Parks, Playgrounds & Trees

  • Email
  • Print

St Kilda Botanical Gardens

Quick Links

News and Updates

About the St Kilda Botanical Gardens

Wildlife in the Gardens

Friends Group & Volunteering

Weddings & Events



Facilities Checklist

Google Map


Opening Hours

The Garden is open between sunrise and sunset seven days a week and the conservatory is open between 10.30am and 3.30pm all week days and from dawn to dusk Saturday to Sunday and on public holidays.


Garden is accessed via Blessington, Tennyson, Dickens and Herbert Streets St Kilda. If locked in after closing there is a turnstile exit into Herbert Street.

Getting There

Tram - 96 tram to the Acland Street / Barkly Street junction and walk along Blessington Street or  the 67 tram to Brighton Road  / Mozart Street junction and walk along Mozart Street.  

Train - Catch the Sandringham train to Balaclava sation, walk or catch a tram west along carlisle street,  cross St Kilda Road, walk one block along Blessington Street.

Bus - Bus routes 246, 600, 922, 923, 246 run along Barkley Street St Kilda, get off near the corner of Barkley and Blessington and walk one block to the gardens.

Parking - Free unrestricted all day parking is available around the gardens, check local signs for more information. Penalties apply for camping in a vehicle.

Download the Travel Smart Map of Port Phillip


Toilets with disabled access, conservatory, glasshouse, rotunda, playground, giant chessboard and chess tables, ornamental pond, Eco Centre.


Dogs must be on leash, dogs are not permitted within 5 metres of the playground, penalties apply. No cycling is permitted through the gardens.  Please do not feed the animals living in and visiting the gardens.

News and Updates

St Kilda Botanical Garden Pond

UPDATE - December 2014

Construction works to rebuild the pond are now well underway, with demolition and excavation nearing completion.

Construction will pause for the Christmas break, to re-commence in January and is expected to be completed at the end of February 2015.

UPDATE - January 2014

The pond was drained in December 2013 to undertake repairs to the pond liner.

Following cleaning and inspection of the liner and removal of the brick and concrete steppers, additional construction requirements have been identified to repair the pond.

This will include removal of the existing liner, installation of a concrete sub layer, replacement liner and repairs to the brick coping. Construction of an accessible crossing structure will replace the brick steppers.

The pond will remain fenced off for safety until construction works to repair the pond are completed.

The smaller creek bed pond will not be drained, and will be maintained as a habitat area for wildlife.

Further updates will be provided, following the engagement of a contractor.

The pond has consistently been losing water that cannot be attributed to evaporation alone. Investigation of the pond and surrounds has identified a corner of the pond as the probable source of a water leak.

In order to repair the pond liner, the water will be drained from the pond and algae and sediments removed. The water will be pumped out and redistributed to irrigate the gardens. During works, the pond will be fenced off for safety; however access to surrounding lawns and the conservatory will be maintained.


Why are the works being undertaken now?

Maintaining the pond at optimum levels will minimise algal growth, this requires regular topping-up of water. Water meters show water use from topping-up the pond has been at unsustainable levels.

Due to a leak in the pond liner, water has been seeping into the surrounding gardens, leading to waterlogged lawn areas and draining to footpaths, gutters along Herbert Street and eventually stormwater drains. Two mature fig trees in the vicinity of the pond recently died of root-rot as a result of waterlogged soils. This has escalated the need for action to protect mature trees in the vicinity of the pond.

To carry out works as efficiently as possible, draining the pond in summer when rainfall is low is preferable to works being undertaken during winter or spring when rainfall is highest.

What about the ducks and other animals at the pond?

The smaller creek-bed pond adjacent to the main pond will not be drained and will be retained as a habitat area for ducks and other aquatic animals.

For further information contact Open Space team;  

Telephone : (03) 9209 6777
Email :  
Mail : Open Space, City of Port Phillip, Private Bag No. 3, St Kilda PO VIC 3182   

Download - Print the factsheet - St Kilda Botanical Gardens Pond Repair

About the St Kilda Botanical Gardens

The site of the St Kilda Botanical Gardens were established in the 1800's. The municipal council petitioned the Department of Lands and Survey to make this segment of land bordered by Dickens Street, Tennyson Street and Blessington Street a Botanic Garden. The gardens were formally established in 1859 when a boundary fence was erected. By 1907 significant donations of money and plant material had led to the establishment of a rosary, extensive flower beds and a nursery. Exotic forest trees were planted during the 1870s and Australian species were included in 1932.

