Eight gardens to explore in Melbourne

What better way to spend a day than in Melbourne’s beautiful parks and gardens. To help you get started, here are eight locations for your next great meander.

Shrine of Remembrance Reserve

Take a moment of quiet reflection at the Shrine of Remembrance Reserve, within the stunning Kings Domain Parklands.  In addition to the Shrine itself, the wider reserve includes the memorial trees, the Eternal Flame and the Legacy Garden of Appreciation. Weary Dunlop Memorial and the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Gardens, important sites located within the Kings Domain, are worth exploring. The entrance to the shrine itself, with beautiful views of the city skyline and surrounding parklands is a favourite photo spot.

A view of an old monument surrounded by parks with the city skyline in th background

Aerial view of the Shrine of Rememberance

Queen Victoria Gardens

Discover the huge floral clock, consisting of more than 7,000 flowering plants at Queen Victoria Gardens. Or take in a workshop, talk or gig at MPavilion, the architect-designed pop-up venue currently in residence at the gardens until February 2018. For more eye-popping displays, take a stroll through the gardens at the National Gallery of Victoria across the road. It’s also a good place to stop for a bite.

People strolling down a tree-lined path in a beautiful garden

Queen Victoria Gardens

Alexandra Gardens

Stock up on picnic supplies before heading down to Alexandra Gardens on the banks of the Yarra River. Or check out the tricks performed by local skaters for an afternoon at Riverslide Skatepark.

Royal Botanic Gardens

You could spend weeks in the Royal Botanic Gardens and still discover something new every day. This beautiful space offers many a winding path, with huge stretches of lawn and a local pack of swans. Read a book or just lie on the lush grass for a lazy hour or two. If water is more your scene, take a punt on the lake and refuel at the nearby Terrace. Find out more things to do at Essential Royal Botanic Gardens experiences.

A man with a child on his shoulders, a woman and a little girl standing ona bridge in a park, looking down at a river

Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne

Birrarung Marr

The diverse culture of Victoria’s Indigenous peoples is celebrated through a series of artworks at Birrarung Marr. A winding pathway represents the eel (a traditional food source) and five shields represent the five groups of the Kulin Nation. Further down the river, you’ll discover Deborah Halpern’s two-headed ‘Angel’ watching your every move. Down at Federation Wharf, pop into Riverland or Pilgrim Bar for a tasty treat and a beverage.

Five Aboriginal shields on display in sand. In the background is the Yarra river and trees

Five shields represent the five groups of the Kulin Nation at Birrarung Marr

Carlton Gardens

Designed for the Melbourne International Exhibition of 1880, the Royal Exhibition Building and surrounding Carlton Gardens are World Heritage listed. While there, pay a visit to the Melbourne Museum, the tennis courts and the children’s playground. And you can’t miss the Victorian-era Hochgurtel Fountain and circular French Fountain – good Instagram fodder. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, it’s just a five minute walk to Chinatown for dumplings.

Treasury Gardens

At the end of a saunter through the tranquil Treasury Gardens you’ll discover the Old Treasury Building. Once rich with gold stored in its basement vaults, it is now home to rare historic documents, exhibitions and events. The Wild Colonial Boys exhibition shares stories of bushrangers who wanted to get their hands on gold stored in the vaults. It’s open Easter Monday only.

Fitzroy Gardens

Melbourne’s Fitzroy Gardens is an oasis of English elms, flowerbeds and water features. With towering autumn trees, vintage cottages and an enormous amount of green, open space, it’s a favourite with visitors and locals alike. Pick up a map from the Visitor Centre, or explore 18th century cottage life at Cooks’ Cottage.

Four people walking in front of a house

Cooks’ Cottage in Fitzroy Gardens

More places to visit:

Docklands Park – Help the kids burn off their sugar high (caused by bunny deliveries) at Docklands Park. The interactive playground is sure to be a hit and the giant moving sculpture, BlowHole is strangely mesmerising. The fun reaches new heights at Ron Barassi Senior Park. There’s ‘big kid’ slides, tyre swings, rope bridges and sand-play equipment.

Flagstaff Gardens – Bordering the north west of the CBD, the Flagstaff Gardens have been reserved as parklands since 1862, and today the stretches of lawn are the lunch spot of choice for local office workers. Along with those popular lawns, the gardens feature eucalypts and Moreton Bay figs, avenues of elm trees, a bowling lawn, rose beds, tennis courts, sculptures and electric barbecues.

See more at What’s On Melbourne