Little-known fact: the Royal Botanic Gardens has an equally cool sister in Melbourne's southeast. The Cranbourne division of the Royal Botanic Gardens specialises in native Australian flora and spans over 350 hectares. The gardens are home to over 170,000 plants, including those residing in the rugged Australian Garden, as well as a number of endangered Australian animals. If you'd like to rest your legs, there's a hop-on-hop-off open-air bus that can take you around on a sweep of the gardens.
We've definitely become experts in the parks and gardens nearest to our homes, but now is the time to explore a bit further afield. Luckily there are lots of parks and gardens in Melbourne that are slightly off the beaten path. Here you'll find gardens devoted to Australian natives, fancy ferns and some not-so-ubiquitous plants like cacti, rhododendrons, tulips and lotuses – perfect for when you need some green in your life.
Want more green? These national parks are within driving distance of Melbourne and here are the best parks in Melbourne's CBD.