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.
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.
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.
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.
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