5 Best Parks & Gardens in Melbourne

Once called the 'Garden State,' Victoria is home to many beautiful gardens.
Content creator for hospitality & tourism. I spent a decade exploring Melbourne, and operated a walking tour company.
Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne 3
Ornamental Lake at the Royal Botanic Gardens

In 1844, Charles La Trobe (the colony’s first Lieutenant Governor) received a request from the Melbourne council asking for parks to be built close to the town, where they could ‘conveniently take recreation therein after their daily labor.’

The 500 acres that La Trobe reserved included Royal Park, The Domain, Fitzroy Gardens, Fawkner Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens. This partly lead to Victorian being crowned ‘The Garden State.’

Now you can wander through these beautiful parks and gardens, just a stone’s throw from the city centre.

Birdwood Avenue, Melbourne

Free

Highly recommended

Wandering The Royal Botanic Gardens is one of the best things to do in Melbourne, and it’s completely free.

These beautiful gardens stretch over 89 acres, and are filled with 50,000 individual plants representing 8,500 different species.

It’s very easy to get lost, even for locals, so grab a map at the information centre and allocate several house for exploration.

Within the Royal Botanic Gardens is an ornamental lake. This is where Punting on the Lake will take you for a relaxing boat ride, all while telling you some interesting stories.

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Hidden bars, beautiful views, lush gardens, and so much more.

Carlton Gardens

Carlton St, Carlton

Free

Highly recommended

The Carlton Gardens is a world heritage-listed garden spanning over 64 acres. Home to the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Museum and IMAX Cinema – it’s a beautiful place to walk around, and a popular picnic location for locals.

Carlton gardens feature ornamental lakes, flowerbeds, elaborate fountains, and many lush trees.

Kings Domain

Alexandra Ave, Melbourne

Free

Kings Domain is just south of the city centre and features some of Melbourne’s most iconic landmarks. Extending from St Kilda Road to the Yarra River, it’s home to The Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Government House and the Shrine of Remembrance.

As you explore the parklands, look out for the memorial to Weary Dunlop – a doctor who served in WWII – the cottage of Governor La Trobe, and also the popular Tan running circuit.

Kings Domain also extends to the Royal Botanic Gardens, so it’s easy to visit them both.

Related:

Expert tips for tourists, from a local.

Fitzroy Gardens

Wellington Parade, East Melbourne

Free

Just east of the city centre are the Fitzroy Gardens, one of the country’s main Victorian-era gardens.

Home to many points of interest, including an ornamental lake, conservatory, cafe, and Cook’s Cottage. The latter is the house where James Cook’s parents lived; it was transported to Australia from England in the 1930s.

Flagstaff Gardens

309-311 William St, West Melbourne

Free

The oldest park in Melbourne, Flagstaff Gardens is commonly visited by residents, local workers and tourists.

Named after the flagstaff that once stood on its hills, it would signal ships sailing into port.

Flagstaff Gardens is now home to an underground train station, tennis courts, bowling lawns, and barbeques.

About the author:

Taylor B

Taylor B

Taylor was born and raised in Tasmania. He moved to Melbourne to study Film & television, and went on to start a marketing agency for hospitality. Whilst in Melbourne he also founded a walking tour company. He has a love for rock 'n' roll bars & New York-style pizza. In 2020 he was amongst the top 1% of Frank Sinatra listeners on Spotify.
Contents: Parks & Gardens

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