Australian Garden

The Australian Garden is an inspiring and immersive display of Australian flora, landscapes, art and architecture. Set across fifteen hectares, the Australian Garden follows a journey of water from the arid inland landscapes of central Australia, along dry river beds and down mighty rivers to the coastal fringes of the continent. Within this wonderful landscape are the Exhibition gardens where you can explore the beauty and diversity of Australian plants and the evolving connections between people, plants and landscapes. The Australian Garden is also a place where you can discover inspiration and information about how to use Australian plants in your home garden.

Watch the clip below to see construction of the Lilypad Bridge and the planting around the Gondwana Garden in 2012 as the final stages of the Australian Garden were being completed.


River Walk

The River Walk is a broad promenade with views across a meandering ‘river bend’ water body. This area, comprising a large, curving, treed walkway of granitic gravel and a waterside section of timber decking, connects the Rockpool Waterway with the vibrant Display Gardens and Howson Hill.

The River Walk includes a generous public waterside space for gatherings, seating, functions, entertainment, and education programs. A timber-clad amphitheatre with seating for over 150 students provides an outdoor gathering space fringed by Australian plants and shade-providing trees.


Howson Hill

Howson Hill emerges from a tranquil waterway north of the River Walk and is capped with existing rare and endangered Mallee Eucalypts. A walk along the ridge provides access to these unique trees and a rich under-storey of grasses and ground covers. The loosely defined path culminates in a platform with views across the Australian Garden and the Melaleuca Spits. A pathway providing continuous waterside access links the two sections of the Display Gardens in the ‘valleys’ adjacent to Howson Hill.


Display Gardens

The Display Gardens provides practical ‘take home’ ideas for visitors. The precinct includes the How to Garden, Promenade Plaza, the Backyard Garden, the Lifestyle Garden, the Greening Cities Garden, the Diversity Garden and the Home Garden.


The Ian Potter Lakeside Precinct

The Ian Potter Lakeside Precinct is a unique public events space catering for up to 1500 people. Looking out over the Ian Potter Lake, the area acts as a focal point for both education and entertainment.


Gibson Hill

Another prominent landscape feature, Gibson Hill is an ideal a place to rest with panoramic views to the entire Australian Garden. Its blue-foliaged saltbush and acacias provide a backdrop to the Red Sand Garden. A winding path provides all-abilities access to the top of the Hill.


Awards for the Australian Garden

The first stage of the Australian Garden opened to much acclaim in 2006 and the second and final stage of the Australian Garden was publically opened in October 2012. The result of more than a decade of planning, this bold new landscape design garnered almost 30 planning, design, and landscape awards between 1997 and 2013. 

1997

Landscape Excellence Award

Landscape Masterplan Award

Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (Victorian and Tasmanian Chapters) Annual Landscape Design Awards

1998

Landscape Masterplan Award

Australian Institute of Landscape Architects’ National Awards

2006

Best Public Open Space (the AustralianGarden)

Best Public Building (The Visitor Centre)

Best Environmental Building or Landscape (the FutureGarden)

The Chairman’s Premier Award (for the above three entries)

South East Development Architectural Awards

Best New Tourism Development

Victorian Tourism Awards

2007

Best New Tourism Development

QANTAS Australian Tourism Awards

AILA Victoria Award in Landscape Architecture

AILA Victoria Award for Excellence in Design

Merit Award (FutureGarden) (Awarded to SITE OFFICE Pty Ltd Landscape Architecture)

Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (Victorian Branch)

Accommodation and Attractions (Awarded to the AustralianGarden and RBG Cranbourne)

Environmental Sustainability (Awarded to the AustralianGarden and RBG Cranbourne)

Leader Newspaper Business Achiever Awards (Casey-Cardinia Region)

2008

Premier’s Design Mark Award 2008 for Commercial Landscape Design

Victorian Government’s ‘State of Design 2008: Victoria’s Design Festival’National Landscape Architecture Award of Excellence (Design Category) (Awarded to Taylor Cullity Lethlean with Paul Thompson)

Merit Award (FutureGarden) (Awarded to SITE OFFICE Pty Ltd Landscape Architecture)

Australian Institute of Landscape Architects’ National Awards

Accommodation and Attractions (Awarded to the AustralianGarden and RBG Cranbourne)

Environmental Sustainability (Awarded to the AustralianGarden and RBG Cranbourne)

Leader Newspaper Business Achiever Awards (Casey-Cardinia Region)

2013

Landscape of the Year World Architecture Festival Awards