Gardens are magical places. In just a matter of moments, they transport you away from the hustle and bustle of city life to a place where time lingers, thoughts slow and there’s nothing but you and nature. Whether you go there to look at the pretty flowers, or to simply wander along the paths, they are the perfect place to kick back, relax, and take a moment for yourself. Melbourne is full of dreamy parks and gardens for you to explore, both in the CBD and beyond. Here’s our list to get you started.
1. Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
Immerse yourself in nature at the Royal Botanic Gardens. Head to the heart of the city and discover plenty of green spaces over 38 hectares. There’s over 8,500 species of plants to admire from around the world, and there’s plenty of different sections for you to lose yourself in. Take a stroll along the lush Fern Gully, take in the view from Guilfoyle’s Volcano and more. There’s also activities and events to keep things interesting, including an audio tour called Flora and the Baron, guided walks and Punting on the Lake. While you’re there, grab a bite to eat from The Terrace.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne VIC 3004
2. King’s Domain
This park sandwiched between Melbourne CBD and the Royal Botanic Gardens is home to the Shrine of Remembrance and the parklands around Sidney Myer Music Bowl. At Kings Domain, you can take a stroll and admire plenty of towering trees, explore the fern gully and enjoy a break in the lush gardens.
📍Alexandra Ave, Melbourne VIC 3004
3. Alexandra Gardens
You’ll find Alexandra Gardens hugging the Yarra River in Melbourne. These gardens host several key Melbourne events during the year, including Moomba and Midsumma Festival. On a normal day, you’ll find plenty of lawns, shrubs, trees, boathouses and a supervised skate park.
📍Melbourne VIC 3004
4. Royal Park
For greenery and wide open spaces, head to Royal Park, the largest open space in the City of Melbourne. This massive area covers a whopping 170 hectares, and is filled with plenty of things like dog-off leash areas, a nature-based playground, wetlands, sporting facilities and more. If you get close enough to Melbourne Zoo, you might even hear the sounds of the animals!
📍Lot 1 Flemington Rd, Parkville VIC 3052
5. Carlton Gardens
The Royal Exhibition Building and surrounding Carlton Gardens are a World Heritage Site. Also home to Melbourne Museum, and a stunning Victorian-era fountain, these gardens are filled with rows of towering European trees, ornamental lakes and flowerbeds. Pack a picnic and relax on the sprawling lawns for a tranquil day out.
📍1-111 Carlton St, Carlton VIC 3053
6. Fitzroy Gardens
Fitzroy Gardens has plenty of notable features for you to relax the day away. Stroll along the avenues, lined by magnificent elm trees, and check out Cook’s Cottage, the carved Fairies Tree and the Tudor Village. Then, pop into the Conservatory and admire their changing seasonal displays.
Wellington Parade, East Melbourne VIC 3002
7. Edinburgh Gardens
Discover the 24 hectare Edinburgh Gardens in the centre of Fitzroy North. Pack a picnic or fire up the barbecue, and relax under a shady tree. About half of the park is an off-leash area, so you’ll see plenty of four-legged friends running around. There’s also a playground and plenty of sporting facilities.
📍Alfred Cres, Fitzroy North VIC 3068
8. Yarra Bend Park
Yarra Bend Park is Melbourne’s largest natural bushland park. This green oasis covers 260 hectares, and has plenty of walking and cycling trails for you to explore. Lose yourself in nature, walk along the river and enjoy plenty of scenic spots like Dights Falls. Go for a picnic, or grab a bite to eat at Studley Park Boathouse. Then, explore the park another way by paddling along the river in a rowboat or kayak.
📍Yarra Bend Rd, Fairfield VIC 3078
9. Abbotsford Convent
Abbotsford Convent is a delightful multi-arts precinct with multiple spaces, including a gallery, some coffee spots, and a stunning heritage-listed formal garden. Dating from around 1902, this garden has plenty of old trees, including two oaks, as well as a rotunda and walking paths. The gardens and grounds are open every day of the year, and are an easy four kilometres from Melbourne CBD.
📍1 St Heliers St, Abbotsford VIC 3067
10. Albert Park
Although it’s home to the Formula One Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park generally runs at a slower pace. This picturesque spot has a five kilometre walking and running track around the lake, as well as BBQ and picnic spots. Hire a boat and paddle out on the water for some fun in the sun. If you’re keen for a staycation, spend the night at the Pullman hotel nearby.
📍Albert Park VIC 3206
11. Westgate Park
When driving along the Westgate Bridge, you might look down and see a pleasantly pink lake, depending on the time of year. Explore this intriguing area and pay a visit to Westgate Park. Stroll or cycle along the paths, and take in views of the lake, the bridge and the city.
📍4 Wharf Rd, Port Melbourne VIC 3207
12. St Kilda Botanical Gardens
We love St Kilda for the beach, but this suburb has beautiful gardens too! Visit the historic St Kilda Botanical Gardens and walk among the trees, admire the ornamental pond and play a game of giant chess. Pop into the conservatory for a lush and tropical environment. Check out the Alister Clarke Rose Garden for fragrant native roses, as well as seasonal displays on flower beds around the gardens.
11 Herbert St, St Kilda VIC 3182
13. Rippon Lea Estate
Visit the historic Rippon Lea Estate and admire the 14 hectare garden. You’ll find plenty of interesting features, including a lake, rose gardens, an orchard, vast lawns and more. You can also take a tour to learn about the social history of the space. Learn more here.
📍192 Hotham St, Elsternwick VIC 3185
14. Victoria State Rose Garden
Drive out to Werribee and see the dreamy Victoria State Rose Garden. In it, you will find over 5000 beautiful roses covering five hectares. The roses are carefully planted to create the shape of a Tudor Rose, which can only be seen from above. The spring roses are at their peak during November, while the autumn blooms are also delightful in March. You can also see some roses in the garden from early October to late July. While you’re there, wander next door and explore the grounds of Werribee Mansion.
Gate 2, K Rd, Werribee South VIC 3030
15. Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens
Lose yourself in the wild beauty of nature at Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens. Take a stroll around the historic gardens and check out the iconic boathouse, the lake and the vast array of trees and flowers.
1A Sherbrooke Rd, Sherbrooke VIC 3789
16. Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden
Feel transported to another world at the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden. This cool-climate garden features plenty of flowers, with 15, 000 rhododendrons, 12, 000 azaleas, 3000 camellias and 250,000 daffodils! There’s plenty of sections for you to explore, including the new Chelsea Australian Garden, which has over 15,000 plants, a cascading waterfall and a peaceful billabong.
The Georgian Rd, Olinda VIC 3788
17. Cloudehill Gardens
Cloudehill Gardens stretches over five acres, and has 25 different gardens for you to explore. You can visit Cloudehill at any time of year, with new and vibrant colours to discover each season. Frolic in meadows, stroll under trees, admire blooming flowers and more.
89 Olinda-Monbulk Rd, Olinda VIC 3788
18. Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne
At Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne, you’ll find a vast Australian Garden surrounded by 300 hectares of native bushland. Journey through the bushland and discover hundreds of indigenous plant species along their 10km walking tracks. Then, explore the award-winning Australian Garden and admire over 100,000 plants from 1,900 plant varieties. You’ll find plenty of floral displays in different sections, like the Cultivar Garden and the Future Garden.
Ballarto Road and, Botanic Drive, Cranbourne VIC 3977