Cranbourne Gardens walk, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

Corner Ballarto Road and Botanic Drive, Cranbourne

Cranbourne Gardens walk, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

Corner Ballarto Road and Botanic Drive, Cranbourne

Staff Pick
36 m
2.4 km

If you need to convince anyone of the beauty of Australian native plants, then this is the place. Every corner taken on this walk reveals a spectacular, colourful landscape.

Cranbourne Gardens walk, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

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If you need to convince anyone of the beauty of Australian native plants, then this is the place. Every corner taken on this walk reveals a spectacular, colourful landscape.


Find out more

These gardens are a must-do for every Victorian and every visitor to the state. If you've always driven past the turnoff sign to the gardens as you head away on a coastal holiday, we hope these photos will help convince you to stop and take a walking break next time!

Entry to the gardens is free (although you can pay for a guided tour) and they are open every day except for Christmas. While children may not be as enraptured by the botanic displays, there are plenty of play spaces including a fun water feature (adults may find it hard to resists a splash also!)

Please note, dogs are not allowed in the gardens at any time (except for assistance animals).
Also beware that snakes are often sighted in the gardens at certain times of the year (so keep to paths and look for signage).

As of early 2021 the Cranbourne Gardens are public-transport accessible with a free shuttle bus running between Cranbourne train station three times each day. Book a seat here.

Please note we have an earlier map of the gardens, created by Victoria Walks friend, Dottie! You can find Dottie's walk here.

More Botanic Gardens walks here .

Note: Map banner image care of Visit Victoria

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Points of Interest

1. Visitor Centre and view over Red Sand Garden

Begin your walk by passing through the impressive Visitor Centre and descending the steps to a fantastic first vista of the Red Sands garden.

2. Diversity Garden

The diversity garden is a great place to begin your walk as it's a great snap shot of the variety of native Australian plants.

3. Water-saving garden

There are lots of ideas here for how you should plan a garden in the Australian climate (one that will most likely get ever drier). Keep an eye out for the gorgeous blue, yellow and red watering cans!

4. Future Garden

What will Australian plants look like in the future once scientists have meddled with them? This garden explores what science can offer to help plants adapt to a warming planet.

5. Rookpool Waterway (splash, splash!)

A great place for people of all ages to relax, cool down and have fun! Mind the slippery surface though.

6. Kids' Backyard Garden

Lots here to pique the interest of little folk - with log archways, a slide, blackboards and lots of potential hiding spots for a fun game.

7. Toilets

This area has information boards, toilets, drinking taps plus some lovely seating in the shade.

8. Cultivar Garden

So perhaps this isn't quite a native garden after all?! Find out what is meant by 'cultivate' when it comes to plants.

9. Research Garden

Horticultural and scientific staff at Cranbourne and trialing all sorts of things and this garden is a great place to discover just what they're up to!

10. Melaleuca Spits

Take in a view over the waterways as you make your way around the base of Howson Hill.

11. River view

Every view at Cranbourne is spectacular ... So really, there is no wrong way to go!

12. Sandpit and lookout from Gibson Hill

Take the wooded path up Gibson Hill where you will find the Arid garden and a sandpit for those keen on doing some digging of their own.

13. Arid Gardens

If you've never quite made it to the Red Centre or the Nullabor, perhaps this is the next best thing?

14. Another great view!

As you descend from the arid garden, you'll be greeted by (another) lovely view.

15. Weird and Wonderful (plants) Garden

Bottle trees and other rare and quirky sights... A great place for the curious (budding botanists included).

16. Greening cities

Includes espalier gum experiment

17. Lifestyle Garden viewing deck

You wish... Some of the ideas here are very achievable, but others may require a pretty spectacular view!

18. Backyard Garden

Lots of ideas here for your own garden at home, regardless of whether you have lots of space, or just a little.

19. Personal gardening advice shed

A friendly volunteer is on-hand to answer any of your gardening queries or to point you to the next stop on your Cranbourne Gardens walk.

20. Ian Potter Lakeside Precinct

The garden staff often use this area for special events (on school holidays for example) but it's also a nice spot to picnic (or read!)

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21. Gondwana Garden

Before Australia broke away from the giant Gondwana continent, its landscape would have been far lusher and more tropical. This garden gives you an idea.

22. Start of the Eucalypt Walk

Stroll through five gardens featuring some of Australia's most-loved Eucalypt species: Stringybark, Bloodwood, Peppermint-scented, Box and Ironbark.

23. Secrets of Lightness scultpure

There are many sculptures dotted around the gardens but this has to be one of the most beautiful. You have to see it to appreciate how the light dances through and around it.

24. Walk more? Trig Point Lookout and Woodland Picnic Area

If you're keen do a much longer walk, then take this path to the Trig track and then walk to the lookout, or you could follow the signs instead to the Woodland Picnic area.


Public Transport Public Transport
Playground Playground
Picnic spot Picnic spot
Drinking water available Drinking water available
Seating available Seating available
Public toilets Public toilets
Pram friendly Pram friendly
Local treasures Local treasures
Nature trail Nature trail
Lake, creek, river Lake, creek, river
Park / Garden Park / Garden