Australia’s Best Botanical Gardens

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Visit The Best Botanical Gardens In Australia

Famous for its striking natural landscapes, pristine tropical beaches, rainforests, and unique wildlife, Australia is a treasure trove of natural wonders. 

Perhaps a lesser-known fact for a few might be that some of the world’s finest botanical gardens can also be found in this part of the world. Regardless of whether you have a green thumb or just want to spend your days soaking up the sun outdoors, no trip to Australia is complete without exploring these scenic gardens, allowing for a tranquil escape and the opportunity to connect with nature.

I often find myself in Botanical Gardens especially if I have to check out of accommodation and then don’t have a flight until later in the day. Gardens are such a great spot for wasting some time, relaxing and having facilities such as cafes and amenities to use.

Discover some of the best Australian botanic gardens, featuring immense historical and cultural significance and showcasing an exquisite plant variety native to the continent and from around the globe. They are as follows:

Gold Coast Botanical Gardens
Gold Coast Botanical Gardens

Royal Botanical Gardens Sydney

Spend a day strolling around the lush green Sydney Botanical Gardens while marvelling at the breath-taking views of the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour in the backdrop. 

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Sydney Botanic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in Australia, spread over 74 acres. Located in central Sydney in the cultural district, the green space is home to a diverse flora with almost 9000 local and exotic plant species from over 75 countries collected over 200 years, including the rare Wollemi Pine.

Dotted with 36 fascinating historical sculptures, immerse yourself in this nature’s paradise, featuring several spectacular themed gardens, such as:

  • the succulent garden,
  • wildflower meadow,
  • palm grove, and
  • herb garden.

One of the top tourist attractions in the city, the garden is a lot more than splendid horticultural displays. It also serves as a major scientific institution where scientists research and try to preserve various endangered plant species.

There are plenty of options to savour a flavourful cuisine and refuel yourself, including The Botanic House and Farm Cove Eatery. Lastly, do not forget to grab some unique plants or souvenirs from The Garden Shop.

Head to The Calyx to admire some stunning architecture and grab coffee from the café.

Sydney Harbour Bridge from the Botanical Gardens
The amazing view of Sydney Harbour Bridge from the Botanical Gardens
One of the great sculptures at Sydney Botanic Gardens
One of the great sculptures at Sydney Botanic Gardens

Sydney Botanic Gardens Address: Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, NSW
Location URL: Google Maps Link
Entry Fees: Free for all.
Opening Hours: 7am to 5pm daily
Website For More Info: Royal Botanic Gardens

Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne

A horticultural paradise, the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne is a major cultural attraction in the city located on the banks of the Yarra River, displaying a rich flora and fauna.  

The exceptionally well-manicured gardens with sprawling lawns opened in 1846, covering an extensive area of 94 acres blooming with more than 8500 native and nonnative plant species.

These include:

  • camellias,
  • herbs,
  • perennials,
  • cacti & succulents,
  • cycads & palms,
  • rhododendrons,
  • oaks, and ferns.

There are also many zones showcasing plant collections from their native countries.

The carefully curated gardens feature several lakes and are home to an abundance of local wildlife inhabiting the trees, so look out for some encounters with bird species like black swans, kookaburras, cockatoos, bell miners, and red-rumped parrots.

From going punting on the Ornamental Lake as you spot various birds and marine life up close to taking your little ones to the Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden, you will stumble upon many attractions as you stroll through the trails of this lush green oasis. 

Some other highlights of the expansive gardens worth exploring are Guilfoyle’s Volcano, a water reservoir at the highest point with breathtaking city views, and Arid Garden, home to a vast collection of cacti. 

Do not miss out on the Aboriginal Heritage Walk, where you will learn about the history and heritage of the gardens and the First Peoples of Australia from an Aboriginal guide.

The National Herbarium located in the gardens serves as an essential scientific research and conservation facility with artworks, a library, and over 1.5 million herbarium specimens. 

There are two onsite cafes to recharge yourself and a gift shop to grab a souvenir as you leave.

Punts waiting for guests at the botanical gardens in Melbourne
Punts waiting for guests at the botanical gardens in Melbourne
The Magic Pudding characters made from brass in Melbourne Botanical Gardens
The Magic Pudding characters made from brass in Melbourne Botanical Gardens

Melbourne Botanic Garden Address: Visitors Centre – 100 Birdwood Ave, Melbourne, VIC
Location URL: Google Maps Link
Entry Fees: Free for all.
Opening Hours: 9:30 to 5pm Daily (may change seasonally)
Website For More Info: Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

Melbourne Botanic Gardens Tour

This tour of the botanic gardens in Melbourne is great. You learn all about the history, the plants and what the gardens have in store for the future. Its only half an hour and for $15 you can get a real idea of where you would like to spend your time while getting a fantastic overview of the gardens.

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Brisbane City Botanic Gardens

The Brisbane City Botanic Gardens are spread over 49 acres and are Queensland’s oldest heritage-listed gardens located on the Brisbane River in the heart of the city. Having immense horticultural significance and an essential part of Queensland’s cultural history, the gardens were among the first few public gardens of the state established in 1825. 

