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Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

  • Things to do
  • Melbourne
  1. Photograph: Carmen Zammit
    Photograph: Carmen Zammit
  2. Photograph: Carmen Zammit
    Photograph: Carmen Zammit
  3. Photograph: Carmen Zammit
    Photograph: Carmen Zammit
  4. Photograph: Carmen Zammit
    Photograph: Carmen Zammit
  5. Photograph: Carmen Zammit
    Photograph: Carmen Zammit
  6. Photograph: Carmen Zammit
    Photograph: Carmen Zammit
  7. Photograph: Carmen Zammit
    Photograph: Carmen Zammit
  8. Photograph: Carmen Zammit
    Photograph: Carmen Zammit
  9. Photograph: Carmen Zammit
    Photograph: Carmen Zammit

Time Out says

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, such as one exploring the phylogeography of coconut. The Aboriginal Heritage Walk takes you on a journey into the history of the Koolin nation. An Indigenous guide will lead you around the gardens, through a traditional smoking ceremony and show you the uses of plants as both food and medicine. Want to see the Gardens from a new point of view? Book in for a traditional punt cruise around Ornamental Lake, complete with beautiful views of the bays and mini islands. You even get your own paper parasol.

Want to do your own thing? There are plenty of walks and plant collections you can explore at any time. The camellia collection is one of the world’s best with more than 950 different types; Fern Gully recreates a cool forest, which showcases many fern species; and the Tropical Glasshouse is filled with colourful flowers and palms. The Royal Botanic Gardens are also home to the National Herbarium of Victoria, housing more than 1.5 million plant, algae and fungi specimens.

Written by
Time Out editors


Birdwood Ave
South Yarra
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What’s on


  • Pop-up locations

It's baaack! After two hugely popular winter seasons, Melbourne's favourite illuminated event is returning in 2024. From June 14 to August 4, take a nighttime stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens and experience luminous pathways, lit-up tree canopies, soothing soundscapes and brand new installations. "We are thrilled to see Lightscape returning for its third year. The Gardens provide an exquisite canvas for us to create a magical world of light, nature and wonder," said David Harland, director and chief executive of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. "In 2024 we have a few surprises up our sleeve as we build on the experience to make it exhilarating for both returning and first-time visitors." For the upcoming season, you can expect a reimagined 2.2km trail accompanied by stunning lakeside reflections, large-scale illuminated sculptures and other wonders, with more than 100,000 tiny lights on display. New in 2024 is 'Submerged', an immersive work where you walk through thousands of suspended lights as the installation changes colour in response to the movement. Also making its Australian debut is 'Lily' by French artistic studio Tilt – it's a series of abstract, three-metre-tall glowing flowers that will captivate people of all ages. Most importantly, you'll also be able to grab a bite to eat and warming drinks at the Welcome Zone or along the trail. They say that Melbourne is at its best in winter and events like Lightscape, where you can rug up and join friends for a m

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