Shake off those winter cobwebs and take in a breath of fresh air among our local natural wonders. Magnolias and daffodils are just the beginning – these spring walks will introduce you to an entire ecosystem of wildlife right on our doorstep
The Fitzroy Gardens are awash with daffodils, jonquils and bluebells at this time of year, as this classic Victorian garden setting shows off its stately grandeur. Pop into the Conservatory for a riot of colour in the Cineraria and Cyclamen Show, while hanging baskets overflow with viola, pansies and primula.
At a massive 170 hectares, Royal Park is the largest green space in the city, uniquely comprised of almost all local native plants. A combination of parkland, woodland and wetland means you could spot well over 250 different birds in the park! Right now wattle season is in full swing, with 26 different species on display within the Trin Warren Tam-boore wetlands
A stroll along the boardwalk through well sign-posted wetlands reveals a complex ecosystem of insect life and water birds, while lizards shelter in the nearby rocks. Check out the Australian Native Garden featuring plants from all over Australia – look out for chocolate lily around the old giant gumtree.
Trade in your lunch al desko for lunch al fresco with a short walk to Treasury Gardens, just behind Spring Street. Better still, jump off the train one stop before Flinders Street at Jolimont and walk through the gardens into the city to get a dose of spring greenery in the morning before you hit the office.
Secret Gardens walk
Across the road from the National Gallery of Victoria on St Kilda Road is the Queen Victoria Gardens. An amazingly tranquil and lush space on the south side of the Yarra River, the winding pathways traverse shady tall trees, sculptures, glorious flower displays and wide green lawns. The Secret Gardens walk goes all the way through the Botanic Gardens and back along the river to Fed Square.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Spring is when the Royal Botanic Gardens are at their peak of beauty, as flowers burst into life. Established in 1846, the park’s diversity ranges from stunning old magnolias and peony varieties to the dramatic shapes of the succulents and cacti of Guilfoyle’s Volcano. Just adjacent are the Arid Gardens where the aloes are in full bloom. On the central lawn are rare and threatened species native to Victoria, grouped into six blooming beds devoted to alps, grasslands, Grampians, Mallee and Eastern Ranges.
Head to the Oak Lawn to check out the new season foliage of the purple-leaved English oaks. Book one of the spring walking tours on offer including ClimateWatch Walk and Gardens Discovery Tour (both free), The Secret Life of Birds, or an Aboriginal Heritage Walk.
Want more ideas?
On the banks of the Yarra in Docklands, Ron Barassi Park is a great place for a weekend picnic, with a playground, barbecue facilities, community pavilion and a walking circuit. Spring colour comes in bright pink from the pigface (carpobrotus) flowers.
Or, download one of our self-guided Melbourne walking itineraries, designed to help you explore the city by foot. Try ‘On the waterfront’, a picturesque route along the Yarra River, ‘A walk in the park’ past cathedrals and the nearby gardens, or the grand terraces and leafy streets of East Melbourne’s ‘Elegant Enclave’.