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Royal Botanical Gardens Melbourne

Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens are at Birdwood Avenue, just across Princes Bridge from the CBD, off St Kilda Road. The Gardens date back to 1846 and over the next 60 years the swampy site was transformed into the world-famous landscape it is today. It really is the Melbourne’s inner city oasis with around 10,000 plant species presenting a kaleidoscope of colour and texture. The sweeping lawns, tranquil lakes and majestic trees are home to an amazing range of wildlife and humans are welcome every day of the year from 7:30am until sunset (entry to the Gardens is free).

The Visitor Centre is located at the Observatory Precinct and provides information on the gardens, maps and brochures, tour bookings, umbrella hire, toilets, lost & found, Jardin Tan and the gift shop. It is open from 9:00am to 5:00pm weekdays and from 9:30am to 5:00pm on weekends and public holidays (closed Christmas Day and New Years Day). Wheelchairs are available from The Visitor Centre (and The Terrace café) with a $50 refundable deposit.

Visit the gift shop to check out the beautiful range of botanic-inspired gifts to help you remember your visit. Proceeds from every purchase go directly towards supporting the work of Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.

Fine food, wine and Melbourne’s most spectacular views come together at The Terrace café. With a sweeping outlook over the Ornamental Lake to Government House, indoor and outdoor dining is delightful. Open for lunch, Devonshire tea, high tea, coffee and cake, The Terrace has seating with backrests and a designated unisex all-abilities toilet.

At Jardin Tan you can explore the vibrant, dynamic flavours of French-Indochina in a warm, welcoming space perfect for a bite with friends, a formal event or a lingering lunch. Jardin Tan represents the truest expression of the farm-to-table philosophy, celebrating the organic, bio-dynamic produce grown on-site within the Gardens.

The Gardens are a great place for picnics with the exception of areas marked private, garden beds, The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden, and areas that have been reserved for private functions. Barbecues are not permitted within the gardens. Free public barbeque facilities line the Yarra River along Alexandra Avenue.

The Gardens are for everyone to enjoy but there are a few things that are not permitted like bicycle or scooter riding, ball games, roller-blading or skate-boarding, climbing trees and jogging. They also ask that visitors refrain from feeding the birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish so they rely on their natural habitat. Dogs are welcome in the Gardens (not the Visitors Centre, Gift Shop or Cafes) but must be supervised and kept on a lead.

A couple of other ‘warnings’ from the Gardens – when standing or sitting near trees, be aware of the unpredictable way in which branches may fall and land. Swimming in or drinking from water features in the gardens is prohibited. Some fungi can be extremely poisonous so don’t gather or consume any mushrooms found in the gardens.

Here is a link to the official Royal Botanic Gardens website.


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