The St Kilda Botanical Gardens pond with Rain Man fountain with the conservatory in the background

Facilities and features

  • Accessible
  • Botanical garden
  • Conservatory
  • Dog on-leash
  • Free parking
  • No BBQ
  • No camping
  • No feeding animals
  • Paths
  • Picnic area
  • Playground
  • Public toilets
  • Rotunda

Other information

  • Accessible toilets 
  • Giant chessboard and chess tables
  • Ornamental pond
  • Eco Centre

Location

Herbert, Blessington, Dickens and Tennyson Streets, St Kilda

COVID-19

The Gardens are currently open to be used for exercise.

The playground is closed and roped-off with signage to confirm this. Public access to the glasshouse is not permitted.

Physical distancing rules must be followed at all times and people are instructed not to congregate. The Gardens will be patrolled by Council's Local Laws officers to ensure that Stage 3 restrictions are being adhered to.

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.

Access

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

Google Map St Kilda Botanical Gardens

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 station, 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 Street and Blessington Street 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 (PDF 2.5 MB).

Restrictions

Dogs must be on leash and 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.

About the Gardens

Palm lined gravel path in 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 in the St Kilda Botanical Gardens

Xeriscape bed

Aloe Barberae tree found in St Kilda Botanical Gardens

Aloe Barberae Tree

A giant Chess board which can be hired out and public table chess facilities at St Kilda Botanical Gardens

Giant chess and table chess

Find mature trees, seating and lush lawns in the St Kilda Botanical Gardens

Mulched tree bases and lush lawns

Wildlife

The Grey Fantale can be spotted in the St Kilda Botanical Gardens

Grey Fantale

The Rainbow Lorikeet can be spotted in the St Kilda Botanical Gardens

Rainbow Lorikeet

Owls can be spotted in the St Kilda Botanical Gardens

Powerful Owl

Family of chestnut teal ducks on the pond

Chestnut Teal Family

The Bushtail Possum can be found in the St Kilda Botanical Gardens

Bushtail Possum

The Crested Pigeon can be spotted in the St Kilda Botanical Gardens

Crested Pigeon

The Eastern Spinebill can be spotted in the St Kilda Botanical Gardens

Eastern Spinebill

The Grey Headed Flying Fox can be spotted in the St Kilda Botanical Gardens

Grey Headed Flying Fox

The Tawney Frogmouth can be spotted in the St Kilda Botanical Gardens

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.

The St Kilda Botanical Gardens Bird Species (PDF 25 KB) lists 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.

A pair of little mudlarks have made a nest on the sleave of the Rain Man sculpture in the ornamental pond

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 facebook page.

Download a copy of the Friends of the St Kilda Botanical Gardens Brochure (PDF 1.1 KB).

Download the Friends of the St Kilda Botanical Gardens Map (PDF4.3 KB).

Map of the St Kilda Botanical Gardens

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.

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