Botanic Gardens, Adelaide
There are three Botanic Gardens in the Adelaide area:
The Adelaide Botanic Garden
Mount Lofty Botanic Garden, and
Mittunga Botanic Garden.
The now 125 acres Adelaide Botanic Garden which opened to the public in 1857, at the Eastern end of North Terrace, is the most accessible of the three. That doesn’t mean you should just go there. They are all very different and each very much worth a visit.
The Adelaide Botanic Garden is packed with things worthy of your time. You could easily spend a day in here. Allow yourself at least 2-3 hrs and more if you want to eat. Take a map from the information stand as you enter the gardens and just stroll around.
Inside at the Garden
The Palm House – A restored Gustav Runge designed Victorian glasshouse imported from Bremen, Germany in 1875. It is thought to be the only one of its kind still in existence. Contains a collection of plants from the island of Madagascar.
Bicentennial Conservatory - Designed by South Australian architect, Guy Maron and built in celebration of Australia's 1988 Bicentenary. It is the largest single span conservatory in the southern hemisphere and contains a lush display of lowland rainforest plants from northern Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and the nearby Pacific Islands. Keep and eye out for noisy pitta birds, stick insects, spiders and centipedes.
Amazon Waterlily Pavilion – built in 2007 and as its name suggests its contains a beautiful selection of Amazon waterlilies which grow up to over 150cm diameter.
Santos Museum of Economic Botany – opened in 1881 this is the last purpose-built colonial museum in the world. The building features high ceilings, ornate Victorian detail, historic cabinet displays and a classical Greek-style exterior.
Outside at the Garden
Mediterranean Gardens - plants from the five Mediterranean climates around the world:
• south-western Australia
• South Africa
• central Chile
• the Mediterranean Basin
Australian Native Gardens - showcases innovative and artistic ways of using native plants at a domestic scale
Classground – Experimentation area and in my view one of the nicest parts of the gardens – don’t miss it.
International Rose Garden – over 5000 roses
National Rose Trail Garden
Cycad and palm displays
Cactus and succulent Garden
Garden of Health - demonstrates the use of plants to heal and promote health and wellbeing in western and non-western cultures
Economic Garden – herbs
Avenue of Morton Bay fig trees – oldest in Australia.
The garden also includes a lake, various sculptures, bandstands, rotundas and ample seating all of which add to creating the perfect atmosphere for a pleasant and peaceful visit.
Guided tours depart from the Visitor Information Centre at Schomburgk Pavilion at 10.30am daily (except Christmas and Good Friday).
Free self-guided tours of Adelaide Botanic Garden are also now available on your iPhone or android phone. For more information or to download the MyParx app, visit http://myparx.com/go/app/
Opening hours : Opens Mon-Fri 8am , weekends and holidays 9am. Closes – around dusk – varies from month to month. Access to buildings generally 10am – 4pm. Check website below for specific details
Facilites – The Garden contains two restaurants/kiosks and a garden shop which also sells plants and seeds. Restrooms are available at various locations at various locations.
Admission Fee : Free (Including the Bicentennial Conservatory which formally had a charge).
This is the last of my "North Terrance" reviews. I invite you to return to my main Adelaide page now and leave a comment as I greatly appreciate the feedback. Should you wish to read my reviews on another area of Adelaide you can follow the relevant link on that same page.
The Botanic Garden is a pleasant place to spend some time. For visitors like me from the northern hemisphere, it’s particularly interesting to watch the (mostly unfamiliar) birdlife, which includes Rainbow Lorikeets and Eastern Rosellas. We were visiting in the winter time, when the gardens are perhaps not at their best, but they were well worth a visit. I'm just sorry that we didn’t get to see everything.
The Amazon Waterlily Pavilion houses the massive Victoria amazonica waterlily. I had seen these giant lilypads before, but not with information plaques describing the lily flowers as a 'nightclub for beetles', complete with an hour-by-hour description of the goings-on. At 5.00 p.m., as darkness falls, the lily fills the air with heady scent (a mixture of tuberose, banana and pineapple) which is “guaranteed to attract beetle business” apparently. By 8.00 p.m. the beetles are arriving on the easily visible white flowers, and proceed inside for “food, drink and dancing.” I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.
The Palm House, originally built in 1877 and restored in 1992 is one of the last of its kind anywhere in the world.
Another glass house, completed in 1989 to celebrate the bicentenary of Australia, houses endangered rainforest plants.
