De-stress at a Park

20 March 2020
De-stress at a Park

We need your help compiling our list of Victoria’s best public parks and gardens! 

We realise some of these are shut for the time being under Covid-19 containment measures, and even those that are open are for exercise these days rather than picnics and lingering.

Nevertheless, we’d love you to send us the name of your favourite public park or garden in Victoria so we have a fabulous list for when things get back to normal. Even better, flick us a photo, and we’ll share the best here for everyone to enjoy. 

Keep checking this post - it’ll get bigger and better as we add your contributions. 

Send us your favourites

The list of Victoria’s parks and gardens is long, so we need your help.  Contact us  with what we’ve missed, along with a photo and we’ll pick the best to share. We’ll list your name as the contributor unless you state otherwise.

Before you visit, be sure to use the links for the latest information on closures and admission fees, if applicable. 

Here’s our shortlist to get the ball rolling.

Dandenong Ranges

In the Dandenong Ranges, our favourites are:

Alfred Nicholas Gardens – 1A Sherbrooke Road, Sherbrooke. Entry free.

Walking trails wind through this scenic, wooded garden park with a boathouse, waterfalls and islands. 

Photo: The iconic boathouse at Alfred Nicholas Gardens

Cloudehill – 89 Olinda-Monbulk Road, Olinda. Entry $10.

A four seasons garden where you can get lost in the themed garden rooms, discover iconic art pieces of well-acclaimed artists and quietly walk through the adjoining private garden to view the native lyrebirds. There’s also the opportunity for retail therapy at The Diggers Club Garden Shop.

Photo: Cloudehill

George Tindale Memorial Gardens – 33 Sherbrooke Road, Sherbrooke. Entry free.

The garden offers something new in each season. Their website describes ‘a myriad of flowers in spring; hydrangeas, liliums and fuchsias in summer; a canopy of gold, red, orange and burgundy in autumn and the flowers of the Lenten Rose or Hellebore beneath flowering shrubs in winter’. 

Pirianda Gardens – Hacketts Road, Olinda. Entry free.

This terraced garden is distinctive for its combination of botanically important trees, shrubs and perennials with an over storey of large blackwoods and mountain ash towering over the natural fern gullies.

Macedon Ranges

For cool climate gardens in the Macedon Ranges there are many gardens to choose from which are open to the public such as:

Bringalbit Historic Gardens – 512 Sidonia Road, Sidonia via Kyneton. Entry $5. Open to the public on weekends or weekdays by appointment.

A unique part of Australia’s rural history, this 1870s stone homestead, woolshed, stables and outbuildings are a remainder of times past. Huge old trees, ornamental lake and delightful gardens provide a rare setting of peace and tranquility.

Forest Glade Gardens – 816 Mount Macedon Road, Mount Macedon. Entry $10.

A lush, scenic garden with English and Japanese sections, plus a woodland area and fern gully. Open every day of the year except days of total fire ban.

Forest glade
Photo: Laburnum arch at Forest Glade

Tieve Tara - 751 Mount Macedon Road, Mount Macedon. Entry $10.

A truly picturesque 7.5 acres featuring lush grounds, a whimsical playground, lakes, geese and fountains. Open spring and autumn.

There are lots of awesome year-round gardens to explore in other areas.

Free Entry Parks and Gardens

These gardens are all free entry:

Brimbank Park – Keilor Park Drive, East Keilor

Part of the Maribyrnong Valley Parklands offering ideal settings for picnics, extensive network of trails, fishing, canoeing and bird watching, and a 'Playscape' haven for creative play that will inspire children and their families to connect with nature.

Footscray Park – Ballarat Road, Footscray

Hedgeley Dene Gardens – Glenbrook Avenue, Malvern East

Situated amidst beautiful residential gardens and period houses, one of Malvern's most attractive and popular gardens – an established and well-maintained combination of lawns, deciduous and broadleaf trees and an ornamental lake.

Lambley Gardens and Nursery – 395 Lesters Road, Ascot

David Glenn’s renowned and inspirational complex of vegetable, flower and ornamental gardens are a benchmark in dry-climate and sustainable gardening set in the central Victorian Goldfields. 

Lambley photo-6
Photo: Lambley Gardens

Maranoa Gardens – Yarrabat Avenue, Balwyn

With some 5000 plants, most of which are named, Maranoa Gardens is a National Trust registered garden recognised as an important part of Australian gardening history.

