Melbourne is known for its vibrant cafe culture, colourful arts scene and entertainment precincts, and for playing host to some of the world’s biggest sporting events. It constantly gets voted as Australia’s most liveable city for its infrastructure, healthcare and education.
Even though it’s a bustling capital city, it’s also much loved for its green spaces.
Whether you’re in the heart of the CBD or exploring the outer suburbs and regions, much of Melbourne is punctuated by parks, public and private gardens and memorial gardens.
So, if you’re keen to learn more about our favourite beautiful botanical gardens around Melbourne, keep reading…
1. Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
The Royal Botanic Gardens along Melbourne’s Yarra River has been a hub for education, conservation and horticulture for over 170 years. Popular with locals and interstate and international visitors alike, it covers 38 hectares and features thousands of rare and exotic plant species. You can explore Guilfoyle's Volcano, Fern Gully, the Children’s Garden and the Aboriginal Heritage Walk, or have a cruise around the Ornamental Lake.
2. St Kilda Botanical Gardens
Registred with Heritage Victoria, St Kilda’s Botanical Gardens attracts a lot of people – as well as a wide variety of bird and animal life. From the rose garden and rotunda, to the Rain Man fountain in the ornamental pond, it’s a relaxing space to explore. Other built-in features include a giant chessboard, children's play space, gazebo, glasshouses and the Eco-centre which promotoes sustainable living practices.
3. Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne
Cranbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens is one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in Melbourne. Spread across 15 hectares, it features a variety of Australian native flowers and Indigenous plants species as well as untouched bushland, wetlands and woodland. The bushland includes walking tracks and cycling tracks, a lookout tower, barbecues and playgrounds.
4. Williamstown Botanic Gardens
As one of the state’s first ever public gardens, the Williamstown Botanic gardens has many authentic Victorian and Edwardian features. Close to the sea with a formal palm tree avenue, it’s the perfect place to explore in summer and seek shade in. The gardens also play host to a range of events throughout the year, including guided tours, plant sales and gardening workshops.
5. Melton Botanic Garden
The Melton Botanic Garden is home to plenty of hardy plants, as well as birdlife, reptiles and insects. There’s a nursery for those wanting to bring a bit of the plant magic home, and the whole area allows dogs on a lead, which is great for those wanting to bring their furry friend along for a stroll.
6. George Pentland Botanic Gardens
The open space and garden beds of the George Pentland Botanic Gardens in Frankston are great for community groups and familities to enjoy – and they are a popular backdrop for wedding photos. Highlights include dreaming poles, picnic and BBQ facilities, shelters and walking tracks.
7. Werribee Botanical Gardens
The Werribee Park estate is situated on sprawling green lawns with plenty of things to see and do. There’s the heritage-listed Werribee Mansion, the Lancemore Hotel and Spa, the Werribee Park Formal Gardens, and most importantly, the Victoria State Rose Garden. This colourful spot is a fan favourite and features over 5,000 roses in bloom between October and May.
8. Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden
With stunning views over the Yarra Valley, the Botanic Gardens in Olinda are packed with native and exotic trees of all different colours and textures, including 15,000 rhododendrons, 12,000 azaleas, 3,000 camellias and 250,000 daffodils. And in the centre is the award-winning Australian Garden, which won first prize at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show in 2013.
9. Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens
Another 10 mins up the road from the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Gardens is the Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens in Sherbrooke. You can take many different paths under a canopy of towering Moutain Ash trees, and easily find a picturesque spot or bench seat for a picnic. See rockwalls, waterfalls, water features, an iconic ornamental lake and a historic boathouse.
10. Karwarra Australian Native Botanic Garden
And finally, another of our favourite botanic gardens in Melbourne is the Karwarra Australian Native Botanic Garden in Kalorama – also in the Dandenong Ranges. Set on 2 hectares, it showcases Australian natives only, including Boronias, Waratahs and rare and threatened species. It is located at the rear of Kalorama Memorial Reserve which has BBQs, picnic tables, a children’s playground and an oval.