion that now plays host to weddings, art exhibitions, photography and film shoots.
The two-hectare property also features sprawling lush gardens, a fountain, and a croquet lawn. The gardens are a perfect picnic location. Visitors are encouraged to sit back, relax, and soak in the sights of the Moreton Bay fig trees and surrounding native plants on display.
The original stables of the property have been transformed into a quaint little cafe that’s open seven days a week. Here you can treat yourself to a menu full of culinary delights including a high tea that starts with free-flowing Mimosas.
The Blue Lotus Water Garden is a natural paradise where ‘you’ll find thousands of water lilies and lotus flowers on display. The site covers over 50,000 square metres and features dozens of secluded ponds, lagoons, two large lakes, and even a waterfall.
Spread amongst the gardens are perennial flower beds with a dazzling array of colours on display. Hundreds of trees and palm species offer plenty of shade near picnic and barbeque areas. If you’re looking for an excuse to take the grandkids out, there’s the Flower Fairy Garden and the Dragon’s Trail to explore.
This lush destination is a seasonal display garden. So you’ll only be able to visit during select periods of the year. You’ll usually find the gardens open to the public from late December to early April.
If you’re an admirer of modern art, you simply must consider the Heide Museum of Modern Art. In addition to the museum, the site also features 15 acres of garden where there’s plenty of new sculptures to discover.
After stopping by for a cup of tea at the cafe, make your way to the rose garden beds which are now protected by their heritage status. You’ll find many rare and unusual breeds of roses with unique fragrances.
The grounds at Heide are also a fantastic location for picnics in the warmer months of the year. If you’re planning a picnic, consider booking yourself a picnic hamper that’s freshly prepared by the cafe.
The Williamstown Botanic Gardens has its own special place in history as being one of Victoria’s first public gardens. It was initially established in 1860 by early colonies that moved to Australia.
The gardens were used as a testing ground for how well plant varieties would fare in harsh Australian climates. Today you’ll find an abundant range of rare and exotic plants on display from around the world.
Other highlights include an Edwardian ornamental pond and formal palm avenue. You’ll find plenty of paths to explore as you make your way around the gardens and some great picnic areas where you can relax and soak in the sun.