I love gardens - looking at them as opposed to working in them - but getting around them and understanding what you're looking at can sometimes be quite challenging. So here are a couple of ideas that I discovered when planning for my next visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne.
On foot with a free Audio Guide
Download the podcast/Audio guide onto your phone or mp3 player which will take you on a guided tour around the gardens starting at the visitors centre. The podcast has interviews and stories that can help you understand what you're looking at. - Free
On foot with a Tour guide - Tour Flora Australis
Good footwear always helps, but the walkways at the Cranbourne make it very easy
I've been on this one and I found it fascinating as they guided and explained how the planting was organised and what story was being told by the arrangement of plants - $6.50
In an open air hop-on hop-off bus
The Open air bus at the Cranbourne Gardens. Image from the Gardens website.
When I heard about the possibility of touring the landscaped section of the site in an open air bus I was excited. I last visited Cranbourne Gardens during an open day before they had finished the landscaping. I really enjoyed the experience but this time I would like to take my elderly mother - and long distance walking isn't an option. - $5.00
There's no excuse so don't forget to pack sunscreen, a hat and a picnic lunch and water. If you need to be inspired more have a look at this article from the architects, it has lots of fabulous pictures.
Bookings: not required
Getting there: Car is your best option although according to the website it is possible to take the train to Cranbourne and then a taxi to the gardens (with the taxi costing around $15.00). There is also an infrequent bus service.