See rare and ancient plants, edible landscapes and exotic specimens at one of Australia's oldest public gardens.
If you’re driving into Hobart, you can’t miss the lush landscape of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, located at the junction of the Tasman and Domain Highways. Step inside the 14-hectare (34.6-acre) gardens and explore the world’s only Subantarctic Plant House, as well as an extensive collection of Tasmanian plants, and everything from a Japanese garden to a vegie patch.
Hobart is a hub for Antarctic explorations and scientific investigations, and this has allowed the gardens to collect an incredible array of plants from subantarctic Macquarie Island. Kept in climate-controlled areas, the collection includes the strange King’s lomatia, which reproduces by cloning itself, and is only known to have one colony in the world.
Wander across the red lacquered bridges and past the cascading water in the Japanese gardens. Sit by the Lily Pond, created in 1840, or pick your way through the vegie patch run by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Gardening Australia program. Sample some of the garden’s specimens and produce at the restaurant.
The Cactus House is a great place to compare the different types of succulent plants that grow in different regions of the world, while the Greater Hobart and Tasmania East Coast collections give visitors a chance to identify plants they’ve seen locally. Stunning colour is on show in the flowering displays at the Conservatory and the Fuchsia House.
For those interested in sustainability, the Rain Garden demonstrates a simple way to purify run-off water, before it reaches waterways. The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens also carries out important conservation work, which includes saving seeds and propagating plants that were once plentiful in Tasmania but in recent times have become rarer.
The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens are located two kilometres (1.2 miles) from central Hobart and there is free on-site parking. The gardens are open 365 days a year. Tours can be pre-arranged with a minimum of five people.