Registered with Heritage Victoria, the gardens contain 810 mature tree specimens eight of which are on the significant tree register. In the 1950s the Alister Clarke Rose Garden was established and a Sub-Tropical Rain-forest conservatory added in the early 1990's. Seasonal displays and local indigenous plants provide a valuable collection to study or sit alongside enjoying a picnic.

Built features in the gardens include a giant chess board, ornamental pond with Rain Man fountain, children's play space, gazebo, glasshouses and the Eco-centre which facilitates lessons on sustainable living practice. Rain Man is a key element to the ornamental pond and was installed in 2005, designed by Corey Thomas and Ken Arnold he runs on solar power and recycled water from the pond.

Xeriscape Bed

Aloe Tree

 Xeriscape Bed 

 Aloe Barberae Tree

 Giant chess and table chess

Mulched tree bases & lush lawns

Wildlife in the Botanical Gardens 

 Grey Fantale  Rainbow Lorikeet  Powerful Owl
 Chestnut Teal Family Brushtail Possum  Crested Pigeon
 Eastern Spinebill  Grey Headed Flying Fox  Tawney Frogmouth


The St Kilda Botanical Gardens attracts a wide variety of bird and animal life.  Andrew McCutcheon of Earthcare St Kilda and Neil Blake, Coordinator of the Eco Centre have recorded resident and visiting species sighted since the beginning of this century.

This valuable data and observation tells us that birds such as the Song Thrush and Great Egret, which were seen last century have either disappeared or are most unlikely to visit. 

Alternatively; birds seldom or rarely seen in the last two decades are becoming increasingly common, in particular the Rainbow Lorikeet and Crested Pigeon, while others are in decline such as the House Sparrow.

 St Kilda Botanical Gardens Bird Species - Listing of animal species living and visiting the St Kilda Botanical Gardens.

For more information visit the Eco Centre web page and the Earthcare St Kilda web page.

Mudlark nesting in 'Rain Man' sculpture

A pair of little mudlarks had  made a safe home on the sleave of the Rain Man sculpture in the Botanical Gardens ornamental pond.

Friends and Volunteers

The gardens have a dedicated friends group, whose aim is to support and volunteer to work in the gardens.

For further information on the Friends of St Kilda Botanical Gardens meetings, events, newsletter, joining and volunteering visit their website:

Download a copy of the Friends of the St Kilda Botanical Gardens Brochure

Download the Friends of the St Kilda Botanical Gardens Map

Please Note - The map was designed by students of Geospatial Science, RMIT, and is copyright. We gratefully acknowledge the Friends of the St Kilda Botanical Gardens for allowing the use of this map.

Permission to reproduce this map must be sought from Friends of the St Kilda Botanical Gardens.

Weddings in the Botanical Gardens

These gardens are a popular backdrop for weddings. If you intend to hold your ceremony ONLY please follow this link and visit the Weddings & Funcitons in Parks page.            

If you wish to use the gardens as the setting for your wedding photos, you must contact the Meetings and Events team to check for availability. Visit the Weddings & Functions in Parks page to find contact details for the team.

No wedding receptions are permitted within the garden grounds.


Future Directions Plan

Council has developed a Future Directions Plan for the St Kilda Botanical Gardens

Download - St Kilda Botanical Gardens Future Directions Plan

Our aim is to maintain the scientific, conservation, educational and recreational significance of the gardens now and into the future.  We want to provide a unique space for residents and visitors, that retains its cultural and heritage significance as one of Victoria's oldest botanic gardens.  

Our plan has been developed to examine botanic function and cultural heritage.  It looks at the existing plant collection, their current condition and how we'll manage a drier climate in the future. 

It looks at shade solutions, seating, improved lawns, improved facilities including drinking water and set out future maintenance. It also looks at future heritage, and seeks to balance contemporary values with maintaining original design intent. We want to take the gardens beyond the visual, and to consider other senses, such as touch and smell.

For more infomation email or call on (03) 9209 6777



Weddings and Functions in Parks

Film and Photography in Port Phillip   

Friends of the St Kilda Botanical Gardens

Friends of the St Kilda Botanical Gardens Blog

Port Phillip Eco Centre

Earthcare St Kilda

St Kilda Indigenous Plant Nursery

Royal Melbourne Botanic Gardens

Australian National Botanic Gardens

Contact Open Space

Telephone : ASSIST (03) 9209 6777
Email :  
Mail : Open Space, City of Port Phillip, Private Bag No. 3, St Kilda PO VIC 3182

You can also use eServices to ask us a question, request information or give us feedback online about St Kilda Botanical Gardens.