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Williamstown Botanic Gardens

Home > Melbourne > Day Trips | Free | Gardens | Nature | Outdoor
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 May 26th 2019
Explore one of the oldest Botanic Gardens in Victoria


Nestled by the sea within a stone's throw away from Williamstown Beach and sitting on 10 acres (4 hectares) with a strong Edwardian character, Williamstown Botanic Garden is not only one of the oldest Botanic Gardens in Victoria; it is the first public gardens in the state as well as being listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.



The Gardens are enhanced by its impressive central palm avenue and the framework of layouts, however, if it's being compared to the major gardens in Melbourne, Williamstown Botanic Garden lacks in design sophistication, yet gives off an impression of being quaint.



In 1856, after intense lobbying from the people of Williamstown, four hectares were set aside for the Williamstown Botanic Garden and on 2nd January 1860, the Gardens were officially opened.



Williamstown Botanic Gardens was designed by eminent 19th century landscape designer Edward La Trobe Bateman and initially plants and planting advice were given by first director of the Royal Botanic Gardens Ferdinand von Mueller and today the northern half the Garden features open lawns and mature trees planted in a pattern with paths in between, giving off a magical feel as you potter your way through nature admiring the abundance mix of colourful palms, evergreen exotics and decorative shrubs.



The southern part of the Gardens is home to mainly mature pines and Cypresses and throughout the Gardens you will notice park benches and picnic tables.



Highlights at the Botanic Gardens include:

The historical Iron Entrance Gates which were constructed in 1904 and manufactured by the famous W. Macfarlane and Co, at the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow.

The historic Iron Entrance Gates...


The marble statue of Alfred Thomas Clack which can be found standing at the end of the main axial path, which was erected on 18th July 1891.



The Water Drinking Fountain which was installed in 1906 near the Lake.



The Ornamental Lake- constructed in 1904.



The Palm Walk



Plethora of exotic plants.



Interesting Facts:

In 1891 both sides of the main axial path, near the statue of Alfred Thomas Clarke, were planted with New Zealand Cabbage Trees and in 1915 replanted with Washington Palms and in 1988 it was again replanted.



The Botanic Garden is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register as significant for their historical, aesthetic, scientific (horticultural) and social significance to the state of Victoria. It is also listed on the National Register and classified by The National Trust of Australia (Vic).

In 1856, the 10 acre site was formally set aside for a 'Public Park and Pleasure Ground'.



The Gardens are historically important as one of Victoria's most intact and original botanic gardens complete with authentic formal Victorian and Edwardian design features including shrubberies, a pinetum, marble statuary, an intricate path system, an ornamental lake, a palm walk and rare and significant trees.

The Gardens are home to bats, possums, a wide range of birds, and more than 150 species of insects.



Williamstown Botanic Gardens has become the scene for many loved events including Shakespeare in the Gardens, Garden parties, Storytime under the Elm, Reading Corner, school activities, Paint the Gardens art event, tree and heritage walks as well as being a popular location for wedding ceremonies.



With open green lawns, intricate pathways and attractions including the fine example of the authenticity of the Gardens, which is the result of an unbroken line of horticultural knowledge and tradition, Williamstown Botanic Garden offers a peaceful setting to enjoy a picnic, take a stroll or just to relax or daydream on the cool green lawns. It also offers a wonderful day out being surrounded by nature and tranquillity.



It is located within an easy walk from the ferry service in Commonwealth Reserve- within a few minutes' walk from the Williamstown Beach Railway Station.


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Why? A splendid day out surrounded by nature
When: All year round- Open 24hrs
Phone: (03) 9932 1000
Where: Giffard St & Osborne Street, Williamstown
Cost: Free
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