Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
What should we do today?" This was the question posed by the man of the house and then followed up by, "How about a bush walk around the outer tracks at Cranbourne botanical gardens and then we can take the children into see the gardens?"
My response was not as positive. We had been there about 6 years previously and I didn't enjoy it, as there was not much to see and I would say it was fairly average at best.
However with a little persuasion and promises of a great new garden to view and a bush walk, it was enough to encourage me to give it a second chance.
On arrival I was amazed at what I saw, nothing like I had remembered at all. The first thing that we got to was the information centre which overlooks the entire garden, and is also where the Boon Wurrung Cafe is situated along with a gift shop.
The Garden is made up of many different sections representing all of the Australian regions with amazing diversity. The first section that really stood out was the rich red desert landscape that emulates the desert of the Northern Territory and other arid zones.
Amazing water features with rock pools and bridges stretch throughout the garden. My children were very excited when they were told they were allowed to play in the water, where the steeping stones and river pebbles are. Though it was cold they had great fun trying to get to the other side without getting wet.
My favourite section of the garden was the new modern Australian garden, which had amazing ideas that could be transferred to your own yard with many natural materials used in conjunction with big pots and a structured garden.
The children's garden was also a big hit, with a pretend house, bridges, hiding places, sand pit and a feeling like it was out of a story book.
With 170,000 plants divided into many sections, you could spend the day enjoying the gardens. If you get the time there are many walking tracks outside the garden with the main one being Trig point lookout, which is 3.7 km and has a nice view. A new bicycle track has opened, but I haven't been on that yet, and is 4km.
Also popular is the big play ground and BBQ area which was hosting a few birthday parties at the time.
There are many special events held at the botanical gardens, so it's best to check their website for details on:
-Walks and tours
-School holiday program
-Events, such as Easter seed bombs and lots more.
It's easy to see no expense has been spared in creating this magnificent garden and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
I can't wait to go back and see how it develops over time as the plants mature.
I grew up in Cranbourne.. my dad still lives there. My mum used to love that place and she has been gone for 10 years now. Its been that long since I have been there. I don't remember it being all that exciting so it's wonderful to hear that it's improved. If I ever make it back down south, I will have to go check it out :)