10 Most Stunning Botanical Gardens in Melbourne

Melbourne Jan 25, 2021

For families wanting a fun and inexpensive day out, botanic gardens are just what you need! Get away from the busy city life to explore and discover the beauty of nature. Bring along a picnic or enjoy a BBQ after a walk in the gardens.

Here are the best botanical gardens Melbourne city and surrounding suburbs have to offer. All these gardens are less than a one-hour drive from Melbourne CBD.

If you're in for a longer trip, you can see more beautiful botanical gardens in regional Victoria here.

Table of contents

  1. Royal Botanic Gardens
  2. Fitzroy Gardens
  3. St Kilda Botanical Gardens
  4. Williamstown Botanic Gardens
  5. Maranoa Gardens
  6. Victoria State Rose Garden
  7. Melton Botanic Garden
  8. Wilson Botanic Garden
  9. George Pentland Botanic Gardens
  10. Ashcombe Maze And Lavender Gardens

Royal Botanic Gardens

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Guilfoyle's Volcano: Royal Botanical Gardens Melbourne

Address:

Birdwood Ave, South Yarra VIC 3141

Opening hours:

  • 1st October – 31 March: 7:30am to 7:30pm daily
  • 1st April – 30th September: 7:30pm to 5:30pm daily

Entry Fee:

The garden is free!

Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne Highlights

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Fern Gully at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne

The Royal Botanic Gardens are a must-see in Melbourne city. The beautiful 94 acre gardens house 50,000 individual plants in various themed sections that you can explore:

Guilfoyle's Volcano

A succulent and cactus wonderland surrounding a historical water reservoir with spectacular views of the city.

Fern Gully

A lush microclimate tropical forest where you can enjoy a peaceful walk under the canopy of ferns and other trees.

Royal Botanic Gardens Free Guided Tour

Discover the highlights of the Botanic Gardens in this free 1h 30min tour. Minimum age to participate is 8 years old. Book here.

Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden

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The Children's Garden at Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne is a super fun activity for kids. The areas is fully fenced off, making the garden a safe place for kids to run around and explore nature, while the parents relax.

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Look out for the Magic Pudding sculpture in the Ian Potter Children’s Garden!

Children's Garden opening hours:

  • During the school term: Open from 10am to sunset, Wednesday to Sunday and public holidays. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
  • During the school holidays: Open from 10am to sunset, seven days a week

Garden Facilities:

  • Cafes: Jardin Tan (open daily from 8am to 3pm) and The Terrace (Cafe open Fri – Sun, 9.30am – 3.30pm; Kiosk open daily from 9.30am to 3.30pm)
  • Public toilets
  • Seating around the park

Note:

Pets are allowed on a leash everywhere except:

  • The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden
  • Cafes
  • Visitor Centre
  • Gardens Shop

BBQs cannot be held in the gardens. Feel free to bring a picnic to enjoy with family and friends instead.

The following activities are also not allowed in the gardens:

  • Bike or scooter riding
  • Damaging or removing plants
  • Ball games
  • Rollerblading or skateboarding
  • Climbing trees or plants
  • Jogging
Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne (photo: Facebook)

Royal Botanic Gardens Map:

Download the Botanical Gardens Melbourne map here before your visit.

Accessibility:

All areas of the Melbourne Gardens are accessible by walker and wheelchair except:

  • the Melbourne Observatory buildings because of their historically narrow entrances;
  • Fern Gully is not recommended due to  uneven path structures and narrow pathways.

Wheelchairs are available 9am–5pm daily, for a $50 refundable cash deposit required at pick up. Call +61 3 9252 2429 to book.

While you're there

Enjoy a scenic river cruise past the beautiful Melbourne Botanic Gardens and Herring Island with the scenic backdrop of Melbourne's city skyline. Discover the stories behind Melbourne's best attractions and sights.

Melbourne River Gardens 1 hour Sightseeing Cruise

Enjoy a scenic river cruise meandering past the beautiful Melbourne Botanic Gardens, Herring Island and Melbourne Cricket Ground with the scenic backdrop of Melbourne's city skyline.


Fitzroy Gardens

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Fitzroy Gardens Conservatory

Address:

Wellington Parade, East Melbourne VIC 3002

Opening hours:

Always open.

Entry Fee:

The garden is free!

