Flora: The Best Gardens in Australia to Explore
Whether you are looking for a picturesque place for relaxation, looking to be one again with nature, excited to have a picnic or want to explore the natural wonders of the earth, only very few ideas will compete with visiting gardens in Australia. No matter the month of the year when you’ll be visiting “down under”, it will always be a good time to explore gardens in Australia. The climate in the country ranges from tropical to subtropic and from the Mediterranean to cool, giving way to different types of plants to grow and thrive in their environment. You will be surprised that you can find the best gardens in Australia from a variety of places, starting from the city centre to those out in the deserts.
1. Adelaide Botanic Garden
Built-in the mid-19th century, Adelaide Botanic Garden in Adelaide, South Australia is one of the most popular gardens to visit in Australia. It still retains its colonial roots, having been inspired by the Royal Botanic Gardens found in Kew, England. The English character can be seen in its architecture that boasts of both ornamental and educational displays. In the past, European plants and styles dominate the garden design. The changes in gardening styles were seen in the 1970s when movements to use indigenous flora in gardens were made. The public garden is now home to a variety of plants, both local and imported from different parts of the world. There are structures that will satisfy the curiosity of every guest – from a Victorian glasshouse to a conservatory, and from the National Rose Garden that tests roses for their suitability to Australian climate, to a Garden of Health where you can explore different plants that will have the power to heal your body, mind and soul.
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2. Australian National Botanic Gardens
If you are looking forward to seeing thousands of plant species displayed and exploring a valley of rainforests, there is no better garden to visit than the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Located in Canberra at the foot of Black Mountain, it has a collection of over 70,000 plants. The scientific cultivation of this garden is both for the education and enjoyment of its guests. The ANBG hopes to inspire and inform people of the diverse Australian flora. While it is definitely relaxing to stroll along the wooden boardwalks built within the lush rainforest found in the gardens, it is also worth mentioning that the garden is home to threatened plants. The ANBG cultivates these plants, studying them to find more information on how to reintegrate them to their natural environment. You will enjoy your visit to the Gardens more when you participate in their tours, stopover at the exhibitions that are always on display at the Visitor Centre, and relax at the Pollen, the café that features modern and healthy food in a relaxed dining atmosphere.
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3. The Royal Botanic Gardens
Whoever you are with, whatever your mood is, you will surely enjoy your trip to one of the best gardens to visit in Australia, The Royal Botanic Gardens. Located in Sydney, it is recognized as one of the top botanical establishments in the world. It provides a reprieve from the busy hustle of the city as it offers different-themed gardens that will surely satisfy your curiosity. Take a walk and enjoy the beauty provided by the Palace Rose Garden or admire the grandeur of the giant plants in the Palm Grove. Enjoy the flora at the Australian Rainforest Garden and the Australian Native Rockery, where species found only in Australia are in abundance. Other gardens feature themes from oriental to succulents to tropical, making a trip to the Gardens a feast for the senses. Visit with your family and you will find out that there is an activity for everyone – from attending workshops, seeing exhibitions, shopping for gifts, relaxing at a café or even working out. Your day will be filled with activities that can all be enjoyed at The Royal Botanic Gardens.
4. Kings Park and Botanic Gardens
Located on top of Mount Eliza in Perth, Western Australia, the Kings Park and Botanic Gardens will give you a sweeping view of the city centre, the Swan River, the Canning River and the Darling Ranges. This public park can be accessed at any time, as it is open all day, and free of charge. The Gardens is home to over 3,000 plants that are unique to the country. Kings Park is also a leader in scientific research, spearheading not just conservation but also public education efforts when it comes to culture. Unlike most botanical gardens, Kings Park displays a rich cultural heritage that can be traced to the Aboriginal as well as European history. The innovative designs and displays across the gardens are a testament to how well the heritage is preserved. Families will truly enjoy their visit to Kings Park as there are play areas for children, guided walks for those interested in the species displays the garden offers, hiking or biking for the more adventurous, and shops and cafes to wind down at the end of the day.
