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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

Moonlight Cinema

  • Outdoor cinema

  The Moonlight Cinema is one of the highlights of Melbourne's summer. There's nothing quite like catching a film under the stars in the Botanic Gardens with a grazing board and some wine, so that's exactly where you'll find us. Australia's favourite outdoor cinema has revealed its February line-up of romantic movies, blockbuster summer previews and retro favourites. Program highlights include everything from the highly anticipated Avatar: The Way of Water, Magic Mike's Last Dance to classics like 10 Things I Hate About You, Notting Hill, and Pretty Woman to the newly-released rom-com What's Love Got To Do With It?, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, M3GAN and more. Check out the full program for February here.  Those looking to splurge can opt for either the Mr Stubbs platinum experience, which includes a deluxe double bean bed for two with blankets in the most premium seating location or the Green Grass experience, with a waiter service so that you can have food and beverages delivered straight to your bean bag. Screenings kick off at sundown (around 8.45 pm during summer but as early as 6 pm in April), and tickets range from $18-$40 and are on sale at Time Out's 100 Days of Summer calendar is here to help you plan your entire summer in Melbourne.

Much Ado About Nothing

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Comedy

Many directors, not to mention audience members, like to think of Much Ado About Nothing as a prototypical rom-com – the one about the bickering pair who think they hate each other, whose friends trick them into the realisation they’re the perfect couple. And there are benefits to this approach in performance: the play has a breezy rambunctiousness when Beatrice and Benedick are the central focus and an uncomplicated ending. The lovers fall madly in love. But Much Ado has a darker side, and over the years, it has threatened to eclipse the sun in Medina, the play’s ostensibly Italian and yet still-very-English setting. Because really, Beatrice (Anna Burgess) and Benedick (Nicholas Gell) are the subplot, and the true action revolves around Hero (Larissa Teale) and Claudio (Alex Cooper), the lovers whose path to happiness is far thornier, and leaves a distinctly bitter taste in the mouth. Shakespeare’s works are divided into histories, comedies and tragedies in the First Folio, but they rarely conform neatly to these categories. Much Ado is defined by its tonal instability and shifting dramatic modes.  There are long stretches of the play that feel like a sophisticated comedy of manners and other sections that seem like a pure farce. The Hero/Claudio plot is, as one character says in this funny and irreverent production, “a real downer”, but it is also key to the play’s meaning. The action takes place immediately after a war, and although far from enjoying a well-deserved peace,


  • Pop-up locations

After a hugely popular debut in Melbourne last winter, Lightscape has announced its return to Melbourne next winter. From June 16 to August 6, take a nighttime stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens and experience luminous pathways, lit-up tree canopies and soothing soundscapes.  "Lightscape was an overwhelming success earlier this year, and we are delighted that this world-class event is returning to Melbourne so that Victorians can again enjoy our gardens in a whole new light," said professor Tim Entwisle, the director and chief executive of the Royal Botanic Gardens.  For the upcoming season, you can expect an all-new 2.1km trail accompanied by stunning lakeside reflections, colour-changing installations, large-scale illuminated sculptures and other wonders, with more than 100,000 tiny lights on display. Tickets start at $32 and will be available from December 8 through the website.  Looking for some other Instagrammable moments? Here are the 10 best photo ops in Melbourne.

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