Fitzroy Gardens Melbourne Highlights

Among the lush trees lining the paths you will find gardens, ponds and more enchanting sights. A leisurely stroll around the gardens is the best way to take in all the wonders. Expect to be back to discover what you didn't notice before!

Here are the best attractions at Fitzroy Gardens:

The Conservatory

Fitzroy Gardens' Conservatory is closed for major works and maintenance until April 2021.

The Conservatory opened in March 1930 and houses gorgeous indoor floral displays that are changed five times each year. Experience magnificent and unique flowers all year round here.

Cook’s Cottage

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Cook's Cottage

Cook's Cottage is temporarily closed. Call 03 9658 9658 for enquiries.

Originally built in Yorkshire, England in 1755 by the parents of Captain James Cook, Cooks’ Cottage was brought to Melbourne by Sir Russell Grimwade in 1934.

Each brick and was individually numbered, packed into barrels and shipped to Australia, along with the cuttings of the original ivy coverings.

You can explore this historic oddity at Fitzroy Gardens and learn about its British origins and relocation to Melbourne. Visit the cottage garden nearby with medicinal herbs and remedies, and pose for some photos in 18th century costumes.

There is an entry fee to purchase at the door of the Cottage.

Fairies Tree

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Fairies Tree at Fitzroy Gardens (photo by Nida Raees)

Ola Cohn's Fairies Tree is a must-see attraction in Melbourne Fitzroy Gardens. Marvel at the beautiful carvings on the stump of one of the original Red Gum trees in the Gardens, which has been there for over 300 years.

"I have carved in a tree in the Fitzroy Gardens for you, and the fairies, but mostly for the fairies and those who believe in them, for they will understand how necessary it is to have a fairy sanctuary - a place that is sacred and safe as a home should be to all living creatures."
- Ola Cohn

Tudor Village

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Tudor Village (photo by Nida Raees)

Tudor Village is Fitzroy Garden's miniature village with model buildings representing a typical village built during the "Tudor" period of English history.

The delightful village houses various cottages, barns, a church, school, hotel, and other public buildings. It also includes is a miniature model of Shakespeare's home and Anne Hathaway’s cottage.

Fitzroy Gardens Playground

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Fitzroy Gardens Playground

A small but fun playground in Melbourne CBD with unique animal themed play equipment and climbing structures, including a sleeping dragon slide and giraffe swings.

Garden Facilities:

  • Visitor's Center (open daily from 9am to 5pm, closed on Christmas Day)
  • Public toilets
  • Seating
  • Picnic areas

Note:

Dogs are allowed on a leash on the paths. You need to clean up after your dog.

Fitzroy Gardens Map:

Download the Fitzroy Gardens map here before your visit.

Accessibility:

Flat paths are suitable for wheelchairs and prams.


St Kilda Botanical Gardens

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St Kilda Botanical Gardens (photo: Andrey A)

Address:

11 Herbert St, St Kilda VIC 3182

Opening hours:

Open between sunrise and sunset seven days a week.

Entry Fee:

The garden is free!

St Kilda Botanical Gardens Highlights

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St Kilda Botanical Gardens (photo: Kendy M)

Enjoy a stroll around this lovely garden that was opened in 1859 and houses many unique seasonal and local indigenous plants. Some highlights include: The Rain Man Fountain, an ornamental pond, and a rose garden.

Giant Chess Board

The gardens have a giant chess board and normal size chess tables for visitors to enjoy a chess game.

Garden Facilities:

  • Picnic areas
  • Public and accessible toilets
  • Seating

Note:

Dogs are allowed on a leash and are not permitted within 5 metres of the playground.

BBQs, camping and cycling are not allowed in St Kilda gardens.

Please do not feed the animals in the park.

Accessibility:

The paths are accessible for wheelchairs and prams.


Williamstown Botanic Gardens

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Williamstown Botanic Gardens (photo: Flickr)

Address:

Giffard St & Osborne Street, Williamstown VIC 3016

Opening hours:

The garden is open all day.

Entry Fee:

The garden is free!

Williamstown Botanic Gardens Highlights

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Williamstown Botanic Gardens Ornamental Pond (photo: Flickr)

This Edwardian style garden is one of the first botanical gardens established in Victoria and is located near Williamstown beach. It is quite small but houses many exotic plant species including a palm tree avenue and an ornamental lake. The lush grass areas are perfect for a picnic, and you can also enjoy ocean views.

