Green Days: A Guide to Melbourne's Best Parks

From stately rose gardens to ornamental lakes, we round up the best parks in Melbourne in time for spring.

September is the month that the frost finally starts to thaw in Melbourne, and is when the city's innumerable parks and gardens start to come into bloom for spring. You don't have to travel far to find a green oasis in Melbourne—here are some of our favourites.

Werribee Park

Werribee Park and Mansion.

Not just a garden, Werribee Park is a historical gem. The Victorian-era formal gardens comprise 10 hectares of perfectly manicured flower beds spread around the ornate Werribee Mansion, including the Victoria State Rose Garden. There are many picturesque spots to pull out a picnic blanket, but wandering is recommended—particularly around the island grotto and to see the work of local contemporary artists on the sculpture walk.
Main Drive, Werribee.

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

The oak lawn at Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.

Melbourne's most well-known inner-city oasis is home to more than 8,500 plant species from around the world, which are arranged in a kaleidoscope of colour around the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria's sweeping lawns and majestic central lake. Open to the public every day of the year, the gardens are also home to regular events—such as the annual Moonlight Cinema festival—and hands-on workshops for kids and adults alike.
Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra.

Carlton Gardens

Carlton Gardens.

Carlton Gardens is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed green space in Melbourne's inner-north. At the heart of the gardens is the Royal Exhibition Building which, along with the gardens, was designed in 1880 for the Melbourne International Exhibition. Carlton Gardens is also home to Melbourne Museum, the Carlton Gardens Tennis Courts, a children's playground, ornamental lakes and fountains, and groves of mature trees that reflect the changing seasons.
1–111 Carlton Street, Carlton.

Fitzroy Gardens

Captain Cook's Cottage within Fitzroy Gardens.

Located at a convenient walking junction between the inner-north suburb of Fitzroy and the Spring Street end of Melbourne CBD, Fitzroy Gardens is a significant green paradise on the city fringe. Walking through its majestic tree-lined paths is a peaceful route to walk for many commuters. The wide swathes of lawn and the man-made lake they contain facilitate many kinds of restful amenity—from regular weekend picnickers to solo sun-bathers to occasional organised festivals and events. There are also a number of sites of architectural significance within the gardens' sprawling boundary, such as the small Tudor-style gatekeeper's lodge at the south-west corner; Captain Cook's 1755-built cottage, relocated from Great Ayton in 1934 as a gift for Victoria's centenary; and the Fairies Tree, an historic red gum tree that has been engraved with fantastical images of fairies, gnomes, dwarves, and Australian flora and fauna.
Wellington Parade, East Melbourne.