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Courtesy of Royal Botanic Gardens
Courtesy of Royal Botanic Gardens
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A Guide To Melbourne's Aboriginal Heritage Walk

Picture of Monique La Terra
Updated: 9 February 2017
The Aboriginal Heritage Walk at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne is an enlightening guide to the city’s Indigenous heritage. Discover the many traditional uses for plants, take part in a smoking ceremony and finish the tour off with a refreshing cup of tea. If you think you’ve seen everything Melbourne has to offer, then think again, as this guided walk will open your eyes to the Aboriginal culture and the ways in which the Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung, and Wathaurong tribes once lived.
Courtesy of the Royal Botanic Gardens
Courtesy of the Royal Botanic Gardens

Tour

Led by Indigenous guides, the Aboriginal Heritage Walk is a unique cultural journey ‘into the ancestral lands of Koolin nation’ – the traditional owners of Melbourne. The tour begins with a traditional smoking ceremony to fend off evil spirits, followed by the guides leading you through significant areas of the Gardens, delivering an informative dialogue on the Indigenous value and uses of plants for medicine, food and tools.

Courtesy of the Royal Botanic Gardens
Courtesy of the Royal Botanic Gardens

The tour will open your eyes to the many uses of Australian flora, and the friendly guides are more than willing to answer any questions you might have. The walk takes an hour and a half, and once finished, participants are invited to enjoy a cup of lemon myrtle tea. Departing every Tuesday to Friday and on the first Sunday of each month, the Aboriginal Heritage Walk provides a rich and immersive insight into the Royal Botanic Gardens, with the guides often asking participants to help guide the group.

Popular with children, adults and school groups, the Aboriginal Heritage Walk will leave you with a new found respect for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Aboriginal culture and Melbourne.

Courtesy of the Royal Botanic Gardens
Courtesy of the Royal Botanic Gardens

Location

The Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne are located 15 minutes south of the CBD on Birdwood Avenue, bordered by St Kilda Road, Domain Road and Alexandra Avenue. The Gardens cover 94 acres and hold a collection of exotic and native plant species. There is also a visitor’s centre and several cafés.

The Aboriginal Heritage Walk tour begins at the Visitor Centre between the Shrine of Remembrance and National Herbarium on Birdwood Avenue. To get to the Royal Botanic Gardens, hop on the Melbourne Visitor Shuttle which runs daily from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, and hop off at Stop 13, Melbourne Gardens/Shrine of Remembrance. You can also catch the trams 3, 5, 8, 16, 64, and 67 from Flinders Street Station, getting off at the Domain Road Interchange. There is also parking available on the streets surrounding the Gardens.