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St Kilda Botanical Gardens

Home > Melbourne > Day Trips | Free | Gardens | Places of Interest | Walks
by Gypsy Rose (subscribe)
I am a travel writer and photographer with a passion for the great outdoors and food! I love travelling and discovering hidden gems... experience the journey on Instragram! @gypsy_compass
Published August 22nd 2018
A historical and wonderful botanic garden to visit
Established in 1859, the 16 acres St Kilda Botanical Garden is a historic botanic garden with incorporations of modern twists including the fascinating Eco-Centre, green lawns, beautiful native flowerbeds, rosary, exotic trees, a pond, and also home to a giant chessboard.



Over the years, the gardens have evolved to include extensive seasonal flower beds, lush exotic forests, Alister Clark Rose Garden, a sub-tropical conservatorium, native Australian plant species, indigenous plants, two historical glasshouses which house the Friends of St Kilda Botanical Gardens, and local native species trail along Herbert Street.

There are plenty of green lawns to enjoy picnics, run around with the kids or simply lay down and relax under a tree...


This flora and fauna wonderland garden is also home to the tranquil and stunning ornamental pond, which the 'Rain Man' calls home (a sculpture of a man holding an umbrella - it is a fountain that runs off solar power and recycled water). It is also home to 810 mature tree specimens, of which eight are on the significant tree register.



If you are a bird enthusiast, you will certainly be in awe with the birdlife at St Kilda Botanical Gardens. You will find Eastern Spinebills, Crested Pigeons, Grey Fantales, Powerful Owl, Tawney Frogmouth, Chestnut Teal duck families and Rainbow Lorikeets.

Ducks and birds enjoying the garden's sun and lawns...


Wildlife includes Brushtail Possum and Grey Headed Flying Fox.

A little history background on the botanical gardens:

When the gardens were being laid out, red gravel was discovered in the south-east corner and used on local roads. When exhausted, the excavation was filled with municipal rubbish and the pit remained closed until 1890. In the 1920s this section of the gardens laid undeveloped.

Discovering hidden spots in the Garden...


In 1950, the Alister Clark Memorial Rose Garden was created and in 1985 it was rebuilt to a sunken garden. It is the largest garden in Australia to pay tribute to this famous rosarian.

The Rose Garden still looks stunning during winter...


Over the years, the gardens showcased many features including an aviary, birdbath, statuary, fountain, lily pond, flowered archway; all reflecting the tastes of the time.

Some colouful flowers during the winter season...


In 1890, 1950, 1985, 2003, 2010 and 2012, major developments took place. This included four specially commissioned gates and in 2012 the fifth gate was installed. Each gate is different and highlights features nearby.

The 'Rain Man' sculpture guards the tranquil pond...


The gardens might have been under a few developments, but despite all of that, this beautiful garden still contains its essential nineteenth-century feel and layout.

There a number of well-maintained pathways throughout the Botanical Gardens...


St Kilda Botanical Gardens is a wonderful natural attraction to enjoy a picnic, nature walk/ stroll, relaxation, bird watching and admiring its beauty.



There are guided tours available as well as talks, fundraising plant events, special gardens-focused events and the Friends Nursery (in the historical glasshouses).

The historical Glasshouses...


The giant chessboard incorporates purpose-built bench seats with regular sized chessboards set into the table tops for players to bring their own pieces. The regular sized chessboards are available during the gardens opening hours.

The giant chessboard needs to be booked and is available up until 2pm.

The gardens also feature a playground suitable for all ages.

The St Kilda Conservatory is home to some of the most spectacular rainforest trees, shrubs, plants & flowers


The gardens are also a popular wedding ceremony venue. There are various areas available ranging from lawns accommodating larger guest lists, to the intimate Rose Garden Rotunda. See website for all details.

Some of the flora that call the St Kilda Conservatory home...


The gardens are boarded by Dickens, Tennyson, Blessington and Herbert Streets and are opened all year round from sunrise to sunset and the conservatory is opened between 10:30am and 3:30pm weekdays and from dawn to dusk on weekends and public holidays.

St Kilda Botanic Garden is filled with spectacular towering trees...


Getting Here:
There are two tram lines and several bus lines passing near the gardens and the closest train station is in Balaclava.

Free parking is available in the gardens vicinity.

There are toilets with disabled access on site.

St Kilda Botanical Gardens is dog-friendly and dogs must be on a leash at all times. (Dogs are not permitted within 5 metres of the playground).


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Why? Explore the relaxing gardens
When: All year round- Sunrise to Sunset & Conservatory: 10:30am-3:30pm weekdays & dawn to dusk weekends
Where: Accessed via Blessington, Tennyson, Dickens and Herbert Streets, St Kilda
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Thank you, Julia A :)
by Gypsy Rose (score: 2|388) 79 days ago
Great pics! This place is gorgeous on a sunny afternoon
by Julia A (score: 1|32) 80 days ago
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Foodi Photoh Classie
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by michelle from mishella on 09/08/2010
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