5. Ballarat Botanical Gardens
Located in Victoria, the Ballarat Botanical Gardens is one of the country’s significant “cool climate gardens”. Nestled in the western side of Lake Wendouree, the Ballarat is popular not just because of its garden that features mature trees, but also the display of colourful beddings and most notably, the impressive dome and the sculptures found inside. Covering 40 hectares, it has become an invaluable recreational and horticultural location for locals and guests alike. Enjoy the seasonal displays at the Conservatory, where plants are displayed at their finest during the different seasons. Guided tours are offered for free for guests to enjoy the highlights of the Ballarat.
6. Auburn Botanic Gardens
Established in 1977, the Auburn Botanic Gardens is the pride and joy of Auburn residents. Having been designed by their local chief engineer, the Gardens holds a significant place in the hearts of the citizens of Auburn. The ABG is home to flora and fauna that are mostly native to Auburn and to the country. The Gardens is home to some of Australia’s wildlife that thrives in the Native and Rainforest Garden. Other animals can be found in the Fauna Reserve while the many aviaries house birds from different Australian as well as Asia Pacific regions. You will surely enjoy the attractions such as the Underwater Wedding Pavilion, the Reflection Pool and the Sunken Rose Garden. But one of the most popular sections is the Japanese Garden. Guests flock to the Japanese Garden during the Cherry Blossom Festival to experience the beauty of the flowers and walk along the picturesque pathways created by the blooming trees.
7. Inverawe Native Gardens
There is no better testament to the adaptability and flexibility of Australian gardens than Inverawe Native Gardens. Located in Tasmania, the hot and dry climate of the area did not allow for the traditional European style gardening, hence the landscaped garden that is sustainable and apt to the region. Walk around the area and explore the native plants that bloom all year long. Sculptures dot the expansive gardens, adding a bit of whimsical enjoyment to your exploration. Inverawe is also ideal for bird watching, with over a hundred avian species spotted in the gardens. Because the area is a mixture of forest and shoreline, there are many resident birds and more guests that make Inverawe their habitat.
8. Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World
One of many privately-owned gardens scattered in Australia, Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World is an exquisite piece of paradise located in Queensland. Whether you’re alone, with family or with friends, a day at the Maleny will surely be unforgettable. You can take a walk along miles of expansive gardens or book a golf cart for a self-driven tour in the property. The aviaries, home to hundreds of birds, is a fun place for kids as they can have their pictures taken with some feathered friends. The full-size boat, treehouse and fairy garden are also popular among children. Visit the café and order some scrumptious items that you can enjoy on a picnic at the grounds or at any of the gazebos in the property. Wrap up your day at the gift shop and get souvenirs for your loved ones so they can also share with you the wonders of the gardens.
9. Australian Garden
Found in the heart of Victoria, the Australian Garden is a stunning landscape featuring flora, architecture and art. Plant collections abound the area, fringing the amphitheatre that can hold over a hundred persons for entertainment or educational purposes. A walk along the Howson Hill will give you a spectacular view of the threatened Mallee Eucalypts while the Gibson Hill features acacias together with a panoramic view of the entire Garden. The Display Gardens will inspire you and give ideas on how you can make and cultivate your own gardens at home. But perhaps the most stunning of all views is the Red Sand Garden that features the striking contrast of colours against the natural bushland.
10. Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens
Heading across the Blue Mountains, beyond the breathtaking ranges that rival any scene in Australia, is the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens. Lying 1,000 meters above sea levels, the garden is home to over 40,000 species that are considered exotic and rare. Cool climate local and imported plants abound in the Gardens, and you can explore them through garden walks and tours. Visit the exhibitions and workshops and see for yourself how the Gardens has been studying the Australian plant life for the past decades. You can also hire the venue for your special gatherings, be it picnics, birthdays or weddings. With the stunning view of the mountain ranges and the picturesque scenery provided by the rich flora, you can never go wrong with visiting the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens.
The unique natural conditions of Australia has paved the way for gardens to bloom across the region. From being a simple home to local flora, gardens across Australia have become cultural sites, educational platforms and scientific institutions. They all take part in displaying the diversity of Australian flora and have become innovators in the conservation of threatened species. The rich history of the country can also be seen in the gardens, from its aboriginal roots to the colonial influence displayed proudly in the structure, activities and events held in these gardens. Truly, a visit to the numerous gardens in Australia is not just a feast for the senses but for the mind and soul as well.