With recent UK court cases in mind, I was slightly amused to walk up Murdoch Avenue, lined by giant fig trees and sponsored by News International – being led up the garden path by the press once again.
There is a Kiosk Café where you can get tea and coffee, sandwiches and cake, a proper cafe, Café Fibonacci, as well as a rather nice restaurant for formal dining.
125 ACRES OF BOTANIC GARDENS..................
A lot of walking, or perhaps just choose what you are interested in.
If you have children, then bring along some bread, because in the centre is the large Lake and the Restaurant or Simpson Cafe, both overlook the lake. I always find it a beaut area to spend some time. We were here in May, and the Autumn leaves were quite lovely.
The International Rose garden is a must see in Summer when over 5,000 roses are in full bloom. January & February is the time to come and see it at its best!
It's a chance to see Australian bred roses, single roses, heritage roses and pillar roses, Hybrid Tea and Floribunda Roses.
If you are interested in Australian plants, you will find them in the Australian Native Garden. They are quite different to flowers you find in other parts of the world.
The Amazon Waterlily Pavilion is a glass palace for the Victoria amazonica waterlily.
Fairly new as it was built in 2007 to replace the Amazon Waterlily's original residence, the Victoria House. The original pond from the Victoria House remains as the centrepiece of the new pavilion.
Open 10 - 4pm daily
So you can see, there is plenty to keep you occupied here.
I hope you have a chance at least for a quick look!
What a great place to escape from the city too.
The Mt Lofty Botanic Garden is one of three botanic gardens managed by the South Australian Department of the Environment and is by far the largest but still very manageable in that you could see nearly all of it in a day and get a great flavor of the Garden in much less. Do allow at least a few hours though.
The other two botanic gardens in the Adelaide area are:
Adelaide Botanic Garden (in the city)
Wittunga Botanic Garden
These offer a very different experience to the Mt Lofty Garden and I will say at the outset that they are better suited to the more time poor or less mobile given the rather hilly nature of the Mt Lofty Garden and the need for you to get of the sealed road to enjoy the best they have to offer. If physically challenged don't let me put you off though as there is still plenty to see and do but do enter from the lower car-park.
This Garden, for me, really is about walking whether it be a leisurely stroll or vigorous trek. One of the oldest sections of the 1200kms long Hysen Trail passes through the Garden.
Mt Lofty Botanic Garden was opened in 1977 (though it suffered very badly from the 1983 Ash Wednesday bush-fires) and encompasses an area of 97 hectares on the eastern slopes of Mount Lofty in the Adelaide Hills east of Adelaide specializing in cool temperate plants with plants from South East Asia, New Zealand, the Americas, East Africa, China and off course Australia.
While anytime is good to visit, spring and autumn are both stunning (and you avoid the very hot summer temperatures) with mass displays of rhododendrons, magnolias and camellias many nestled in beautiful tranquil gullies. If you do come in summer enjoy the relative coolness walking under some fantastic three canopies and become a kid again and let the watering sprinklers cool you down!
In the northern corner of the Garden you will fine the ATCO (how I hate advertising in places like this!) Heritage Rose Garden which specialises in native species – a real delight for rose lovers at any time and for the rest of us in spring and summer when the roses are in flower.
The Garden is well laid out with numerous walking trails (many with steep gradients) the names of which give you an indication of what to expect; so you have Fern Gully, Magnolia Gully (best Aug- Sept), South American Gully, Rhododendron Gully (best Aug-Oct) and so on. Most of the trails lead to, or close to, the main lake situated towards the lower entrance to the Garden. A nice spot to relax while you contemplate to hike back up to the upper car park, if that’s where you left your car!
One of the longer walks is the Bank SA (how I hate advertising in places like this!) Nature Trail – allow a couple of hours – gives you a great insight into the native plants of the Garden in addition to great views into the adjacent Piccadilly Valley. While all the walks in the Garden are reasonably well marked this one is very well marked so no danger of getting lost.
Free guided walks depart from the lower car park at the end of Lampert Road at 10.30am every Thursday.
Do pick up a park brochure from stand in either car-park or better still download one before you arrive. This gives you a good overview of the walks and other things to do within the garden. If you end up without a brochure carefully study the large map at the entrance (take a picture!) as the Garden layout is confusing at times.
