What better way to spend a long weekend than in Melbourne’s beautiful parks and gardens. To help you get started, here are eight locations for your next great meander.
Queen Victoria Gardens
Discover the huge floral clock, consisting of more than 7,000 flowering plants at Queen Victoria Gardens. 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.
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.
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.
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.
There is so much to love about the Carlton Gardens, starting with the much-admired Royal Exhibition Building. 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.
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.
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.