Established in 1846 by Lieutenant Governor Charles La Trobe, Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens is a 94-acre urban sanctuary comprised of almost 50,000 individual plants, representing over 8,500 native and exotic species. What was once a swamp has been transformed into a sprawling oasis encompassing 11 picturesque lawns, an ornamental lake, a children’s garden, two restaurants, a walking track and 31 plant collections. Whether you want to blissfully explore the living collections, walk your dog, unwind on one of the many lawns or take part in a unique experience, the Royal Botanic Gardens is one of Melbourne’s most outstanding attractions.
Named after William Guilfoyle, botanist and architect of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Guilfoyle’s Volcano lies in the south-eastern corner of the gardens. Built in 1876 for water storage, Guilfoyle’s Volcano was transformed during the Working Wetlands project and now features low-water-use plants, including succulents and cacti. There’s also circling boardwalks and viewing platforms that offer views of Melbourne’s skyline.
The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden
Aboriginal Heritage Walk
Explore ‘the ancestral lands of Kulin nation’ – the traditional custodians of Melbourne – with the Aboriginal Heritage Walk. Led by an Indigenous guide, the experience begins with a traditional smoking ceremony. You’ll then discover traditional uses of plants for medicine, food, and tools before the walk winds down with a refreshing cup of lemon myrtle tea.
Punting on the lake
Behold the Royal Botanic Gardens from an entirely new perspective with a traditional punt cruise through the Ornamental Lake. Carrying up to eight people, the 30-minute punt boat ride is a splendid way to see the birdlife and aquatic plants, and you may even spot a friendly turtle as you glide around the bays and islands.
High Tea at The Terrace
Overlooking the Ornamental Lake, The Terrace serves traditional High Tea with outstanding views of the gardens. The affair begins with a glass of sparkling wine followed by an array of sweet and savoury treats including ribbon sandwiches, tarts, scones, chocolate-covered strawberries and miniature sweets – all of which are served on an elegant three-tiered stand. Offering two sessions daily, High Tea at The Terrace also includes a selection of tea and espresso coffee.
Encircling Kings Domain and the Royal Botanic Gardens, The Tan is Melbourne’s most popular running track. Stretching 3.8 kilometres, the mostly-gravel track is a favourite amongst footballers and Olympic athletes. The official starting point of the clockwise lap is at the Pillars of Wisdom on the Yarra River side of the gardens.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.