29 December 2010

Melbourne - Royal Botanic Garden

It was one autumn weekend that we wanted to see some autumn colours. So instead of going to Bright, a Victoria town where it is known for its autumn colours, the next nearest best spot we have was the city botanic garden.

Victoria has many gardens so much so that it is also known as the Garden State of Australia. The Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne was formed to administer to the many gardens in and around Melbourne, with their very own vision, mission and objectives. The Royal Botanic Gardens encompasses two diverse sites; South Yarra and Cranbourne locations.

The photos in this posting are from the South Yarra site, consisting of over 36 hectares and displays as many as 50,000 plants and it is one of Melbourne's most popular tourist attractions.

Strangely, I do not have any photos of the flowers in the garden, only some of the views of the garden. Maybe it is because I have been to the garden so many times, that the flowers have lost its impact on me, simply due to familiarity. It is like driving to work using the same route every day that it is easy to then miss things we have never really seen before. However, I do remember seeing flowers that blooms in the autumn season.

Then there is the lesser known perspective of the garden.

There always seems to be something happening in the garden. A lot depends on the season and the weather for the day. There are the usual tourist, seasoned "fitness fanatics", the occasional art classes and nursery market, strollers passing time and the conducted/guided tours of the garden.

The guided tours is a treat. It gives you the history and cultural significance of the garden and more importantly a new appreciation of the garden and its purpose. Some of the walks and guided tours you can find are:
  • Summer Discovery Walk
  • Aboriginal Heritage Walk
  • Gardens by Twilight
  • Birds, Binoculars and Botanics
  • Garden Snapshot
and more.

Tours can be arranged at the Visitor Centre, Observatory Gate at the Melbourne Observatory, just outside the gate from The Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden. For more details, search the garden web-site.

The Children's Garden is the place for children who like to get their hands and clothing dirty; digging, building, hiding and exploring the gardens such as the Ruin Garden, the Meeting Place with a water feature that sprays up out of the ground in summer, a Wetland Area, Bamboo Forest and lots more. There is even a Kitchen Garden for the future master-chefs.

Then again if everything above is a little too many activities or buzzziness for you, there is always the stroll around the garden or even through the garden to the city for a different kind of "adventure".

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