It’s hard to believe that these amazing grounds in the Victoria state of Australia were once unusable swamp land outside of the city of Melbourne.
Now, these beautiful and calming gardens, which are the Royal Botanic Gardens of Melbourne, are the perfect place to raise the spirit of the groggy, jet-lagged traveller.
While the locals will tell you there’s not much to see in winter (June to August in this hemisphere of the world), we Canucks would tend to disagree.
These botanical gardens contain one of Australia’s most important collections of native plants, which are creatively spread over 363 hectares in Melbourne’s outer south-east. It also houses species from outside of Australia, including this gorgeous bamboo garden.
Because we were in off-season, there were no crowds, and it really felt quite magical. Especially the Children’s Garden. It was seriously magical. No plastic, no cartoon characters. Just the magic of nature.
Children would run up this path pictured above, drop a twig into the water stream and race it down to the end. Both of our kids, aged 11 and 6, were completely captivated by the place and did not want to leave!
We were on a budget, so we didn’t plan on dining here at the Gardens, but the terrace restaurant looked really lovely if you were on a couple’s trip. You can enjoy a full lunch or a Devonshire Tea while taking in the views.
Another locale that was particularly inviting was the Plant Craft Cottage. Run entirely by volunteers, this cottage aims to keep crafts made from plants alive by offering workshops and sharing their knowledge.
All of us thoroughly enjoyed visiting these botanical gardens. I would highly recommend the same for you and yours if you happen to land in this area of the world.
Are you going to go? Awesome-sauce!
- Bring a backpack with snacks and drinks. There are a number of beautiful rest stops created just for this purpose.
- If you’re coming with children in winter, bring a hand-towel so that your kids can happily throw their shoes off in the Children’s Garden and you can dry their feet off afterwards before wrestling socks back on.
- If you or someone in your party has a physical disability, you can book a wheelchair to make your visit easier — no charge, only a $50 fully refundable deposit upon its return.
Website for more info: http://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/visit-melbourne