Toilets are available at the upper and lower car-parks and within the Garden. There are no restaurant or other retail outlets in the garden so you need to be self-sufficient food-wise noting that barbeques and fires are not permitted. There is a shop and food outlet at the nearby Mount Lofty Summit and Cleland Wildlife Park the former and the later, if your thing, both well worth a visit too.
Monday – Friday 8.30am – 4pm.
Weekends and public holidays 10am -5pm (extended to 6pm in summer)
Note that the gardens close when fire danger rating is classified severe or above and guided walks do not operate when temperatures are anticipated to be above 36 degrees centigrade.
Free but you do have to pay a small amount for parking.
Wear sensible shoes and carry drinking water.
Access - via car or bus
By Car – from the city (20-30mins) take Glen Osmond Road to the South Eastern Freeway, take the Crafers turn off and head up Mount Lofty Summit Road and you will come across the Garden’s upper entrance and car-park a few minutes shy of the summit – well signposted. For the lower entrance and car-park from Crafters take the Piccadilly Road and continue until it to Lampert Road. Enter Lampert Road (left) and continue to the end of the road.
By Bus – To upper car park entrance only - Adelaide bus(route number 823 from Crafters Ramp (stop 24/24A) noting very limited service for this bus). A number of buses from city stop at Crafters ramp eg 840, 860, 863 and 864. Refer http://www.adelaidemetro.com.au/ for route details.Allow an hour with a carefully timed connection - best connections with 864/864F for which, I understand, it waits if necessary.
The South Australian Government manages three botanic gardens in the Adelaide area:
The Adelaide Botanic Garden
Mount Lofty Botanic Garden, and
Wittunga Botanic Garden.
The 14 hectares Wittunga Botanic Garden was established by Edwin Ashby in 1902 though did not come into state ownership until 1965. It was opened to the public in 1975 and contains and extensive collection of plants from Australia and South Africa (mainly from the Cape Province district which has similar climatic attributes to Adelaide).
The gardens were originally establish based on a formal English style though before long began to include South African plants – principally Ericas, Leucadendron and Proteas which are especially beautiful in spring.
The Australian sections feature plants from Kangaroo Island and the Fleurieu Peninsula (South Australian regions) and south western Australia.
The garden also features a butterfly garden and a grey box woodland planting, endangered in South Australia.
While spectacular in spring, it is still very much worth visiting any time of the year. My most recent visit was in December 2012. Give yourself about an hour (unless you bring a picnic and wile away some additional hours relaxing on the lawns by the lake).
The former Ashby family residence (rebuilt in 1934 after it was destroyed by a bushfire) is not open to the public.
Mon- Fri 8.30 am to 4 pm, Sat, Sun & public holidays 10 am to 5 pm (10-6 Daylight Saving Summer Period).
Guided walks leave from the car-park at 10:30am every Tuesday in Spring (September, October and November). The walks last about one and a half hours.
Getting there : Bus/Train - Due to a months (Jan 2013) upgrade work to the train service I cannot work out the public transport options. Generally the simplest approach is to take a local train from Adelaide Station to Blackwood Interchange (Belair line) and then a local bus or walk the 1km to the Garden. Suggest you ask at Adelaide Station as replacement buses are in operation. I will update as soon as I can.
Ample carparking is available onsite for those who choose to drive.
Admission : Free
Facilities – Toilets only
After visiting the Zoo, why not take the short walk to the Botanic Gardens like I did. NO need to go to the North terrace entrance, instead, follow the pathway along Plane Tree drive which runs alongside the Botanic Park.
You come across the ornate entrance gate to the Botanic gardens, and the lovely historic gate house. This leads along Moreton Bay Fig road, where the massive Moreton Bay figs line each side of the road.
If you want, you can walk straight through the Botanic gardens, and come out at North Terrace.
Another option, is to walk along Plane Tree drive to the Bicentennial Conservatory to see the lush lowland rainforest plants from northern Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and the nearby Pacific Islands.
A lower walkway takes you across the forest floor and an upper walkway into the canopy of trees and palms. Birds, insects and more are here to create a balanced ecology.
It is the largest single span conservatory in the southern hemisphere.
I have been before, so didn't go on this visit. When I went last time, I thought it was very good.
Remember, it is quite warm inside, because they create humidity for the plants to grow.
Opening hours....Daily 10am-4pm (5pm during daylight saving).
The Adelaide Botanic gardens are FREE OF CHARGE.
