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Eva's Cafe in Darwin's Botanic Gardens

Home > Darwin > Cafes | Gardens | Walks
by Karen Ross (subscribe)
I love walking, and I love eating good food. The more I eat, the more I need to walk, so I plan to walk all around the world, eating good food, at nice places. It's a worthwhile quest and I'd love you to follow at www.walkeatshare.wordpress.com
Published April 30th 2016
Enjoy refreshments in a heritage listed Wesleyan Church
Dry season in Darwin is the perfect time to walk through George Brown Botanic Gardens, and then finish with refreshments at Eva's Cafe.

Eva's Botanical Cafe
Eva's Botanical Cafe


The gardens date back to 1886 but suffered considerable damage during Cyclone Tracy in 1974. Curator, George Brown, tirelessly restored the gardens before becoming Darwin's Mayor in the early nineties. The Botanic Gardens are now named after him.

Entrance to the George Brown Botanical Gardens
Entrance to the George Brown Botanical Gardens


Just inside the garden gates is a delightful, nature-inspired, children's playground with a sandpit, climbing rocks and a creek for water play.

Children's playground
Children's Playground


Further on you'll find waterfalls, fountains, ponds, palms, pandanus trees and a selection of walks. You can follow a trail of markers to take you through the Tree Walk, Cycad Walk or Aboriginal Plant Walk.

Lily Pond
Lily Pond


There are seats and benches under large, shady trees where you can sit for a while and enjoy the serenity. Or check emails on your phone. The gardens offer half hour free wifi. I suggest a device free time here though, it's too special a place to allow distraction from the moment.

There are information boards and plaques identifying plants and bush tucker as well as those telling stories about Darwin folk from the past.

Stories among the fan palms
Stories among the fan palms


You'll need refreshments after your walk, especially if the day is steamy. Eva's Cafe is strategically placed near the entrance to (or exit from) the gardens, in an old Wesleyan church building.

The building is a bit special to locals, having been built in Adelaide and then transported to Darwin in 1897. It is recognised as Darwin's oldest building and to a select few older residents it still holds treasured memories of weddings, christenings, funerals and social events. It survived numerous cyclones as well as the bombing of Darwin and sat neglected for a number of years before being restored and transported to the Gardens in 2001.

A Darwin Treasure
A Darwin Treasure


The cafe continues the botanic theme with posters and prints adorning the walls and terrariums here and there. There are whirring fans, louvres and wrought iron or wicker chairs and tables.

Eva's Botanical Cafe
Eva's Botanical Cafe


Outside is a sprawling deck and garden with tables under shady trees.

Table in the garden
Table in the garden


The atmosphere is tranquil, quiet music plays in the background and the occasional bush chook call can be heard.

Bush chook
Bush chook


The cafe serves Botanica Coffee, aptly named and Fair Trade. Choose from various styles including iced and pour over. The menu lists several tea varieties, home-made iced tea, shakes and frappes.

Botanica Coffee
Botanica Coffee


The lunch menu includes sandwiches, wraps and delicious-sounding salads. I walked during the early morning so treated myself to a 'second breakfast' of coffee and a Chia Pot with almond milk, seasonal fruits and bee pollen. The three different types of melon and grapes were sweet and juicy and the slices of starfruit were, as is usual, bland, but they do decorate a dish. And they are tropical.

Chia Pot with fresh seasonal fruits and bee pollen
Chia Pot with fresh seasonal fruits and bee pollen


Eva's Cafe is open longer hours during the dry season for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea.
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Why? Eat tropical fruit among the palms and pandanus trees
When: Mon-Fri 7am-3pm, Sat, Sun 7am-3pm
Phone: 0434 544 210
Where: Eva's Cafe, George Brown Botanic Gardens Darwin, NT
Cost: Fruit Salad $8
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