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Published May 2nd 2015
Take time out to enjoy this unique and beautiful garden
Located some 400km inland of any ocean waters, the Australian Inland Botanic Gardens is a rare oasis of design and beauty, surviving on the natural yet limited rainfall that occurs many kilometres away from Australia's coast. Set on 152 hectares of premium Sunraysia land, the gardens play host to many flowers, plants and trees from all over the world.
The Australian Inland Botanic Gardens near Mildura were first planted in 1988 with plants grouped according to their place of origin. It is here that you will find plants belonging to each of the States of Australia located together in distinct beds, while plants from each of the other continents and New Zealand are similarly grouped together in their own distinct plant beds. Typically the plants are those from the dry inlands of countries where rainfall averages less than 250mm per year.
The highlight of the gardens is the massly planted Rose Garden at the centre of the Botanic Gardens. Some 1624 roses exist in the formal gardens (plus another 300 in surrounding gardens), and they provide a magnificent array of colour from October through to June each year.
The Botanic Gardens are also the home to several large ornamental lakes amongst the Asian and the native Australian flora beds. These lakes are the home to many and varied wildlife including many species of birds including a paddling of ducks. Early mornings and late afternoons also provide great opportunities to practice reflective photography on the otherwise calm lakes.
A couple of bird hides provide further opportunities for photographers, this time to discreetly photograph the birds at play. The variety of trees and bushes attract many different types of local and non-shy birdlife. And being a natural set of gardens in Australia's outback, there are many other local visitors including lizards, snakes and the odd kangaroo.
Standing tall near the centre of the park is a Mallee Tree estimated to be close to 2,500 years old. The mallee tree is reknown for re-creating itself after bushfires, and there are indications on this tree that it has survived at least two major fires during its lifespan.
The Botanic Gardens are available for touring either by yourself along the multitude of paths and trails, or on a tourist train that departs the Garnpang Homestead and coffee shop. Brekkie Saturday is held on the fourth Saturday of every month with visitors treated to a gourmet breakfast made from local produce before heading off on the tourist train. This unique tour takes visitors around the entire park providing an interesting and informative commentary about the history of the gardens and the plants it contains.
The Gardens are looked after in their entirety by a precious group of volunteers who rely on donations, or purchases from the coffee and gift shops to help with the upkeep. The gardens are also available for hire for those special events and private functions, with catering provided upon request.
The Australian Inland Botanic Gardens are located 9km northwest of Mildura, and are open weekdays from 8am to 430pm, and on weekends from 10am to 430pm. Further details can be found from their website or their facebook page.