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Grab The Picnic Hamper, These Are The 19 Most Beautiful Gardens Around Australia

Spring is always a vibe, the warm weather and bright colours enough to shake us out of any funk. It’s an especially happy time for the anthomaniacs among us (read: everyone) who thrive on florals.

Here are some incredible gardens in every state, where you can make the most of springtime blooms.

New South Wales

#1 Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan

 

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Located in Mount Annan south west of Sydney, the Australian Botanic Garden is home to 4000 different native and introduced plant species with more than 400 hectares of open space, gardens and native woodland areas to explore.

Spring has arrived and just like clockwork the migratory bird species that call the garden home in spring and summer all arrive, changing over with the cold weather birds. You can also catch paper daisies, bright native flowers and a plethora of other beauties washing the gardens with colour.

#2 Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour

 

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This gem is tucked away in a little corner in Darling Harbour, serving as a tranquil oasis in the middle of the city. Created by Chinese architects, you’ll find ornate pavilions, a Dragon Wall and pagodas alongside babbling waterfalls, koi fish, willow trees and exotic plants. There’s even a tea house.

#3 The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney

 

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This garden is no secret, but for good reason. A major tourist attraction in its own right, the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney always has beautiful displays (there are living collections from almost every continent in the world across its 30 hectares), but in spring it really shines.

In September, do the garden’s famous and historic Spring Walk while in bloom. This display has been a calendar highlight since Charles Moore planted an Azalea Garden along the south side of the Macquarie Wall in 1856 and changes every year.

#4 Hunter Valley Gardens, Hunter Valley

 

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Wine plus flowers is a recipe for happiness in any book. In the heart of Hunter Valley wine country you’ll find eight kilometres of pretty paths winding through 14 hectares of gardens consisting of over 6000 trees, 600,000 shrubs and over a million ground cover plants – plus waterfalls, statues, murals and much more.

The 10 individually themed gardens include formal gardens, rose gardens, storybook gardens, Japanese-style gardens, an Italian grotto and more. They’re quite a spectacular sight, especially in spring.

#5 North Coast Regional Botanic Garden, Coffs Harbour

 

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Located in Coffs Harbour on the mid NSW North Coast, the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden is a subtropical wonderland stretching over 20 hectares. With boardwalks winding through rainforests, mangrove habitats, paper bark and a Japanese garden on the lake, it’s a beautiful space to explore the native species as well as a large variety of exotic plants from subtropical regions of the globe. There’s also a seed bank and herbarium on site.

Victoria

#6 Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne and Cranbourne

 

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The perfect escape from the city, Melbourne Gardens extends over 38 hectares, with displays of more than 50,000 individual plants representing over 8,500 different species from every part of the globe.

But don’t forget that there is also the Cranbourne division which specialises in native Australian plants, surrounded by remnant bushland and wetlands — a protected site of State significance for biodiversity conservation, where 370 species of native plants can be found, 20 native mammal species and 11 amphibian species.

Currently closed due to Melbourne Lockdown, the garden is doing virtual tours. Click here.

#7 The Gardens of Tieve Tara, Mount Macedon

 

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The Gardens of Tieve Tara is a privately-owned garden that opens to the public for all of spring and autumn for an entry fee, although it’s currently temporarily closed due to COVID-19.

Set on the eucalyptus-covered slopes of Mt Macedon, this is a stunning sanctuary set across seven and a half acres of sweeping lawns, trees and lakes (one with a gorgeous Monet-style bridge) with vibrant seasonal colours. There’s also a bunch of chooks, geese and ducks that roam free around the grounds.

Queensland

#8 Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, Queens Park, Botanic Gardens and more

 

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Toowoomba is kind of known for their floral prowess, and Floral Friday on September18 marks the beginning of 10 glorious days of such celebrations. The Carnival of Flowers features over 170,000 blooms across its parks and public spaces. Plus there’s the new region-wide food trail #trEATS, the dog-friendly Petals and Pups program, chalk art in Queens Park, the static Grand Central Floral Parade in Grand Central Shopping Centre, Rowes light shows at night, guided and non-guided walking tours, the Cobb + Co Museum and the much-loved floral group displays.

The program has been adjusted to ensure all experiences are COVID-19 safe and the city is ready to welcome Queenslanders to play in the petals and explore some of the hidden places and flavours of the region.

#9 Kooroomba Lavender Farm, Mount Alford

 

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Nestled in the rolling hills of the Great Dividing Range and untouched heritage national parks is Kooroomba Lavender Farm. With six different types of lavender, you can run through fields of purple as if you were in Provence, without the price tag.

An hour and a half from Brisbane, the six hectares of lavender fields are also home to vineyards (hello, cellar door) with an epic mountain backdrop.

#10 Tamborine Mountain Botanic Gardens, Mount Tamborine

 

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Known as the hidden treasure atop Mount Tamborine ‘where tropical meets temperate’, Tamborine Mountain Botanic Gardens offers a slice of peace by way of 11 hectares of colourful native and exotic flora. The Gardens include a beaut lake as the  centrepiece, a tranquil Japanese garden, a tropical rainforest walk and many other gems like a rose garden.

