Summer may be over, but this time of year is often perfect for getting outdoors. Take a stroll among colourful leaves, golden sunshine and cool, misty air in Melbourne.
You may have walked through Kings Domain on your way to the Sidney Myer Music Bowl or the Shrine of Remembrance. But have you ambled along the avenue of poplar trees, which turn gold in autumn? Or admired all the statues, from royalty to a water nymph, and the 1839 La Trobe’s cottage? Don’t forget to discover the sacred Indigenous site marked by the Aboriginal Burial Stone, and the monument to war hero Weary Dunlop. Now’s the time to get better acquainted with this park between the Royal Botanic Gardens and St Kilda Road.
Royal Botanic Gardens
One of Australia’s most beautiful outdoor spaces, the Royal Botanic Gardens is made for wanderers, explorers and nature lovers. It’s full of deciduous trees bright with autumn colour, and fallen leaves for jumping around in. Stroll around the ornamental lake for different views of autumn foliage (our tip: pause at Hopetoun Lawn!). Whatever you do, find time to enjoy this jewel in Melbourne’s crown.
Docklands Harbourside Art Trail
Sure, you’ve seen the cow-up-a-tree sculpture, but did you know there are dozens of public works dotted around Docklands? Discover them all on the Docklands Harbourside Art Trail with a map from the Melbourne Visitor Hub at Town Hall. Or get the free app (available for iPhone and Android) and hear commentary by several artists, including Sally Smart and RONE. The trail splits into three themed 2.5 km sections: ‘real and unreal’, ‘the dynamic earth’, and ‘you, us and them’.
Queen Victoria Gardens
Part of the Domain Parklands, Queen Victoria Gardens are a gorgeous greens pace opposite NGV International. You might know its most famous feature, the floral clock, but there’s so much more to see. See statues from grand monuments to royalty to John Olsen’s more playful leaping bronze frog. Or take a seat in the charming rotunda, watch the ducks on the ornamental pool, and enjoy the serenity.
This quiet oasis on the edge of the CBD beckons residents and workers alike outside for a ramble. From shoppers to tourists, everyone loves the avenues of elm trees, the stream in fern gully and ornamental ponds.
Carlton Gardens to Lygon Street
Carlton Gardens is home to a fab children’s playground at the north end, and 19th century formal gardens in the south. Wander among European trees and Victorian-era fountains, then watch ducks gliding across the water. From there it’s an easy stroll to Lygon Street’s heart-warming Italian charm.
If you’ve worked through this list, head to What’s On Melbourne to find out more about other beautiful parks and gardens.