Melbourne and Victoria are home to some of the most impressive gardens in the southern hemisphere to visit right throughout the year.
Roam amongst nature in some of the best nearby gardens, or even take a short-day trip to explore regional Victoria. Discover cool gardens, botanical wonders and those that are the best photo backdrop you’ll find.
I have put together a list of the most extraordinary gardens in Melbourne. Plan out your free time and explore what is on offer.
Best Gardens Melbourne
Cloudehill Gardens is a stunning European-style garden close to the Dandenong Botanic Gardens. Wander through charming walled grounds and hedgerows admiring the perennial blooms.
Seasons Restaurant overlooks the gardens, and serves up a delicious fare. After your meal, take a walk around the gardens and soak in the view.
Entry fee to Cloudehill Gardens is $12.50 per adult and free for under 16s and Digger’s members.
Cloudehill Gardens, 89 Olinda-Monbulk Road, Olinda VIC 3788, 03 9751 0168, firstname.lastname@example.org
Home to Australia’s largest collection of local and international rhododendrons and amazing native and exotic flora – the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Gardens are magnificent.
The cool-climate gardens have incredible views over the Yarra Valley and are a great short day trip. You can bring a picnic lunch and wander through the sculptured gardens to Serenity Point.
There is a 25-minute ‘Garden Explorer’ tour and admission is free for everyone.
Dandenong Ranges Botanic Gardens, The Georgian Road, Olinda VIC 3788
Como House Gardens are situated just outside of the city in South Yarra. As part of the historic Como House, the prestigious estate offers a look into a bygone era.
Formerly owned by the Armytage family, the grand estate hosted dances, dinners and receptions among Melbourne’s high society. The artfully preserved home has pretty gardens and there are guided tours daily.
Entry is free for National Trust members, $15 for adults, $12 concession and $9 for children.
Como House Gardens, Corner Williams Road and Lechlade Avenue, South Yarra VIC 3141, 03 9656 9889
The magical Rippon Lea Estate Gardens are a breathtaking spot for a picnic or a stroll. Housing the original ferneries in Melbourne they carry a marvellous history.
The garden covers 14 acres of grounds with a lake, orchards, flower gardens and lookouts. You can wander across lawns and find tennis courts, a boat house, and the historic mansion.
Residents of Glen Eira or Port Phillip can gain free entry. For those living outside these areas, the fee is $15 or $12 for students.
Rippon Lea House and Gardens, 192 Hotham Street, Elsternwick VIC 3185, 03 9523 6095, email@example.com
Relax and unwind at the breathtaking The Garden at Broughton Hall where you can switch off and leave with a calmer mind.
This sublime masterpiece, created in 1996, is an awe among botanical gardens. Featuring an eclectic planting scheme, the garden can be rented for events, functions, photo shoots or a casual visit.
There is a tea house for morning or afternoon tea, and guided tours are available for groups of 20 or more. You will find the onsite nursery, Muskers, where you can buy plants to take home for your own garden.
The Garden ad Broughton Hall, 125 Palmer Road, Jindivick, VIC 3818, 0417 056 110, firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Burnley Gardens (University of Melbourne)
Burnley Gardens is a heritage listed garden that has been open to the public since 1860. A place for research and education with the University of Melbourne, you can uncover unique flower species.
These gardens are perfect for botanists and flower enthusiasts with species from rainforest plants to natives, roses, and herb gardens!
The public gardens do have space to accommodate picnics, but groups of 8 – 10 or more are encouraged to book.
Burnley Gardens, 500 Yarra Blvd, Burnley VIC 3121, 3 9035 68000, Friends.email@example.com
Established by Sunday and John Reed, Heide Healing Gardens is the perfect place for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Created to maximise wellbeing, the garden has been planted with seasonality and climate at the centre of its design. The different elements take in a sensory experience that is physically accessible across the grounds.
Heide Healing Gardens works in partnership with community groups, aged care facilities and disability services. Entry is free for members, $22 for adults and $17 for concession and seniors.
Heide Healing Gardens, 7 Templestowe Road, Bulleen VIC 3105, 03 9850 1500, firstname.lastname@example.org
For short day trips to the Dandenongs, visit the Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens. They were donated as public gardens after the death of the popular businessman who created them.
They are renowned for the remarkable mountain ash trees and water features. The colours in autumn are magical! Walk around the lake, mossy ponds and rockeries while viewing the gentle waterfalls.
You can take a picnic for lunch on one of the lawns or tables and entry is free.
Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens, 1A Sherbrooke Road, Sherbrooke VIC 3789, 131 963
Step into a piece of Melbourne’s history and visit Werribee Park where you will discover the heritage-listed Werribee Mansion and its extensive grounds
There are formal gardens that lead onto beautifully manicured lawns, an ornamental lake and 5,000 roses that make up the Victoria State Rose Garden. The orchards that were planted in the late 1800s have now been preserved and restored.
Entry fees for the garden are free. For other parts of the estate they are $11.10 for adults, $8.00 for children and concession and $34.80 for families.
Werribee Park, Main Drive, Werribee South VIC 3030, 131 963
For extensive botanical gardens in Melbourne, wander through the Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne.
Walk or cycle through the award-winning landscape with more than 100,000 plants and 1,900 varieties. They feature over 450 indigenous plant species and there is a lookout tower, shelters, barbecues, and playgrounds.
Visitor and self-guided walks are available, and admission is free.
Cranbourne Botanic Gardens, Ballarto Road and Botanic Drive, Cranbourne, 03 5990 2200, email@example.com
11. Fitzroy Gardens
Established in the 1860s, Fitzroy Gardens was one of the first in Melbourne designed with respite and relaxation in mind.
