Visit the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens and discover a peaceful oasis not far from the heart of the city. Built over 130 years ago, the gardens have survived World War II bombings as well as several cyclones to become an integral part of Darwin’s recreational and scientific culture.
Explore the gardens’ natural environments, which stretch from the sea to an inland plateau just north of Darwin’s centre. Enter from the south and admire the central water fountain, which turns on at various times throughout the day. Nearby, the Orientation Centre and Office can supply maps and information guides for your tour.
Set off on the path between the Orientation Centre and the Wesleyan Church, which is the oldest church building in the Northern Territory. Walk past Australian and international cycads and desert roses.
The Rainforest Gully is home to a fascinating tropical ecosystem. Follow boardwalk trails over glistening streams and spot some of the 450 palm species that have been planted in the area. Continue exploring in the Plant Display House, where you will find tropical orchids and bromeliads.
After working up an appetite, take a seat at Eva’s Cafe and savour a coffee. Bring a picnic and eat at one of the many shaded tables. Kids will enjoy a visit to the Evolutionary Playground, a shady recreational area surrounded by trees.
Pass through the Community Gardens and admire vegetable patches that have been grown by locals. Bring a bird identification sheet and try to spot some of the gardens’ known species. If you are lucky, you might see the rufous owl, which has only been seen a few times over the years.
The George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens is over half an hour’s walk north of Darwin’s central business district. If you arrive by car, find parking on nearby Geranium Street. The gardens are open every day and entry is free. Make sure to wear a hat, sunscreen and insect repellant.
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