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Royal Botanic Gardens

Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens are among the world's finest and one of the most glorious places to spend a leisurely afternoon or morning. If you enjoy fine gardens, then a visit to these gardens is a must. Even if you don't normally go out of your way to look at gardens, the RBG is worth a visit. The gardens, which were founded in 1846 under the instructions of Charles La Trobe, the Superintendent of Port Phillip, are laid out over 38 picturesque hectares of land close to the Yarra River and in the heart of Melbourne (the gardens are within 400 metres of the CBD). They comprise a collection of a great diversity of plants from around the world selected on an educational, scientific, research, horticultural and aesthetic basis. The plants are set out in superb landscaped surroundings with a lake as a central feature.

There are delightful walking paths and huge garden beds. Such is the scale of the gardens that it is easy to get lost within these grounds. Access to the gardens is free. The gardens are also home to the National Herbarium of Victoria, which has more than a million preserved plant specimens used for plant classification, identification and conservation. This truly is one of the great gardens of the world.

The gardens are open every day of the year, but times change with the seasons. From November through til March, they are open from 7.30am to 8.30pm. From April until October, the hours are 7.30am to 5.30pm.

There are tearooms, cafes and reception centre rooms within the grounds of the gardens.

The Royal Botanic Gardens also has gardens at Cranbourne, comprising 250 hectares, which is about two hours drive south of Melbourne.

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