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Free Things to Do With Your Kids in Melbourne: #1 Royal Botanic Gardens

Home > Melbourne > Family | Free | Nature | Outdoor | Parks
by Anna Phillips (subscribe)
I'm a University student studying genetics, keen on species conservation and the environment. I love the outdoors, water sports, bike riding, languages, music, art and much, much more.
Published August 28th 2012
If you're like me and thoroughly enjoy the outdoors, take pleasure in hearing the birds and admiring flora and fauna and you feel a little limited on these experiences in Melbourne, do not fret, for you can find such beauty in the heart of Melbourne. If you think about it, Melbourne is a very green city in that regard, in that it has numerous parks near the city centre (Princes Park, Carlton Gardens and the Royal Botanic Gardens just to name a few) and a large native bird population including Rainbow Lorikeets, Galahs and Wattlebirds.

As a country girl at heart who has had to move to Melbourne for my studies, I need some time out sometimes, which for me includes visiting these parks and gardens. My favourites by far are the Royal Botanic Gardens. Once you walk through their gates you can no longer hear the busy life of Melbourne. You are in your own world, able to let you senses explore the beauty.

Now that we are on the cusp of spring with warmer days and the occasional rays of energy-giving sunshine, it is the perfect time to visit the Royal Botanic Gardens, take some time out in between your busy working lives. Explore the bamboo forests, the rainforest giants and marvel at the many species of birds. Many deciduous trees are currently sporting flower and leaf buds, and there is nothing more beautiful than watching a tree slowly gain fresh, young, fluorescent leaves.

Bring your kids along and let them run wild on the many lawns, roll down the hills and turn bird spotting into a game. My family and I always did this, creating a list of all bird species that were found in the area and trying to find them all on our trip.

Just some species you are most likely to find in the Royal Botanic Gardens are:
Black Swan
Willie Wagtail
Fairy Wren (these are a little more difficult to spot, but hang around a thicket of bushes and you might be lucky)
Eastern Rosella
Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo
Wood ducks
And many, many more!

Bird spotting not only makes excursions a little more exciting for young children (if they are not already excited about the outdoors), it also introduces them to the bird species in and around Melbourne and teaches them to recognise different birds by their name.
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Why? For gardens, birds, flowers, spring
When: Any time
Where: Royal Botanic Gardens
Cost: $0
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