Gayle Beveridge is a past winner of the Boroondara Literary Awards and her work has appeared in Award Winning Australian Writing. Gayle is passionate about family, writing, photography, and with Victoria’s beautiful Bass Coast which she now calls home.
Is this Australia’s Wonderland?
You don't have to be a gardener to thoroughly enjoy Australia Garden. You could just turn up and wander the paths yourselves, taking in the amazing exhibition beds, the lakes and waterways, and the familiar and unusual plants but I recommend you treat yourselves to the Great Southern Land Walk.
The Great Southern Land Walk is a one hour guided tour of the Australia Garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne and will highlight what is unique about Australian plants and how they have adapted to our climate. Australia garden features the plants and eco-systems of South – East Australia and has more than 170,000 plants across 1,700 varieties.
Your expert guide will be a passionate narrator for your journey through this botanic wonderland where it will seem the whole of Australia has been gathered together. I hope you have your camera with you, you will want to record this. While you walk about keep an eye out - bandicoots and echidnas are regularly seen here.
On moving out of the Visitor Centre you will be captivated by the view of the Red Sand Garden and you could be excused for thinking you have just stepped into the Australian outback. You will notice almost immediately the strong plantings of kangaroo paw, a favourite of the small black, white and yellow New Holland Honey Eaters. These little birds were there in abundance when I visited.
The Red Sand Garden is skirted to the left by a dry river bed that leads into the arid garden. Alongside the dry river bed, you will be guided through the Ironbark Garden, Box Garden, Peppermint Garden, Bloodwood Garden and Stringybark Garden before entering the Eucalypt Walk. Your guide will explain how these plants thrive in the Aussie landscape.
Then, you might imagine you have stepped back in time in the Gondwana Garden, so strange will the plants here seem to you. Take a breath when you reach the Ian Potter Lake Precinct. This too is a place of beauty and the birdlife is here in abundance; a clear illustration of how native plants attract our wildlife.
Up the back behind the Casuarina Grove and Seaside Garden, things get a little more urban. Find wonderful inspiration here in the Lifestyle Garden, Greening Cities Garden, and Backyard Garden.
On the other side of the Red Sand Garden, alongside the waterway, sample garden beds illustrate plantings suitable for the aptly named Kids Garden, Diversity Garden, Future Garden, Hone Garden and my favourite the Water Saving Garden. Your guide will explain the advantages of growing plants suited to the Aussie environment. You might pick up some great ideas for your home.
You'll be pleased to come to the end of your guided walk, as not only is there an onsite café and restaurant where you can take a break but Australia Garden is open until 5pm, so you will have plenty of time to revisit your favourite spots.
The walk is rated as easy, and it is. The paths here are well laid out and well-made; this is a world-class site. The walk is all in the outdoors, so visitors should ensure they are dressed for the weather. The tour runs most days and begins at 11am. To arrange a different time, contact the Visitor Experience Team on 03 5990 2262.
Your photography is so wonderful, Congratulations, & a bit of envy. They were such beautiful photos.
Maybe some captions? I really wanted to know what that first plant was, & that second, gorgeous bird.
I don't come to this site often now, but I'll be trying to follow your posts.
Good luck in this latest lockdown, & hope you're soon out & about again.