Parks and gardens in your neighbourhood

A photograph of the Royal Exhibition Building.

Get back to nature in one of our city’s many parks and gardens as Victoria emerges from lockdown.

We have nearly 480 hectares of green space to explore in the City of Melbourne, including bushland, wetlands, suburban reserves and heritage gardens with majestic avenues of trees. 

Here are just a few of the green spaces to explore in your neighbourhood. 

Royal Botanic Gardens

Explore more than 38 hectares of gardens and discover exotic, rare and endangered plant species from around the world. Built in 1846, the Royal Botanic Gardens are a spectacle to behold. 

The new Arid Garden features more than 3,000 cacti and succulents, with activities embedded in the footpaths that reveal fascinating facts about these plants and their importance in a warming climate. 

If you’re in the mood for quiet contemplation, head to the fern gully to explore three lush meditative spaces. 

In this area you will find a sheltered grotto, a Japanese-inspired moss garden, a ‘mother-stone’ fountain and the ‘bird’s nest’, where you can breathe in the green surroundings in a suspended swing chair.  

These are just a few of the attractions at the Royal Botanic Gardens.  

With Guilfoyle’s Volcano, the Melbourne Observatory, the Tropical Glasshouse and numerous lakes, islands, and sculptures dotted around the site, you’re sure to discover something new on your next visit. 

Westgate Park

Wander along the banks of the Birrarung or Yarra River under the Westgate Bridge to discover an expansive reserve with spectacular views of the river and the city skyline. 

Westgate Park is also a great place for birdwatching. Find wading birds like stilts, ibis and spoonbills, as well as swimmers and divers including ducks, gulls, pelicans, swans and moorhens.  

During your visit, look out for sculptures by artist Lyn Moore, made from natural materials and dotted throughout the park.  

Due to a natural presence of algae growing in the salt crust at the bottom, the lake can turn a striking pink colour in summer if the conditions are just right. 

Carlton Gardens

Get your daily exercise amid a World Heritage Site, with a grand backdrop of the Royal Exhibition Building and Melbourne Museum. 

The Carlton Gardens feature formal flowerbeds, plantings in honour of the Dalai Lama, ornamental lakes, and tree-lined avenues with mature European trees that reflect the changing seasons. 

During your visit, don’t miss a photo opportunity with the impressive Victorian-era Hochgurtel Fountain.  

The gardens are also home to a Moreton Bay Fig tree where local Aboriginal people have traditionally met and socialised, a children’s playground and the Carlton Gardens Tennis Courts. 

Royal Park

Bliss out in nature amid 188 hectares of green space at Royal Park, the largest park within the municipality of Melbourne. 

Amid the lightly timbered eucalypt forest, keep your eye out for possums and a huge variety of birdlife, including rosellas, wrens, robins and birds of prey. 

Kids will love the award-winning nature playground. More than just slides and swings – this playground has a sandpit and water-play area, logs, rocks and ropes to climb all over, and a grassy hill for rolling down. 

Royal Park is also home to a vast array of sporting facilities and the Trin Warren Tam-boore wetlands. Trin Warren Tam-boore means ‘bellbird waterhole’, and the place is home to many species of native fauna like ibis and kookaburras.  

Read the signs along the trail to learn all about the creatures that call the wetland home. 

This is just a small glimpse into the many parks, gardens and playgrounds that make Melbourne a great place to live, work and play. 

To find out more, visit Parks. 

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