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The Geelong Botanic Gardens are a tranquil place to visit, with a variety of themed areas to wander including a greenhouse with indoor plants, fern harden, cottage garden, rose garden and ferns. Both the gardens and the cafe* are dog-friendly.

The gardens are located within the Eastern Park area of Geelong on Wadawurrung Country. They are free to visit but are only accessible during opening hours as they are a fenced-in garden managed by the City of Greater Geelong. You can see the map on the Council website.

*The Tea House (Cafe) has reopened after renovations and with a new vendor in December 2023 and is now called ‘Where you Meet’.

Geelong Botanic Gardens Map & Overview

The Geelong Botanic Gardens is within walking distance for some via the foreshore and/or footpaths from the CBD (if you don’t mind a longer walk). There is also plenty of car parking in the vicinity if you unable to walk long distances or prefer to drive.

Geelong Botanic Gardens – What to See

Botanic Gardens are designed to showcase flowers and plants and for people to relax in nature, wander the paths (some are wheelchair accessible) or relax on the lawns reading a book, painting or drawing.

There are themed or focused areas of plants around the gardens for you to enjoy. There is a central pathway through the gardens which has sections of stairways as well as more accessible pathways around the sides of the gardens.

See some photos below of some of these different themed garden sections.

The 21st Century Garden

The Current Entrance to the garden is modern gates.

The first area you pass through at the Geelong Botanic Gardens is the 21st Century Garden which according to the Friends of the Geelong Botanical Garden was representative of drought-tolerant species. I remember severe water restrictions in Geelong around this time of my life so it would have been a very appropriate addition at the time.

At the end of this pathway is one of the previous historical entrances to the gardens.


The botanical gardens boasts two of the famous Geelong bollards, though they are not on the official walking map of Bollards that are part of the Geelong Bollard Trail.

The Conservatory

The Conservatory is an indoor area – a greenhouse that showcases lush collection of tropical plants.

The Rose Garden

You walk through the rose garden via series of steps. Roses are not really my favourite but are popular with many gardners. The path leads to a historic fountain which was relocated to the gardens in 1912.

The Fernery

The Native Border

Native trees hug the fence line on the bay side of the gardens.

Apparently I cant find the hundreds of photos I have of the botanic gardens so once i’ve found them I will update more.

Geelong Botanical Gardens Cafe

As at November 2023 the cafe is closed for maintenance and to find a new vendor according to the council website.

Geelong Botanic Gardens Dogs

Note there are also nearby off-lead dog ovals (when no sport is being played) that you can take your dog for a run before or after your visit to the Botanic Gardens.

Geelong Botanic Gardens Plant Sale

The Geelong Botanic Gardens has a nursery that is only periodically open to the public. You can see current opening days here.

If you would like to buy local plants native to the Geelong Area (which is the best choice for local birds and wildlife and the genetic diversity of local plant species) you can also visit the Geelong Community Nursery on Swanston Street from Monday to Friday.

Curated National & Local Reading & Resources

Knowing more about the area you are exploring can enrich your experience, give context to things you see, and give you a better more authentic understanding of what it’s like to live where you are visiting (of course nothing tops a chat with a local)!

Friends of the Geelong Botanic Gardens:

A few historic photos of the Geelong Botanic Gardens:

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