Established in 1857 the Bendigo Botanic Gardens are almost as old as Bendigo itself with the site appearing on a 1854 plan of the White Hills township just a couple of years after gold was first discovered in Bendigo in 1851.
The Gardens are Bendigo’s first public gardens and were included on the Victorian Heritage Register in 2001 due to their historical, architectural, scientific, botanical, aesthetic and social significance.
Bird Aviary - The walk through bird aviary is home to several species of seed eating Australian parrots. Of particular interest are the two "long-tailed" Parrot species that are threatened in the wild - the "Superb" and "Princess" Parrots. The aviary is open 8am to 4pm weekdays, closed weekends and public holidays.
Picnic Pavilion - Built in the early 1900s, the Pavilion has seen much use over the years, especially for family picnics, school break-ups and reunions. It is still popular with picnickers to this day and can accommodate large groups. The Pavilion is a structure of important heritage significance and it was included on the Victorian Heritage Register in March 2001.
Billabong - The billabong that can be seen today was originally part of the Bendigo Creek, which used to meander through the Gardens. In the 1870s when the creek was straightened a bend that was left over was incorporated into the Botanic Gardens as a wetland feature. It is the only original section of the creek that has survived in Bendigo and is therefore highly significant. Some original indigenous trees flank the banks of the billabong and it has recently been revegetated with indigenous plantings. Many local birds have made the billabong their home.
Tree Collection - The Built on Gold Garden has an eclectic assortment of trees which include native species from around Australia as well as a variety of Pines, Elms, Oaks and Poplars. A number of trees are listed as individually significant in the Heritage Council of Victoria’s registration of the gardens. Interpretive signage has recently been installed in the garden, so you can learn more about individual species during your visit.
Grape Walk - The grape arbour or Grape Walk that can be seen in the Gardens today is a reinterpretation of a structure that used to exist in the gardens many decades ago. Grapes are being grown to eventually cover the arbour as they did in the past creating a sheltered and shaded cool place in an otherwise hot environment.
Play Space - This enchanting play space is inspired by 19th century gardens and Lewis Carrolls popular childrens book Alice in Wonderland. It features a series of garden rooms enclosed by hedges and encourages children to explore and play imaginatively. In the Secret Garden, children will discover treasures such as the hidden mirror, fallen branch, water-play hand pump and special child-size mushroom table and chairs. They can play croquet on the roly-poly lawn, climb to the top of the fort and pretend to be the king or queen in the oversize throne chairs.
Cottage Garden - Early gardens of the central Victorian goldfields were filled with fragrance, colour and variety. In fact, in the Nineteenth Century there was a greater diversity of plants available than there is now. This collection brings together many plants typically grown in the era, and only includes plants known to have been available at the time. While it includes old favourites like roses, there are also some plants here that are rarely seen in modern gardens.
Lavender Collection - The Gardens hold the National Lavender Collection which was previously held by Yuulong Lavender Estate near Mt Egerton, in Victoria. This significant collection consists of over 80 cultivars from 11 different species of lavender. The display showcases the diversity of lavender and there are a range of sizes, forms and colours represented. The Friends of the Bendigo Botanic Gardens helped grow the collection by propagating new lavender plants from the original stock plants.
Arch of Triumph - he heritage listed "Arch of Triumph" is an inspiring memorial which was initiated by local residents to commemorate those who left the area to serve in the ‘Great War’, World War One. Funds were raised by the novel method of members of the public purchasing token ‘bricks’. The Arch was officially opened in May 1925.
7:30am to 9pm (Daylight Savings Time)
7:30am to 6pm (EST)
A lovely location with a range of interesting elements including the large Arch of Triumph entrance, labyrinth, lavender garden, collection of interesting trees and bushes (many of them labelled), aviary (not open on the weekend) and a billabong.
There is a lovely Play Space with an Alice in Wonderland theme which includes a small water play area with a hand pump.
There are information boards scattered about and toilets, large Pavilion, water tap, BBQ and picnic tables.
The Gardens have gates which are locked outside the opening times. Bikes are allowed but please ride slowly.