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Fitzroy Gardens, East Melbourne, Melbourne
Photograph: Josie Withers

The best parks in Melbourne

These inner-city oases will help you get in touch with your green side

By Time Out editors

Craving some closeness to Mother Nature? There's nothing like a romp through a local CBD park to restore some balance. Next time you're sick of the sight of concrete, head straight to these green spots – all of which are conveniently located either in the centre of the city or just outside it.

According to advice from the Department of Health, Victorians can currently only leave their houses for four reasons: to get food and supplies, to get care or give care, to exercise, or to work if it can't be done at home. Exercise can only be done within 5km of your house. Please check with the DHHS for more information.

Looking for something off the beaten path? We've also rounded up the best secret gardens near Melbourne

The best Melbourne parks

1. Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

Things to do Melbourne

If there’s anywhere you can escape the madness of the city CBD without actually leaving it, the Royal Botanic Gardens is the place. Located on the city’s fringe, this expansive garden is home to a cool 8,500 plant species, zen lakes and lush lawns. Workshops, tours, walks and talks showcase the intricacies of the gardens – from star-gazing night tours in the Melbourne Observatory to science seminars, which explore the phylogeography of coconut. Plus, the Aboriginal Heritage Walk takes you on a journey into the history of the Koolin nation.

Fitzroy Gardens Conservatory
Photograph: Emily Godfrey

2. Fitzroy Gardens

Things to do East Melbourne

Take a stroll around Fitzroy Gardens and take in the natural landscape and historic sights, which are located throughout the gardens. Heritage highlights include Captain Cook’s 1755 family home uprooted from Yorkshire and re-assembled here in the 1930s, as well as a collection of fountains, statues, memorials and follies accumulated over the park’s 150 years. Its star attraction? That's gotta be the Spanish Mission-style conservatory.

at Flagstaff GardensMelbourne
Photograph: Freddy Rhoads

3. Flagstaff Gardens

Things to do West Melbourne

Melbourne’s first public garden, Flagstaff Gardens was established in the 1860s and once offered views to Port Phillip Bay. These days, the park is a lovely place to take time out, have a picnic and share the sunset with friends. 

Carlton Exhibition Building
Photograph: Roberto Seba

4. Carlton Gardens

Things to do Carlton

Carlton Gardens is a gorgeously landscaped Victorian-era park that sits among impressive company. It's here you'll find the heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building and the Melbourne Museum. Go for a stroll early morning to see the park at its most eye-catching. 

Treasury Gardens, East Melbourne, Melbourne
Photograph: Josie Withers

5. Treasury Gardens

Things to do East Melbourne

Famed for its large population of brushtail possums, Treasury Gardens is the perfect spot to nestle under a tree or sit water-side and eat lunch.

at Alexandra Park Melbourne
Photograph: Colin Charles

6. Alexandra Gardens

Things to do Melbourne

Located on the south bank of the Yarra River, the historic parklands are the perfect spot to laze around and enjoy the great outdoors.

1 Melbourne Quarter skypark
Photograph: Greta Costello/Supplied

7. Melbourne Skypark

News City Life

In 2018, an elevated green oasis opened in the city and it’s fully accessible to the general public. it's called a “skypark”, which naturally makes it sound a little like Kami’s Lookout from Dragon Ball, but it’s a little more grounded than that. The park is located above Collins Street beside Southern Cross Station and you can reach it by climbing a spiral staircase from the train station level.

Visit a local lavender field

Lavender fields in and around Melbourne

Things to do

We all spend far too much time searching for the perfect Instagram shot, but these gorgeous lavender gardens are so good you’d be hard-pressed to take a bad photo. Best of all, they all come with their own cafés so you can enjoy lunch once you’ve finished frolicking amongst the flowers.

More ideas for nature lovers


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