OPEN....Weekdays - 8am.......Weekends & public holidays - 9am
CLOSING TIMES.....December-January - 7pm......February-March - 6.30pm
April - 6pm....May - 5.30pm...June-July - 5pm....August - 5.30pm
September - 6pm......October-November - 6.30pm
Ticketed car parking is available in Plane Tree Drive off Hackney Road.
Free guided walks....Depart from the Visitor Information Centre at Schomburgk Pavilion at 10.30am daily (except Christmas and Good Friday).
The Palm House is a beautifully restored Victorian glasshouse imported from Bremen, Germany in 1875.
It is thought to be the only one of its kind still in existence.
The Palm House was designed and constructed in a style, way before its time. In 1875, hanging glass walls were used, these are similar to those used in today's city buildings.
Inside the Palm House, it is warm as the plants growing here need the warm, dry conditions. There is a good display of plants from the island of Madagascar. Many of the plants featured in the Palm House are at risk, or endangered, in their natural habitat.
Open daily 10am - 4pm.
Built as the name suggests to celebrate Australia’s Bicentenary which was in the year 1988.It is the largest single span conservatory in the southern hemisphere. Inside the conservatory are lowland tropical rainforest plants from northern Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and the nearby Pacific Islands. There are two levels to view the plants, a ground floor walkway and a bridge to see above the dense foliage. The whole building is run by a computer that monitors the temperature to keep it at the proper humidity. There are over thousand water nozzles that keep everything suitable damp.
Daily 10:00am — 4:00pm (5:00pm during daylight saving).
For group bookings please contact (61 8) 8222 9311.
(2 adults and accompanying children under 15 years old)
The Adelaide Botanic Garden is an historic garden on the Adelaide Plains with a dry Mediterranean climate and alkaline soils. Native and exotic plant collections are displayed including palms, cycads, bromeliads and many spectacular mature trees and shrubs.
A little peace and quiet in the city, I tried to visit every botanic gardens in every Australian city I went to.
Adelaide was great for sculptures, there was one round every corner, plus a few green houses too, ponds, lots of local and national planting and lots of information about the gardens on boards around the place, yo can go and see the huge Victoria water lily in a purpose built green house.
It was established in 1854 on a 41 acre site, they acquired another 84 acres north of the Garden in 1866.
Weekdays 7:15am. Weekends and public holidays 9:00am
Closing times vary throughout the year.
Admission charges apply for the Bicentennial Conservatory, otherwise entry is free.
The Cascade sculpture, which sits outside the Adelaide Botanic Garden's Bicentennial Conservatory, was designed by Sergio Redegalli is made entirely of glass sheets. There are 500 pieces which were glued together to form the shape of a wave. The artist used glass to complement the Conservatory which also has an unique glass design.
One of the loveliest areas of the botanical gardens is the wisteria walk which was planted in 1912. The first attached photo was taking in the winter. The second a few weeks later.
In spring it comes to life with thousands of hanging, fragrant, purple flowers. Its flowers for a 2 month period in September and October.
In the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide you will find the Bicentennial Conservatory. This is a small rain forest. You will follow the track along the plants and trees. There are also birds flying inside.
It is open daily between 10am and 4pm (5pm during daylight saving). When you are in a wheelchair, you can go inside as well.
In 2006 the admission was $4.30 for adults, $2.30 for child/concession and $10 for a family (2 adults and 2 children under the age of 15).
The Botanic Gardens is a huge area. You will find many things up here: Botanic Park, North Lodge Shop, Palm Collection, Economic Garden, Palm House, Botanic Gardens Restaurant, Simpson Kiosk, Cycad Collection, Wollemi Pine, Nelumbo Pond, Mallee Section, Goodman Building, Plant Biodiversity Centre, International Rose Garden, Bicentennial Conversvatory, Australian Forest, Classground, Wisteria Arbors, Simpson Shadehouse, Museum of Economic Botany, Schomburgk Range & Victoria House and Italianate Garden.
Spend a couple of hours wondering around the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide. They are very beautiful. Grab a map at the entrance so you don't miss anything. My favourite is the small mushroom statue found in the corner of the garden. I have pictures of my mum sitting on it when she was a little girl.
Weekdays 7:15am. Weekends and public holidays 9:00am
Closing times vary throughout the year:
December - January 7:00pm
February - March 6:30pm
June - July 5:00pm
October - November 6:30pm
The Garden Guides conduct free guided walks of the Adelaide Botanic Garden leaving from under the plane trees outside the Botanic Gardens Restaurant, daily at 10:30am (except Christmas and Good Friday).