#11 Mount Coot-Tha Botanic Gardens (Brisbane Botanic Gardens)

 

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Set at the base of Brissy’s tallest mountain, these are the region’s top subtropical botanic gardens. There’s themed gardens like a Bonsai House and Japanese garden, the largest collection of Australian native rainforest trees in the world, native wildlife and more than 20,000 plants. But you definitely have to visit the geodesic tropical dome filled with exotic, tropical flowers and plants.

Australian Capital Territory

#12 Australian National Botanic Gardens, Canberra

 

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Nestled in the foothills of Black Mountain but minutes from Canberra’s CBD, these gardens offer a breathtaking array of native plants in a beautiful bushland setting. In fact, this is the only place in the world you can see the true variety of Australian native plants in one location. Plus there’s fun stuff like daisy gardens, Eucalypt lawns, rainforest gullies and paperbark treehouses.

They carefully manage research into plant classification and biology and house many of Australia’s rare and endangered plants. The Herbarium, with over 1.2 million specimens, is responsible for the scientific integrity of the Gardens’ plant labelling and manages the national plant name lists for Australia’s botanical community.

South Australia

#13 The Botanic Gardens of South Australia

 

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Hoo boy, it’s wisteria time in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. But there’s also many other gems to discover, like the International Rose Garden or the Garden of Health, where you can learn about the medicinal properties of plants and how they prevent as well as treat diseases.

The Botanic Gardens of South Australia comprises three beautiful public gardens – Adelaide Botanic Garden (and Botanic Park) in the city, Mount Lofty Botanic Garden in the Adelaide Hills and Wittunga Botanic Garden in suburban Blackwood.

For the first time this year, the gardens have launched Nature Festival, which runs from 25 September to 4 October. There’s events for all ages, but be sure to attend the anticipated closing event Noise//Nature: a unique night time audio-visual experience with real-life sound recordings of the Adelaide Botanic Garden transformed into their own soundtrack, remixed with music and synchronised to mesmerising light projections.

#14 Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, Port Augusta

 

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For something a little different, experience the outback’s version of a botanic garden. Located in the Upper Spencer Gulf, the garden is a place where an arid temperature zone and marine environment meet, leading to diversified flora and fauna.

There are thousands of plants from Australia’s low rainfall regions and the garden is also home to more than 150 bird species. Explore the garden, take in stunning views of the Spencer Gulf and Flinders Ranges on its many walking tracks and take a guided tour to learn how plants survive the harsh inland climate.

Western Australia

#15 Araluen Botanic Park, Roleystone, Perth Hills

 

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In this serene Aussie bushland setting spanning 59 hectares you’ll find a diverse range of exotic plants, but springtime means it’s tulip season. Araluen Botanic Park’s Tulip Festival is a fabulous place to get amongst it, showcasing 150,000 tulips in bloom carpeting the grounds and 36,000 flowering bulbs against a backdrop of beautiful native bush. The festival runs until October 4 but the garden is definitely worth visiting year round.

#16 Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Perth

 

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If thousands of colourful wildflowers are your thing, then head to Kings Park in the heart of Perth for the state’s largest display currently blooming. This is the world’s largest inner city park, which boasts 3,000+ varieties of WA’s unique flora and sculpted gardens over a whopping 400 hectares. Two thirds is protected as bushland, providing a haven for native biological diversity.

The gardens are also rich in Aboriginal and European history and have an international reputation for scientific research, leading horticulture, conservation and public education. Perched above Perth city and overlooking the Swan River, the floral views aren’t the only thing worth a look. The Kings Park Festival is also on during spring.

Tasmania

#17 Inverawe Native Gardens, Tasmania

 

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Tasmania’s largest landscaped native garden winds around the shores of North West Bay, just 15 minutes south of Hobart CBD. You’ll get to take in some pretty spectacular views of south eastern Tassie including to North Bruny Island and soak in some colonial history.

Explore thousands of Australian native plants and blossoming flowers, as well as view scores of bird species, twelve of them only found in Tasmania.

Northern Territory

While the concept of spring doesn’t really exist in the NT (the seasons are wet and dry), these gardens are still worth checking out.

#18 Olive Pink Botanic Garden, Alice Springs

 

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In Alice Springs you’ll find the Olive Pink Botanic Garden, founded by Miss Olive Pink, which has over 600 central Australian plant species, including 145 occurring naturally and 40 rare or threatened. There are a network of walking trails around the garden, as well as up on to Annie Myers Hill, with sweeping views of Alice Springs, the Todd River and the MacDonnell Ranges. You’ll also have the chance to see native wildlife like hill kangaroos, and over 80 bird species.

#19 George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens, Darwin

Head to these gardens 2kms from Darwin’s CBD to see a variety of plants from northern Australia as well as tropical species from around the world. You can see extensive plantings of colourful heliconias, gingers, tropical orchids, bromeliads and other exotic plants.

This one isn’t your standard city botanic garden: there’s an African-Madagascan garden with a unique collection showcasing the world’s baobab and boab trees; a waterfall deep in the rainforest; and primitive plants “the dinosaurs ate” in the cycad garden. Plus, you can join the twitchers looking for the Rufous owls.

(Lead Image: Instagram / @australianaridlands)