Parks & gardens touring route
One of Melbourne's many charms is the many gardens that are within walking distance of the city centre. The 90-acre Royal Botanic Gardens are adjacent to the Yarra River. The historic gardens are 160 years old and home to massive trees and 12,000 species of plants.
In Fitzroy Gardens, near Melbourne's historic Parliament House, see Cook's Cottage, which was transported from the Yorkshire village where explorer Captain James Cook was born. There is also a conservatory filled with indoor plant displays, a mini Tudor village and a tree carved by a local artist.
North of the city centre, Carlton Gardens surround the grand Royal Exhibition Buildings, which were erected for the Great Exhibition of 1880, and the Melbourne Museum is nearby.
Other green spaces include Birrarung Marr, located beside the Yarra River and home to the huge Federation Bells that were commissioned to celebrate the centenary of Australia's federation in 2001. Wander along the grassy, tree-shaded paths that follow the river, past popular public barbecue spots. Flagstaff Gardens on the west of the city were the first public gardens in Melbourne.