Garden Facilities:

  • Benches
  • Public toilets in a park nearby

Note:

Dogs are allowed on a leash.

Accessibility:

Gravel paths provide good accessibility for wheelchairs and prams.


Maranoa Gardens

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Maranoa Gardens Gates (photo: Facebook)

Address:

Parring Road, Balwyn 3103

Opening hours:

Open Monday to Friday from 7.30am to 4pm

Open Saturday, Sunday and public holidays from 10am to 5pm

Closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day

Entry Fee:

The gardens are free!

Maranoa Gardens Highlights

These lovely and peaceful gardens in Melbourne's suburb of Balwyn house 4000 species of Australian and New Zealand native plant species.

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Maranoa Gardens (photo: Facebook)

Follow the circuit path and explore the different zones of the gardens including the Rainforest, Temperate Woodland, Indigenous Display and more.

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Maranoa Gardens (photo: Facebook)

There is a playground in the nearby Beckett Park for kids to enjoy. You can also go up to a platform with views of the gardens and the neighbourhood.

Garden Facilities:

  • Public toilets
  • Seating and tables

Note:

Dogs are not permitted within the fenced area of Maranoa Botanic Gardens.

Cycling and rollerblading is not allowed.

Accessibility:

Most paths are flat and even, making them pram and wheelchair friendly.


Victoria State Rose Garden

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Victoria State Rose Garden (photo: Facebook)

Address:

Gate 2, K Rd, Werribee South VIC 3030

Opening hours:

  • October 5th - April 4th:
    Open from 9.30am to 6.00pm
  • April 5th - October 4th:
    Open from 9.30am to 5.00pm

Entry Fee:

The garden is free to visit!

Victoria State Rose Garden Highlights

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Victoria State Rose Garden (photo: Facebook)

Enjoy the stunning collection of 5500 roses on display at Melbourne's best rose gardens. Explore the various zones of the gardens: see the Victoria State Rose Garden map here.

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Victoria State Rose Garden (photo: Facebook)

When is the best time to visit the Victoria State Rose Garden?

In November (spring) the first blooms and the spring roses are at their peak.

Then in March (autumn) is an excellent time to see masses of blooming flowers.

There are always some blooms in the Garden from early October until late July.

Garden Facilities:

  • BBQ facilities
  • Picnic areas
  • Seating
  • Cafe
  • Public toilets
  • Parking

Note:

No dogs or other pets allowed in the gardens.

Accessibility:

Wide sand/gravel paths are suitable for prams and wheelchairs.

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Werribee Park Mansion (photo: Facebook)

Werribee Park Mansion

Address:

Werribee Park, past the Victoria State Rose Garden

Opening hours:

  • High season: October 5 2020 - April 4 2021
    10am to 5pm daily (last entry 4.30pm)
  • Low Season: April 5 2021 -October 3 2021
    Weekdays - 10am to 4pm (last entry 3.30pm)
    Weekends and public holidays - 10am to 5pm (last entry 4.30pm)

Entry Fees:

  • Adult: $10.70
  • Child: $7.80
  • Concession: $7.80
  • Family (2 adults and 2 children): $33.80

Purchase tickets at the entrance.

Description:

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Located in Werribee Park, past the Victoria State Rose Garden, is the Werribee Park Mansion. Built in 1877 in the Renaissance Revival style, the house has 60 rooms for you to explore. It is a mystery who the architect behind the mansion was.

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The highlights of the mansion are the original antique furniture and many unique paintings adorning the walls. The structure of the house itself is very impressive as some of the original parts still stand today.

Facilities:

  • Cafe
  • Public toilets

Note:

Pets are not allowed in the mansion.

Accessibility:

Stairs in the mansion are not pram and wheelchair friendly.


Melton Botanic Garden

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Melton Botanic Gardens (photo: Facebook)

Address:

40 Lakewood Blvd, Melton VIC 3337

Opening hours:

Open all day every day.

Entry Fee:

Entry is free!

Melton Botanic Gardens Highlights

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Melton Botanic Gardens (photo: Melton City Council)

Visit this oasis of native Australian flora to explore eucalyptus variations, unique Indigenous species, the South African Garden, the lake and more.

