On the south bank of the River Yarra, the Royal Botanic Gardens is home to ‘more than 10,000 plant species from around the world are presented in a kaleidoscope of colour and texture. Sweeping lawns, tranquil lakes and majestic trees are home to an amazing range of wildlife.’
The gardens feature a global selection of flora and fauna as well as endemic Australian plants, cacti, mini-ecosystems and an indigenous rainforest. You can choose from a selection of guided walks ‘through assorted horticultural pockets to learn a bit about history, botany and wildlife’ and visit the 1.2m specimen Herbarium.
In the summer you can watch a film in an almost perfect setting under the stars at the Moonlight Cinema (A$14.50 – A$19) and if you’re a budding stargazer, the Observatory will walk you through the night sky and the nature-based Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden is a whimsical, child-scaled place that invites families to explore, discover and imagine.
The Terrace café is open for lunch and tea and Jardin Tan is a French-Indian-Chinese fusion restaurant for lunch and is, according to the website, ‘the truest expression of the farm-to-table philosophy, celebrating the organic bio-dynamic produce grown on-site within the Gardens’.
You can even bring dogs and picnics to the gardens but there are no-go areas and rules to comply with but if you’re looking for a very relaxed day out in Melbourne, the Royal Botanic Gardens should be at the top of your ‘to do’ list.