Melbourne is blessed with a ring of green spaces surrounding the city. Among the magnificent 19th century parks and gardens, you'll find hidden grottos, secluded ponds and sites of Aboriginal significance.
This walk is approximately 4.2km and takes about 2 hours.
Sights on this walk
1. Carlton Gardens
The Royal Exhibition Building and surrounding Carlton Gardens are World Heritage-listed. Stroll tree-lined avenues and don't miss the winding Moreton Bay Fig Trees along Nicholson Street, a historically important meeting place for Aboriginal communities.
2. Fitzroy Gardens
Melburnians love the calming avenues of elm trees in the Fitzroy Gardens and the seasonal blooms inside the Conservatory. Visit the delightful Fairies’ Tree, mini model Tudor village, Cooks’ Cottage and the Visitor Centre at KereKere Green cafe.
3. Treasury Gardens
Stop to sit under the cathedral avenue of Moreton Bay Figs. A favourite of city workers, at night the gardens are a playground for native brushtail possums.
4. Birrarung Marr
Birrarung Marr is a park by the Yarra River which is also an important meeting place for Melbourne’s Aboriginal community. Opened in 2002, it’s the site for festivals and carnivals.
5. Kings Domain
Veer south to the lawns of Government House, Grotto rockery and fern gully, and the Elizabethan-style Pioneer Women's Garden. Return northwards, past the statue of King George V to the Kings Domain Resting Place memorial.
6. Queen Victoria Gardens
Over Linlithgow Avenue is the Janet Lady Clarke Rotunda in the Queen Victoria Gardens. You can’t miss the famous floral clock with over 7000 blooms. But look closer to find a secluded grotto and serene stone waterfall.
7. Alexandra Gardens
A perfect picnic spot, Alexandra Gardens feature swaying palm trees and historic boathouses facing the Yarra River. With boats and rowers gliding by, it’s hard to believe you’re on the doorstep of the CBD.
More to explore
If you have more time, Melbourne’s majestic parks are a destination all on their own and deserve a dedicated visit.
Royal Botanic Gardens
The sprawling gardens boast 8,500 plant species. Try forest bathing in Fern Gully and find the secluded Bird’s Nest swing chair. Book an Aboriginal Heritage Walk to learn about the Kulin Nations ancestral lands. Stop for lunch at The Botanical.
Roam the native grasslands, eucalypt forest and urban wetlands Trin Warren Tam-boore or ‘bellbird waterhole’, home to native birds and reptiles. Find the nature playground and spend a day at Melbourne Zoo.
Home to AFL club Carlton since 1897, the historic sporting grounds have views of the city skyline and the Melbourne General Cemetery. Follow the avenues of elms and Moreton Bay fig trees towards Lygon Street’s little Italy for gelati.
The hilly lawns are Melbourne’s best kept picnic spot secret. Fill your basket with cheese and fruit from the Queen Victoria Market next door, then find the bowling lawn and tennis courts.
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