Founded in 1846, the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne is an inner-city oasis comprising 38 hectares of garden beds, lakes and sweeping lawns. It is home to 52,000 individual plants representing more than 10,000 species from around the world.
Attracting over 1.4 million visitors annually, the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne has stunning vistas, tranquil lakes and diverse plant collections.
The Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne is home to both amazing and diverse plant collections such as camellias, rainforest flora, succulents and cacti, roses, Californian species, herbs, perennials, cycads and plants from Southern China.
The Gardens also provide a natural sanctuary for native wildlife such as the black swans, eels, bell birds, cockatoos and kookaburras.
The Gardens owes its botanic and heritage and landscape beauty to the first two Directors. Ferdinand von Mueller was one of the greatest 19th Century botanists, who introduced a vast array of plants to the Gardens and established the National Herbarium of Victoria. William Guilfoyle was an inspired landscape designer, who created the scenic panoramas that visitors enjoy today.
A popular attraction is The Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden. The Children's Garden has everything that children could possibly want to help them discover the natural world: plant tunnels that they can crawl through, rocks that they can climb and a bamboo forest in which they can hide.
Open every day of the year:
7.30am to 8.30pm November to March
7.30am to 6.00pm April, September and October
7.30am to 5.30pm May to August
Note: Tropical Display in the Glasshouse is open daily: 10am - 4pm.
The Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden
Open: 10am - 4pm, Wednesday to Sunday
10am - 4pm, seven days per week during Victorian State School holidays
Closed: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day and Good Friday
For two months at the end of the Victorian July School Holidays (Victorian State Schools) for rest and maintenance.
A trip to the Botanic Gardens should be on your to do list. There is a huge variety of landscapes and areas of interest. Top of the list for most kids would be the Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden.
There are a few eating places in the Gardens. The Terrace overlooks the Ornamental Lake and has indoor and outdoor dining. Jardin Tan has a French-Indochina theme. Neither are fast food places which are ideal for families with young children.
If the kids get a bit tired they can ride the Garden Explorer train and listen to the commentary about the Gardens. Tours start at the grand Oak Lawn. Tickets are available from the Visitor Centre, Lakeside Gardens Shop or the driver. The rides typically start at 10am and the last ride is at 3pm. The cost is about $15 for an adult and $35 for a family.
Another activity for the family is to take a punt ride on the Ornamental Lake. Tours leave from the Landing opposite the Terrace. Fees apply.