The gardens were historically used by convicts to grow crops for the prison colony until 1855 when they were declared a botanic garden. Today, they are home to a wide collection of more than 600 exotic and native plant species, including rare specimens dating back to the 1800s. 

Some of the main points of interest in this lush green space include:

  • the Bamboo Grove,
  • Walter Hill Fountain,
  • Weeping Fig Avenue,
  • ornamental ponds,
  • Bunya Pines,
  • and the mangrove boardwalk.

There are various recreational activities to take part in at the gardens. You can also head to the Gardens Club café to grab a drink or have some food with a fabulous view on the terrace. 

A sculpture of Brisbane's famous Bats in the Botanical Gardens.
A sculpture of Brisbane’s famous Bats in the Botanical Gardens.

Brisbane City Botanic Garden Address: 147 Alice Street, Brisbane, QLD
Location URL: Google Maps Link
Entry Fees: Free for all.
Opening Hours: Open 24 Hours
Website For More Info: Brisbane City Botanic Gardens

Cactus Country

A three-hour drive north of Melbourne and tucked away in the small town of Strathmerton, the Cactus Country boasts 4000 species of cacti and succulents grown in more than 40 years, making it the largest collection in Australia. This 10-acre stretch of greenery is divided into eighty trails for you to explore, each leading to a cacti collection based on their native countries or regions. 

While its not technically a Botanical Garden, it is really worth seeing.

We suggest you visit during the spring season in October or November to admire the cactus in full bloom. Regardless, the combination of mesmerizing beauty of cacti in various shapes and captivating landscapes will leave you spellbound while offering the ideal opportunity to click some excellent pictures. 

Catch a break and indulge in authentic Mexican meals at the café. The cactus cake and ice cream are specialty desserts without which your journey remains incomplete. Do not forget to take home a cacti with you from the gift shop as you leave. 

Diverse cacti and succulents on display
Diverse cacti and succulents on display

Cactus Country Address: 4986 Murray Valley Hwy, Strathmerton VIC
Location URL: Google Maps Link
Entry Fees: $20.00
Opening Hours: Wednesday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm
Website For More Info: Cactus Country or buy Tickets Online

Adelaide Botanic Gardens

These Adelaide Botanic Gardens span a whopping 130 acres and feature vast plant collections, welcoming visitors since 1857. The magnificent landscapes and marvelous architecture make wandering around this tranquil green oasis a delightful experience. 

Make your way to the Rose Garden, which houses a collection of roses from around the globe, to see if they are suitable for the Australian climate. 

The Palm House and Bicentennial Conservatory are architectural masterpieces well worth a visit. The Palm House is an eye-catching Victorian glass structure, and the Bicentennial Conservatory is a massive tropical rainforest with a glass roof containing exotic and endangered plants from plants from various regions. 

The Santos Museum of Economic Botany was established 130 years ago and features various specimens on display and offers an insight into the importance and value of plants for humans, whether as food or medicine. 

Another exciting point of interest here is the Garden of Health, where you can gain fascinating insights into the healing powers and medicinal properties of plants. 

There are also a few cafes on site to grab a quick meal. Call it a day by heading to the Garden Shop selling seeds, gardening books, and other items.

Adelaide Botanical Gardens
Adelaide Botanic Gardens

Adelaide Botanic Gardens Address: North Terrace, Adelaide, SA
Location URL: Google Maps Link
Entry Fees: Free to all.
Opening Hours: 7:15 to 5:30 weekdays and 9am to 5:30 weekends
Website For More Info: Botanic Gardens SA

Guided Cultural Tour Of Adelaide Botanic Gardens

Explore the history and cultural significance of Adelaide Botanic Gardens location, and uncover the native plants of Kaurna Country on this great guided tour.

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Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens

The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens in Hobart is Australia’s second oldest botanical garden, founded in 1818. The picturesque green oasis spread over almost 35 acres is home to over 6000 plant species, including 19th-century heritage trees and a massive collection of rare and endangered flora found in Tasmania. 

The Subantarctic Plant House is a one-of-a-kind attraction with a diverse range of plants on display from Macquarie Island, a remote region of the southern Pacific Ocean. Many rare plants like the King’s lomatia are housed in a controlled environment that is wet and chilly, similar to their native subantarctic island.

Besides that, visit the several themed sections, including:

  • a herb garden,
  • Cactus House,
  • Fuchsia House,
  • Community Food Garden, and plant collections distributed according to their countries of origin like Japan, China, and New Zealand.

Pay a visit to the historical Arthur Wall constructed in 1828, heated to protect plants that cannot grow or survive in cooler climates. 

The lily pond is a must-visit attraction to marvel at the various lilies that grow in it while spotting the sparrows and ducks. The pond makes for a gorgeous setting to take some beautiful pictures. 

Hobart Botanical Gardens
Hobart Botanical Gardens

Kings Park and Botanic Garden

The Kings Park in Perth is occupies almost 1000 acres and is home to a stunning Botanic Garden, displaying only the unique botanical treasures of Western Australia with over 3000 species of native flora found nowhere else, such as wildflowers.

