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Melbourne’s secret gardens and green spaces

Need to take a break from indoors? Take a stroll through an urban forest or secluded nook in these city-side parks if you’re within 5km, or plan your visit post 3 June. We’ve even got a free walking map to help you find your way.

Lake Waterfall, Queen Victoria Gardens

A little triangle of parkland across from the National Gallery of Victoria, Queen Victoria Gardens boast an iconic floral clock, historic rotunda and numerous flower beds and sculptures. Lesser known to visitors is Lake Waterfall, a peaceful place where water cascades over a serene stone setting. Seek it out on the south side of the ornamental lake.

Royal Botanic Gardens’ Wellbeing Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens’ Fern Gully has three lush meditative spaces, perfect for solo contemplation. The highlight of the Wellbeing Gardens is the Bird’s Nest, where you can breathe in the green surroundings in a suspended swing chair. There’s also the sheltered Grotto, and a Japanese-inspired moss garden. Sit atop stone seats and unwind before the central ‘mother stone’ fountain.

Trin Warren Tam-boore

Did you know there are wetlands in Royal Park? Trin Warren Tam-boore means ‘bellbird waterhole’, and is home to many species of native fauna like ibis and kookaburras. Read the signs along the walking trail and learn all about the insects and reptiles that call this urban wetland home. Taking around 90 minutes, it’s well worth the journey.

Queen Victoria Gardens’ little pond

In this lovely formal greenspace, it’s hard to believe you’re only a few minutes walk from Flinders Street Station. You’ve probably seen Queen Victoria Gardens‘ big floral clock, but have you found the hidden pond? John Olsen’s playful bronze frog statue leaps out of it, while a petite waterfall splish-splashes away. You might also spot some contented ducks in this secluded urban oasis.

Fitzroy Gardens’ stream

This quiet, green oasis on the edge of the CBD beckons you for a lunchtime stroll. Melburnians all know Fitzroy Gardens‘ avenues of elm trees, gracious sculptures and fountains. But don’t miss the stream running through the park’s southern section though. It’s surrounded by semi-wilderness – like ferns and rainforest plantings – and forms an ornamental state studded pond.

Westgate Park

If you’ve ever crossed the Westgate Bridge, you’ve caught a glimpse of Westgate Park below. What used to be an industrial area on the eastern bank of the Yarra is now home to plants and plenty of natives animals. Think waterbirds like spoonbills, pelicans and swans. See how many species you can spot against the city skyline. During warm, dry spells the park’s natural algae turn the lake bright pink!