Download the Melton Botanic Gardens map here before visiting.

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Melton Botanic Gardens Lake (photo: Melton City Council)

The garden is still undergoing development and you can keep coming back to see the changes and new additions. One of the future zones to be added is the Children's Garden.

Melton is quite dry compared to Melbourne, so a visit on a wet or cool day is a great idea.

Garden Facilities:

  • BBQ
  • Picnic areas
  • Shelter

Note:

Dogs are allowed strictly on a leash. You are required to carry a plastic bag with you to clean up after your dog.

Accessibility:

Garden paths are mostly flat concrete or gravel, and are suited for wheelchairs or prams.


Wilson Botanic Garden

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Address:

668 Princes Hwy, Berwick VIC 3806

Opening hours:

  • Non daylight savings:
    7.00am - 6.00pm
  • Daylight savings:
    7.00am - 9.00pm
  • Open Christmas Day

Entry Fee:

The garden is free!

Wilson Botanic Gardens Highlights

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This 39-hectare garden is a lovely hidden gem just off Princes Highway, with over 1000 plant species and various birds, lizards, snakes and turtles, to explore. There are many paths to follow around the garden: a leisurely stroll around the lake, a whole park circuit, and smaller trails such as the Camellia walk.

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Garden Facilities:

  • Playground
  • BBQ facilities
  • Cafe: Gather Food, coffee & Co (open 7am to 3.30pm daily)
  • Picnic areas
  • Benches
  • Public toilets
  • Car park access is through the park gates

Note:

Dogs are allowed on lead at all times. You must clean up after your dog.

Bikes, scooters, skateboards or rollerblades are not allowed in the garden.

Accessibility:

There are accessible toilet facilities in two locations at the garden. You may borrow a wheelchair from the Visitor’s Center. Paths are wheelchair friendly and there are ramps.

Please call 9705 5599 for further enquiries regarding accessibility.


George Pentland Botanic Gardens

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George Pentland Botanic Gardens walking trails (photo: platypus150)

Address:

41N Williams St, Frankston VIC 3199

Opening hours:

  • November to March:
    7am - 9pm
  • April to October:
    7am - 6pm

Entry Fee:

The gardens are free!

George Pentland Botanic Gardens Highlights

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George Pentland Botanic Gardens Playground (photo: Jim Bo)

These lovely gardens are great for the whole family. Take a walk around the garden trails to explore native flora and the ornamental lake, or settle down for a picnic near the playground at the eastern end of the park.

Garden Facilities:

  • Picnic and BBQ facilities
  • Shelter
  • Accessible public toilets

Note:

Pets are not permitted in the gardens. Marquees and pergolas are not allowed at the Gardens without prior permission.

Accessibility:

The walking tracks are quite flat and can be accessed by prams.


Ashcombe Maze And Lavender Gardens

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Ashcombe Maze Lavender Labyrinth (photo: Petina S)

Address:

15 Red Hill-Shoreham Rd, Shoreham VIC 3916

Opening hours:

Open Wednesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm
Closed Monday and Tuesday
Closed on Christmas Day

Entry Fee:

Adult: $16.65

Child (4-15 years): $9

Get your tickets here:

Ashcombe Maze And Lavender Gardens Entry Tickets

Have a whimsical time getting lost in the Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens in the Mornington Peninsula. The whole family will have an amazing time.

Ashcombe Maze And Lavender Gardens Highlights

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These beautiful gardens in the Mornington Peninsula are great fun for the whole family. Conquer the Hedge Maze, wander through the Lavender Gardens Maze and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the gardens.

The Great Gnome Hunt

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The Gnome Hunt @ Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens

Set out with the whole family to find the magical gnomes and fairies hiding around the gardens. Get a prize after you find them all!

Garden Facilities:

  • Car park
  • Public toilets
  • Cafe (currently closed for renovations)

Note:

Picnics and BBQ are not not allowed at the gardens.

Accessibility:

Call 03 5989 8387 for more information.


This concludes my list of top botanical gardens in Melbourne. Share some snaps of your visit to these botanical gardens around Melbourne by tagging @schoolholidays.com.au on Instagram!

Look out for Part 2 of this article with the best botanic gardens in Victoria!

Daria

Content creator and editor at schoolholidays.com.au. I love to travel, read and write!

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