Spend a peaceful moment by a water fountain, relax under a fig tree or visit historic Melbourne institutions in this charming central parkland.
Enjoy a breath of fresh air in a fast-moving city at Melbourne's Carlton Gardens. This picturesque parkland sits in the heart of the bustling central business district. Join crowds of sightseers who wander the grounds, admire the Royal Exhibition Building and browse exhibits at the Melbourne Museum. This 24-hectare (64-acre) site has been classified a World Heritage Site for its combination of natural beauty and cultural significance.
The gardens were built to host the Melbourne International Exhibit in 1880. This event brought inventors and salesmen from around the world to showcase their wares in the park's Exhibition Building. At the time, this building was the largest in Australia.
As you stroll the garden paths, enjoy a number of water features, flower displays and decorative ponds. Don't miss the Hochgurtel fountain, which reflects Victorian-era designs, or the harmoniously rounded French Fountain. Watch birds bathing or walk up to one of many Moreton Bay figs, whose gangly branches hang low to the ground. These trees were used by local Aborigines as meeting spots.
Head to the tennis courts and play a set. Kids will love the park's playground, which is built like a maze. Watch them sliding down ramps, climbing on frames or playing hide and seek in the playground alcoves.
Take an hour to engage with history at the Melbourne Museum. Exhibits display dinosaur fossils, technological marvels and science shows. Experience 3-D at the IMAX theatre, which has the world’s third-largest screen. The Royal Exhibition Building is a remarkable domed structure in the park's centre. Explore inside with a guided tour.
Find Carlton Gardens to the northeast of Melbourne's central business district. Trams along Victoria Street and Nicholson Street serve the area. Alternatively, get a bus down Rathdowne Street or ride the train to Parliament Railway Station. Public toilets are available on-site.