Located just two kilometres outside the bustling centre of Darwin, the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens promise 42 hectares of tropical plant species for you to explore and admire.
Having been a part of Darwin for more than 130 years, the gardens host a range of ancient species, including a huge canopy of rain trees and tall palms. You can combine a visit to the gardens with a trip to the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets during the dry season for the ultimate cultural and picturesque experience.
What’s more, this is one of the only botanic gardens in the world that is home to marine and estuarine plants that grow naturally. In the popular Plant Display House, you can marvel at the huge collection of tropical orchids, bromeliads, and numerous other species of exotic flora.
The History of the Darwin Botanical Gardens
Dating back to 1886, the gardens were created to introduce and evaluate plants for the new city of Darwin. Since then, the gardens have blossomed into a huge visitor attraction, as well as an important part of scientific life in the city.
Over the years, the hundreds of species have survived natural weather disasters like cyclones and wildfires, as well as World War II.
What to Do at the Botanic Gardens
There is plenty to get stuck into at the Botanic Gardens. Start by taking a stroll through the beautiful monsoon forests, the coastal dunes, mangrove fields, and open woodlands, and marvel at the incredible selection of plants as you go. There are more than 400 species of palms alone in the rainforest gully, as well as a pretty waterfall and several serene ponds to kick back and relax by.
You can also take a traditional tour of the gardens and learn about the indigenous uses of the local plants which have remained a huge part of Aboriginal life throughout the centuries.
Elsewhere, you can tuck into tea and cake at Eva’s Café which is located inside the historic Wesleyan Church, and you can take some time to yourself in the peaceful Shade Garden. In the Sensory Garden, there are hundreds of species of butterflies to spot, while the lily pond is the perfect backdrop for a BBQ. Art lovers should check out the Eco House which has its own art gallery, and the more adventurous visitor might want to head out on a Segway tour around the gardens.