Seawinds Gardens – 21 Purves Road, Arthurs Seat

Historic gardens featuring expansive views, and walking paths. 

Victoria Gardens – 361 High Street, Prahran

Victoria Gardens is a two hectare urban parkland, which still retains many elements of its original Victorian character.

Victorian State Rose Garden – Gate 2, K Rd, Werribee South VIC 3030 

As their website states, 'with over 5000 roses (covering about 5 hectares), the Victoria State Rose Garden is one of the tourist gems of Victoria'. March is a great time to see lots of roses blooming. Why not visit for a relaxing wander in the fresh air? It is easy to keep away from other visitors in the spacious surroundings. (Contributed by Stefanie Pearce)

Entry fee Gardens

These gardens have an entry fee:

Alowyn Gardens – 1210 Melba Highway, Yarra Glen. Entry $10.

Lovely gardens with great nursery and café.

Buda House gardens - 42 Hunter Street, Castlemaine

One of the most significant large nineteenth century, early twentieth century gardens surviving in Victoria with nursery stocking heritage, drought-hardy plants, fruit trees and native plants. Entry $12 Adult $10 Concession $5 children (under 5yrs free) $30 Family includes admission to historic home. Admission to nursery free.

Garden of St Erth – 189 Simmons Reef Road, Blackwood. Entry to wander through St Erth gardens is free for Diggers Club members and children under 16; otherwise entry $10. There is no entry charge to visit the shop or café.

St Erth-5
Photo: Garden of St Erth

Heronswood – 105 Latrobe Parade, Dromana. Entry into the gardens, gallery and restaurant is free for Diggers Club members and children under 16; otherwise Entry $10. There is no entry charge to visit the shop. 

Rippon Lea – 192 Hotham Street, Elsternwick VIC 3185. Entry $10.

A large 19th century mansion surrounded by 7 hectares of Victorian pleasure gardens, listed on the National Heritage Register as one of the finest examples of original suburban estate and gardens.

Rippon Lea-7
Photo: Rippon Lea garden in early spring

Botanic Gardens

And of course, our wonderful public Botanic Gardens which are open to the public with no entry fee:

Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne – Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra

Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne – Ballarto Road, Cranbourne

Cranbourne bot gardens
Photo: Rediscover the stunning Australian Garden at Cranbourne 

Ballarat Botanical Gardens – Wendouree Parade, Lake Wendouree

Benalla Botanical Gardens – Bridge Street, West Benalla

Bendigo Botanic Gardens – 559 Napier Street, White Hills

Burnley Gardens (University of Melbourne) – 500 Yarra Boulevard, Burnley

Camperdown Botanic Gardens – Park Road, Camperdown

Castlemaine Botanical Gardens - 2 Walker Street, Castlemaine

Colac Botanic Gardens – cnr Fyans and Gellibrand Streets, Colac

Geelong Botanic Gardens – Eastern Park Drive East Geelong

Geelong Botanic Garden 21st Century -4
Photo: 21st century design in Geelong Botanic Gardens

Hamilton Botanic Gardens – French Street, Hamilton

Karwarra Australian Plant Garden - Rear Kalorama Memorial Reserve, 1190-1196 Mt Dandenong Tourist Road, Kalorama 

Kyneton Botanic Gardens - Mollison Street, Kyneton  

Established 1858 with many large magnificent specimen trees, including 17 heritage-listed. The Community Playground designed by Andrew Laidlaw next door is wonderful too. Take a walk along the Campaspe River trail that is the lower boundary of both attractions. (Contributed by Megan Heymann)

Melton Botanic Garden – 40 Lakewood Boulevard, Melton

Portland Botanical Gardens – Bentinck Street, Portland

Sale Botanic Gardens – Guthridge Parade, Sale

Sale Botanic gardens Swagman sculpture in the elm forest (1)
Photo: Sale Botanic Gardens, contributed by Heather Harrington, taken by Val Walker

St Kilda Botanical Gardens – Blessington Street, St Kilda

Warrnambool Botanic Gardens – Botanic Road, Warrnambool

Williamstown Botanic Gardens – cnr Giffard and Osborne Streets, Williamstown

Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens – Frazer Street, Daylesford

Wombat Hill-fernery
Photo: Fernery at Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens

Wilson Botanic Park - 668 Princess Highway, Berwick

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