The Botanical Gardens in Hobart are a true gem and a must-see for every visitor. Situated on a hill with glimpses of the Derwent River, these 35 acre gardens are adorned with abundance of flora, and a beautiful display of colors. Botany lovers and people looking to wander and relax will definitely enjoy their time here.
These plush Hobart gardens were originally commenced in 1818, only two years after Sydney gardens. There is lots to see and you might well spend a couple of hours. It’s easy to appreciate why the Botanical Gardens are become a choice destination for wedding ceremonies.
The Botanical Gardens are an ideal spot for a picnic, birthday parties and family fun. The garden has huge open spaces with lush green grass, benches, picnic tables and a gazebo. Even on a very busy day, there is more than enough space so that no one will intrude on your picnic or party.
The Conservatory is definitely one of the most peaceful spots at the Botanical Gardens. It was built in 1939 out of sandstone salvaged from a demolished section of the Hobart General Hospital. Admire the plants, or rest a while on the seats near the sandstone fountain reading a book or simply appreciating the beauty around you.
Historic Arthur Wall 1830
Did you know that the Botanical Gardens have a historic convict-built wall, and not one but two? The Arthur Wall, name after Governor Arthur, was the first one to be built in 1829. It was internally heated to allow exotic fruits to grow. It was later found that the fruit trees flourished even without the artificial heat, and so Arthur wall was only heated for a few years.
The Eardley-Wilmot Wall was built in 1843 by Governor Sir John Eardley-Wilmot, perhaps to rival Arthur’s wall. This 280 metres long wall lies on the eastern boundary of the Gardens and was also built by convicts. At that time, many free men were also available and so the use of convict labour cause social unrest.
The romantic Anniversary Arch is a short distance from the Botanical Gardens Restaurant and Visitor Centre. Sitting at the base of stone steps surrounded by tall shady trees and shrubs with lovely colorful flowers. You can overlook the pristine Lily Pond from the top of the steps. It is easy to see why this intricately carved Arch is a popular for wedding photographs.
When you look at the beautiful Lily Pond, it will be hard to imagine that this display garden was only ever intended as a reservoir when it was formed in 1840. Today, this lovely pond has over twenty different cultivars present, flowering in shades of white, apricot, pink, red and yellow, a lovely sight all year round. The picturesque setting of lily pond and white bridge provide lots of photographic opportunities.
The Fuchsia House was recently redesigned in 1995 and displays more than 190 varieties of one of the varied exotic Fuchsias. The best time to visit if from late October through until March.
The “Wombat One” shelter was originally developed as a project to showcase a timber construction system using commonsense and environmentally sound practices. The project aimed to foster a more respectful attitude towards the use of timbers from native forests. It is located at the north-western end of the Hobart Gardens.
The Japanese gardens highlight the traditional Japanese garden elements of wood, stone and water. Japanese maples put on a dazzling display in autumn, while cherry blossom follows in spring and then irises and water lilies in summer. The lanterns, waterwheel and bridges act as focal point making Japanese gardens another popular location for weddings and photographs.
Fond of reading? Head to the Burrow! It is a special space full of donated books and records for people to read and enjoy. The large TV screen continually showcases some of Tasmania’s best short films. What could be better than the the tranquil setting of Botanical Gardens to enjoy a good read!
Subantarctic Plant House
One of the most unusual collections at the Gardens is the selection of the Sub Antarctic region flora. Nestled inside a small specially constructed building, in sub zero temperatures, this exhibit gives a glimpse into life on Macquarie Island. It’s like walking into a freezer full of plants and there’s no other collection like it, anywhere else in the world.
Kids specially will enjoy exploring the sensory nature. Expect to hear, ‘it’s too cold’, ‘it’s smells weird’, ‘what’s that noise?’. Surely worth exploring.
Tasmanian Community Food Garden
This Garden is a working organic production and display garden, with a multitude of veggie production practices. It provides inspiration and practical ideas for both the home gardener and other community gardens.
French Explorers Collection
The French Memorial Fountain acknowledges the French voyagers that visited Tasmania and their knowledge in understanding the island.
Tasmanian Fern House
The Fernery shows a varied variety of Tasmania’s fern species – from tiny delicate filmy ferns to the substantial thick-trunked tree ferns and various flowering and opportunistic moss specimens.
Botanical Garden Tours
You can book a guided one-hour tour of the Gardens for up to five passengers. It is a comfortable tour in an Explorer buggy by a fully-trained volunteer guide. Bookings are recommended and can be made on 61 660 451
Botanical Gardens Visitor Centre, Restaurants and Cafe
The Botanical Gardens house a restaurant,a cafe, a souvenir shop, and a gallery with regularly changing displays by local artists, and the Gardens’ own exhibitions.
The Botanical Shop stocks a wide range of quality Tasmanian merchandise, unusual botanical gifts and some select botanical publications. The staff can also offer suggestions to get the best from your visit.
The Succulent restaurant with a magnificent deck offering sweeping views of the Gardens and Derwent River, is an ideal place for an intimate meal after a long day at the Gardens. It is open till 3:30 pm seven days a week.
Sprout Cafe has great coffee, ice creams, pies, cakes etc to take away, or to enjoy in Sprout’s outdoor seating area. Sprout is open daily from 9:30 am to 4 pm, seven days a week.
Light snacks and coffee are also available at the kiosk.
Botanical Gardens Entry and Parking
The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens are located in Hobart, and are a short drive, walk or bike ride from the City centre. Red Decker buses and Hobart Hop On and Hop Off bus also get to the Hobart Gardens.
There is free onsite parking and entry is by gold coin donation.
What is your favorite part at the Gardens? Please comment and let us know.