The Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria is an idyllic and peaceful corner of the city, a perfect place to wander with kids!
This 375-acre urban wilderness has native plants, streams, bridges, hidden paths and more than 18 different gardens.
Your kids will love exploring its many trails, regardless of their age or interest. If you’re visiting with kids, there are plenty of activities that both they and you will appreciate.
There are plenty of great picnic spots once you enter the gardens too.
Whether you walk through them on your own or join one of their many family-friendly events such as the Twilight at RBGV tours or Kids Octoberfest celebrations, it’s a great way to see the gardens up close and personal while also getting some fresh air on a nice day.
Located at Birdwood Avenue, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria at Melbourne Gardens is approximately two kilometers from Melbourne's city centre.
Route 605 (Melbourne Observatory/Birdwood Avenue)
Routes 3/3a, 5, 6, 16, 64, 67 and 72 (Stop 19 Shrine of Remembrance/St Kilda Rd)
You can’t visit the gardens without buying some fresh produce, and there are plenty of places to do so. The RBGV has more than 50 types of food gardens, so you can select what you want to plant. The RBGV has many places to eat, but it is best to choose the areas near the gardens, like the Federation Lawn, the Chinese Pavilion and the Gatehouse Café.
- Visit the Melbourne Museum: The Royal Exhibition Building known for hosting the World’s Fair in 1880, 1881 and 1888, is now home to the Melbourne Museum. The museum takes visitors on a journey from the past to the present day. Your kids will love exploring the history of the city and the surrounding areas, especially if you start your RBGV experience with the museum. - Go on a guided walk: If you want to learn more about the RBGV, the best way to do this is to join one of the guided walks. They are free, last about an hour and are a great way to learn about the area and its history. You can choose from a number of different walks each day, so you can explore your favorite botanic gardens. - Explore the Friends of the Gardens: The Friends of the Gardens are a volunteer group that maintain the RBGV. They also organize loads of activities throughout the year and have a number of events and festivals especially for families.
- Take a tram ride: If your kids love transport and have an interest in engineering, they will adore the tram ride. It is a short ride through the gardens and the perfect way to learn about the gardens and how they were built. - See the gardens at night: The gardens are beautiful day and night, but seeing them in the dark is a whole different experience. If your kids like being outside at night, it is definitely worth a visit. There are a number of different events you can attend, including concerts and guided walks. - Visit during the Kids Octoberfest: If your kids are into scary stuff like spooky characters and Halloween, this is the perfect way to celebrate the month. There are lots of activities for children and family-friendly events that take place, especially during weekends and school holidays. You can even take part in the trick-or-treat trail and the scarecrow trail. - Go on an adventure: If you have older kids or teens, you can book a nature discovery adventure. This is a guided expedition through the gardens, which will teach you about the Victorian environment and the native wildlife.
The gardens are open seven days a week, and with so many options for visiting, you can visit them as often as you like. If you visit on the weekend, you can take part in the free guided walks, but these are very popular and you may need to book ahead. You can also join the free guided tours for blind and low-vision visitors on the first Saturday of every month. The best way to avoid crowds and enjoy a quieter day is to visit on a weekday. Weekdays are also the best time to take part in the free guided walks. The Melbourne Museum is open 9am-5pm every day, and the Royal Exhibition Building is open 9am-5pm on weekdays and 9am-6pm on weekends. The Living Desert is open 10am-5pm every day.
Street metered car parking for up to four hours is generally easy to find close to entry gates.