Situated on Mount Eliza, the park is a blend of beautifully landscaped botanical gardens and natural bushland with diverse flora and fauna. It offers astonishing bird’s eye views of the city and the Swan River adjacent to it as you walk uphill on the popular Federation Walkway, a 620-meter trail among the tall eucalyptus.

The park is a sanctuary for more than 90 species of birds inhabiting the area along with several other native wildlife. Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and vibrant colors of nature by taking a leisurely stroll through the bushland walking trails or relaxing in the gardens while taking in the beautiful scenery all around.  

Aboriginal history permeates throughout this park, which is also home to several memorials, Honour Avenues, children’s playgrounds, cultural events, picnic areas, and cafes. The Kings Park Festival hosts the country’s largest wildflower exhibition annually in September, offering plenty to do for families, such as live music, workshops, guided walks, and other activities.

A perfect place for a soothing getaway, the gardens are also a crucial scientific research facility and are at the forefront of conserving and restoring Western Australia’s plant species for future generations.

The fabulous view of the city from Kings Park
The fabulous view of the city from Kings Park
Brad and I atop DNA Tower in Kings Park
Brad and I atop DNA Tower in Kings Park

Kings Park Address: Fraser Ave, Perth WA
Location URL: Google Maps Link
Entry Fees: Free for all.
Opening Hours: Open 24 Hours
Website For More Info: Kings Park Botanic Gardens

Blue Mountains Botanic Garden

Soak in the beauty of the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah, located at a 90-minute scenic drive from Sydney. 

The heritage-listed garden spanning 69 acres with more than 600 acres of wilderness opened its doors in 1972 and holds almost 4000 native and endemic plant species that only adapt to and survive in cool climates, such as the rare and ancient Wollemi pines, Brown Barrel Eucalypts, and more.

Perched at a 1,000-meter altitude in the gorgeous Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, the natural wonderland boasts amazing wildlife diversity and provides a refreshing retreat. Take in the magnificent sweeping mountain views and appreciate the array of blooming flora displayed in beautifully laid out sections based on their continents.

Set foot on the many walking trails, wander through the rainforest area or relax by one of the many tranquil spots in these expansive gardens as you breathe in the fresh mountain air surrounded by the vibrant and colorful plant life. 

Add some flavor to your trip by having a comforting drink or meal at the Tomah Cafe while taking in the breathtaking views, and visit the onsite Garden Shop to shop for nature-inspired gifts, homeware, etc.

Amazing view out over the region from the Blue Mountains Botanical Gardens
Amazing view out over the region from the Blue Mountains Botanical Gardens

Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Address: Bells Line of Road, Mount Tomah NSW
Location URL: Google Maps Link
Entry Fees: Free for all.
Opening Hours: Open 9am to 5pm daily
Website For More Info: Blue Mountains Botanic Garden

Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan

The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan is home to an exquisite display of the country’s 4000 species of dazzling flora located in the suburbs of Sydney. Set among 1000 acres of hills, cultivated gardens, open parks, bushland, and five lakes, the botanic garden is the largest in Australia, with 20 kilometers of walking trails. 

The natural woodlands, shrubs, and sprawling gardens are a haven for many local wildlife, like frogs, lizards,  spiders, kangaroos, wallabies, wallaroos, and several bird species.

One of the main highlights is the remarkable Connections Garden, a roofless museum that is the site for the annual wildflower exhibition during the spring season. Several other thematic gardens are a delight to explore with dazzling floral displays, such as:

  • the Bottlebrush Garden,
  • Wattle Garden,
  • Sundial Garden, and
  • Banksia Gardens. 

The picnic shelters and BBQ areas make for a picturesque setting to unwind and enjoy a meal. 

The Plant Bank serves as a major conservation facility in New South Wales and features a seed bank dedicated to researching and preserving the country’s unique flora.

And if that is not enough, several other fascinating activities can amplify your experience, such as a guided tour, mountain biking, bird watching, and nature photography sessions.

The Connections Garden at Mount Annan Botanical Gardens
The Connections Garden at Mount Annan Botanical Gardens

Australian Botanic Garden Address: 362 Narellan Rd, Mount Annan NSW
Location URL: Google Maps Link
Entry Fees: Free for all.
Opening Hours: Open 8am to 5pm daily
Website For More Info: Mount Annan Botanic Garden

Final Words – Australia’s Best Botanical Gardens

With a vast diversity of flora and fauna, lush green scenery, and educational opportunities to learn about the importance of plants and conservation in the context of ecology and for humans, Australia’s botanical gardens offer an immersive experience of its amazingly rich plant life.

Jenny Marsden - Charge The Globe
About the author

Meet Jenny, a passionate Australian travel blogger who has explored 103 countries to date. With over 30 years of travel experience, Jenny has a wealth of knowledge to share with her readers about the cultures, landscapes, and people she has encountered on her journeys. She’s always battling unfashionably frizzy hair and you will never catch Jenny in anything but comfortable shoes. Learn more about Jenny and her travels.