Stroll through towering canopies of trees, ornamental lakes, and lush garden landscapes.
The Aboriginal Heritage listed Redgum Scarred Tree can be found in the south-east section, and the watercourse winds through the centre of the gardens.
Children will love the Fairies Tree and the model Tudor Village. Entry is free.
Fitzroy Gardens, Wellington Parade, East Melbourne VIC 3002, 03 9658 9658
12. Carlton Gardens
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, and surrounding the Melbourne Museum are the spectacular Carlton Gardens.
Avenues of trees lead you to grand buildings from a former era, behind the stunning fountains. Ramble through rows of trees, colourful garden beds and lakes or sit for a while and enjoy the view.
The significant Moreton Bay fig sits stoically near Gertrude Street, a meeting place for the Aboriginal community for generations.
Carlton Gardens has a tennis club, basketball court, picnic area and a children’s playground. The public gardens are free for entry.
Carlton Gardens, 1-111 Carlton Street, Carlton VIC 3053, 03 9658 9658
Steeped in cultural significance, the topography of Flagstaff Gardens is important to Indigenous Australians.
It was the site of Melbourne’s first colonial burial ground and later formed part of the signalling system for ships sailing into Williamstown.
The pretty gardens feature rows of elm trees, Moreton Bay figs and eucalypts. There are lovely garden beds, shrubs and lawns that are popular for picnics.
You can find a playground, tennis courts, a bowling green and barbecues and of course there is no entry fee.
Fitzroy Gardens, 309-311 William Street, West Melbourne VIC 3003, 03 9658 9658
Tranquil gardens nearby to the CBD are located at the Queen Victoria Gardens – part of the Domain Parklands.
You can view a marble and granite statue of the gardens’ namesake, and see the magnificent Floral Clock! Walk through pathways flanked with low-growing floral garden beds, ornamental ponds, and sculptures.
There is no entry fee to the public park, which is across St Kilda Road from the Arts Centre Melbourne.
Queen Victoria Gardens, St Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC 3004, 03 9658 9658
Part of the fabric of Melbourne for more that 170 years, the Royal Botanical Gardens Melbourne are a breathtaking way to spend your time.
It is home to more than 8,500 plant species and used for education, science, conservation, and horticulture. Amongst the native and international varieties you can see succulents, camellias, roses, rainforest species, herbs and more.
There is a children’s garden, perfect for mini horticulturalists with Seek and Find Nature Cards and entry is free.
Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Birdwood Avenue, Melbourne VIC 3000
You must be quick to view the Blue Lotus Water Garden, as it is only open between late December and early April.
The short-day trip is worth the planning and the wait as the lotus gardens are a wonderful way to spend the day! There are over 40 different ponds and lakes of waterlilies, lotus flowers and water features. It is the largest in the southern hemisphere!
Inside the four greenhouses, exotic plants are cultivated including the Giant Amazon Lily.
Tickets can be purchased online, and you are encouraged to buy in advance to avoid disappointment.
Blue Lotus Water Garden, 2628 Warburton Highway, Yarra Junction VIC 3797, 03 5967 2061, firstname.lastname@example.org
Roam along dream-like wooded paths amongst gum trees that tower to the sky, while hearing native birdsong at Yarran Dheran Nature Reserve.
The tranquil reserve connects to Mullum Mullum Creek Reserve and the Easter Link Trail and while it is so close to the EastLink, it feels miles away. Surrounded by noise dampening walls, you can see and hear over 85 bird species – or even see a koala.
The park is popular with walkers, runners and cyclists, and is perfect no matter what your speed is.
Yarran Dheran Nature Reserve, Mitcham Melbourne 3132
18. Cactus Country
Cactus lovers can surround themselves with prickly friends at the largest cactus garden in Australia, Cactus Country!
The outstanding gardens are a three-hour drive from Melbourne and home to over 12 acres of gardens with cacti and succulents. Take a stroll through trails that have been grown for over 40 years, and feature a huge variety of the species!
There is a café on site with Mexican food including a cactus cake and ice cream. You could also take home your own cuttings to start your collection.
Garden entry prices start from $20.
Get amongst the fragrant purple hues in the rows of quaint lavender at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm!
The pretty gardens are in full bloom from mid-Summer through to Autumn and you can see the farmers harvest the crop by hand. Stretching over 100 acres it includes a creek, historic buildings, and garden beds.
A wonderful spot for a summer picnic, Lavandula Farm is picture-perfect. There is a $5 entry fee for adults and $1 for school aged children.
Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm, 350 Hepburn-Newstead Road, Shepherds Flat VIC 3461, 03 5476 4393, email@example.com
20. Treasury Gardens
Against the backdrop of the bustling city, Treasury Gardens offers a pretty place to ramble or stop for a while and relax.
Admire the rows of Moreton Bay figs, deciduous elms, poplars and oak trees that form incredible cathedrals. Stroll amongst the palms and conifers and see monuments to John F Kennedy, Sir William Clarke, and prominent Victorian politicians.
A short walk from Victoria’s Parliament House, entry to Treasury Gardens is free.
Treasury Gardens, 2-18 Spring Street, East Melbourne VIC 3002, 03 9658 9658
The national war memorial of Victoria is awe-inspiring. It opened in 1934 and honours all Australian service men and women after the First World War.
The Shrine of Remembrance has a scavenger hunt for children with Shrine Kids activity cards, and Last Post Services occur every Sunday at 4.45pm. There are Ray of Light demonstrations and galleries.
Guided tours are available for a fee from $20 per adult and $15 per concession.
Shrine of Remembrance, Birdwood Ave Melbourne 3001, 03 9661 8100, firstname.lastname@example.org