Are you seeking new garden ideas? Can your heart use a lift? We have the perfect answer for both. Australia's public gardens will spark your creativity and send your spirit soaring! Here are 10 of the best, embodying thrilling glory!
Adelaide Botanic Garden, Adelaide - SA
At this urban oasis, you'll be enchanted by the exotic plants and wildlife. In the International Rose Garden, pick out your favourite blushing beauty from among those tested for local suitability. In the Garden of Health, you'll learn about plants that both cure and prevent disease. Other fascinating plantings are the Little Sprouts Kitchen Garden and Economic Garden.
Architecture is astounding, exemplified by the Bicentennial Conservatory, Palm House, and Amazon Waterlily Pavilion. Take a free guided tour, offered daily at 10:30am, or a self-guided audio tour using your mobile.
Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney - NSW
Created by Chinese landscape architects, this garden is the fruit of the sisterhood between Australia and China. Situated in Darling Harbour, winding paths meander among lakes, waterfalls, and exotic plants. Chinese design elements are ornate pavilions, pagodas, and a Dragon Wall. Try to allow two hours, to include refreshments at the Tea House. Here are six additional reasons to visit the Garden of Friendship.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne - VIC
At this internationally acclaimed garden, you'll see plants from around the globe. The diverse collection includes camellias, roses, herbs, perennials, and succulents. In the Children's Garden, kids interact with nature through the water play area, plant tunnels, and kitchen garden.
Other highlights are the Australian Rainforest Walk, Long Island, and Fern Gully. Enjoy the spectacular vistas on foot or take a tour by open-air bus, stopping at points along the way. Seasonal events are the Moonlight Cinema, exhibitions, theatre performances, and observatory tours of the night sky.
Southeast of Melbourne, in the suburb of Cranbourne, a second division of the Royal Botanic Gardens is dedicated to native plants. Here's the current schedule of events at both locations.
Werribee Park, Werribee - VIC
Formal gardens grace the Italianate mansion at Werribee Park, just a 30-minute drive from Melbourne. Take the audio tour, recreating 1870s rural life on the grand estate. Within the 60-room mansion, you'll see preserved possessions of the wealthy Chirnside family.
On the grounds, stroll through the sculpture walk, grotto, and rose garden. You're welcome to picnic on the Great Lawn. The landscape also hosts a lake and heritage orchard. The original farmyard has been restored, including captivating artifacts and bluestone buildings. Here are details of park features.
Kings Park Botanic Garden, Perth - WA
Tucked within the largest inner-city park in the world, this garden will inspire you with landscaping ideas. In the Backyard Botanicals section, you'll see easy-grow species, along with rare varieties. A heart-stirring landmark is the memorial fountain in honor of pioneer women. Tread Lotterywest through the park for a lofty overview. The path includes a pedestrian bridge for sweeping views of the city!
Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mount Coot-tha, Toowong - QLD
This haven is a 15-minute drive from central Brisbane. The grounds include a fragrance garden, waterfalls, bamboo grove, Japanese gardens, and rainforest. Separate greenhouses are dedicated to cacti, bonsai, ferns, and tropical plants. Kids will be giggling on the Hide 'n' Seek Trail!
Arrive by 10:30am on a weekday, and you can take the free mini-bus tour. Guided walks are conducted daily at 11am and 1pm, departing from the Information Kiosk. Most weekends, horticultural shows take place in the Auditorium. The garden also hosts Story Time, poetry readings, art shows, and photography workshops. Here are attraction details.
Australian National Botanic Gardens, Canberra - ACT
Situated at the base of Black Mountain, this sanctuary encompasses the world’s largest display of native Australian plants. Numerous trails lead through the themed sections, many of them wheelchair-accessible.
On the Main Path, you'll see charming birds. Other paths you'll want to explore are the Rainforest Walk, Flower to Tower, and Eucalyptus Discovery. The Bushland Nature Walk offers views of Canberra City and Parliament House. The Children's Discovery Trail has activity stations, teaching the importance of plants for animal life.
Enjoy a picnic at designated tables or eat in the café, serving healthy fare. Special events are offered year-round. Here's the current schedule.
Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney - NSW
This immense garden hugs Sydney Harbour. At its heart is Palm Grove Centre, housing the Visitors Centre, café, restaurant, and bookshop. Sectioned into four precincts, the landscape forms a natural amphitheatre around Farm Cove. The garden is so large, you may want to tour one quadrant per visit. Here are section highlights:
● Lower Gardens - Oriental Garden, main ponds, and Maiden Pavilion.
● Middle Gardens - Succulent Garden, Rare and Threatened Plant Garden, Begonia Garden, Spring Walk, and Palm House.
● Palace Gardens - Rainforest Walk, Rose Garden and Pavilion, Pioneer Memorial Garden, Old Mill Garden, and Herb Garden.
● Bennelong Precinct - Australian Native Rockery.
In 2016, celebrating the institution's 200th birthday, The Calyx was installed. Dubbed "the largest living green wall in the Southern Hemisphere," the exhibit changes every nine months. Here are details of garden features.
Australian Inland Botanic Gardens, Buronga - NSW
Considered Australia's most distinctive botanic garden, this attraction displays specimens from every continent except Antarctica. The collection includes exotic, rare, and endangered varieties, with plants grouped by region of origin.
The semi-arid woodland is rooted in red loam, the landscape peppered with ancient eucalypt trees. Take a self-guided tour, and visit Bush Chapel. The Children's Garden is also unique, with equipment made from recycled materials. Look for the "Wow Tree," estimated to be 2,500 years old! The centerpiece of the grounds is a magnificent rose garden, showcasing over 1,600 plants.
A farmers market takes place on first and third Saturdays, from 8am-12pm. On fourth Saturdays, the garden serves a delicious breakfast from 8:30am-11am. A tractor-train tour is offered every Saturday at 11am.
Cowra Japanese Garden, Cowra - NSW
Worries vanish upon entering this breathtaking landscape! The garden is a labor of love, uniting residents of Cowra and Japan. Asian features are a bonsai house, tea house, stone lanterns, and footbridges. Enhancing the garden's serenity are lakes, streams, waterfalls, and sweet birdsong.
Other Japanese highlights are a Bonsho Bell and Edo Cottage. Manicured hedges add soft contours to rolling hills. You're welcome to feed the koi fish from lakeside platforms. You'll leave this lush haven feeling exhilarated!
Michael Fulkerson is a content creator for home improvement and DIY online magazines, as well as a handyman himself. He is also part of Wide Span Sheds online community and content team, who have been delivering top of the line steel building solutions since 2007.