The Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne

I love going to Botanic Gardens.  Whether it is because I went frequently to the marvellous ones in Edinburgh where I grew up, or whether I just find them spots in cities that are green and full of interesting things, I don’t know.  Anyway, this trip to Melbourne, we returned to the Royal Botanic Gardens (I think my third visit?).  Easy to get to by tram, or walking from Flinders Station, these gardens are definitely worth a visit.


The gardens were established in 1846 by Lieutenant Governor Charles La Trobe, and was  bestowed the ‘Royal’ prefix I 1958.  On our trip, we did a kind of circular walk, that takes you around the lake and up to what is known as Guilfoyle’s Volcano.  There is a cafe on route where you can stop, take a rest, and watch the birds.

The gardens, the lake
More of the lake
Sunshine at the cafe – zero filter

One area in the garden is known as Guilfoyle’s Volcano.  Built in 1876, it was designed to store water for Melbourne Gardens. Lying idle for 60 years, it is now restored as part of a significant landscape development project called Working Wetlands. You get a great view of the city from up there, with boardwalks and viewing platforms to get a good appreciation of how the area is laid out.  The plants here are low-water use, such as cacti and succulents. And why is it called a ‘volcano’?  The ‘lava’ is the flow of water and plants down to the gardens below.


Up at Guilfoyle’s Volcano
Giant cactus

And then it was time for lunch, a walk back to the city. On Thursday, we flew back to Canberra, and then home back to a wet and much cooler Wellington.  It was a lovely break, and some more things to come in this week’s small pleasure post on Monday.

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram @thistleandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on


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