The largest Cactus garden in Australia can be found hidden away in regional Victoria

Cactus Country is a massive, 12-acre desert oasis hidden away in a tiny regional Victorian town

Liv Condous
Written by
Liv Condous
Lifestyle Writer
Huge cactus at Cactus Country
Photograph: Supplied

Head out on a short road trip north of Melbourne and you’ll be transported to the old Wild West at Cactus Country. This attraction hosts the biggest collection of cacti in Australia, with vast gardens ready to be explored. Run by a cacti-loving couple, the collection has grown over the last 40 years to become a true haven for cacti. While these plants aren’t native to Australia, they’ve very much settled into our dry rural climate in regional Victoria. 

The place is crazy photogenic, and you can even hire out the location for film or photo shoots. On site you’ll find a café devoted to Mexican eats, including cactus cake and cactus ice cream. And if you’re looking to start your own cactus garden, Cactus Country also sell cuttings.

Where is Cactus Country?

Cactus Country is located in northern regional Victoria, just before the NSW border. The small town of Strathmerton is close by. It's around three hours away from Melbourne, or about 45 minutes from Shepparton. 

What can I see at Cactus Country?

At Cactus Country, you'll see natural surrounds that you'd otherwise find in the Mexican Mojave, African Sahara and the Argentinian Patagonia. The gardens host more than 4,000 species of sprouting cacti and succulents across a sprawling, 12-acre garden. 


Flowers on cactus at Cactus Country
Photograph: Supplied

What activities can I take part in at Cactus Country?

The best thing to do at Cactus Country is take your time to walk around the whole garden, exploring each of the eight trails. The cacti are very photogenic, so be sure to take plenty of snaps for the 'gram along your journey. Grab a margarita or Mexican beer from the bar, or a homemade cactus ice cream, and see how many different species of plants you can spot. There's a guide book you can use to look up each cactus along the trail and read more about them. But be sure to only look, and not touch! The park is also dog-friendly, so you're welcome to bring your furry friend. There's also a gift shop, where you can buy your very own cactus to take home. 

How to get to Cactus Country

If you're travelling from Melbourne, the drive takes three hours – with the best route being via the Hume Freeway and the Goulburn Valley Highway. If you’re not able to drive there, you can get there by public transport, which will take 3.5 to 4.5 hours. Catch a V-Line train to Shepparton or Seymour from Southern Cross Station in the morning and then catch a bus the rest of the way to Strathmerton. From the bus stop in Strathmerton, there is about a 30 minute walk out to Cactus Country. For information on trains and buses in regional Victoria, go to the V-Line website

Feild of cactus at Cactus Country
Photograph: Supplied

How much does it cost to go to Cactus Country?

An adult ticket costs $22.50 and children’s tickets are $10. If you’re taking the family, you can buy a family ticket for $65 that will allow entry for two adults and children under 15 

What is there to eat and drink at Cactus Country?

Yes, there are a variety of food options and drinks you can purchase at Cactus Country. On site you’ll find a restaurant devoted to Mexican eats like nachos and tacos, as well as themed desserts, including cactus cake and cactus ice cream. Plus, there's a bar with classic Mexican cocktails, sodas and hot beverages. 

How do you get around Cactus Country? Is it wheelchair accessible? 

Cactus Country is wheelchair accessible, but in wet conditions some of the trails may be difficult to navigate. 

When is the best time to visit Cactus Country?

The gardens are open throughout the year, between Wednesdays and Sundays from 10am to 5pm. But if you want an extra special visit, during the months of October and November are typically the flowering season, when the garden is most colourful. 

Do you need a ticket to go to Cactus Country?

Visitors are encouraged to book tickets ahead of their visit, and you can get them here. For more details, go to the website

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