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The Best Hidden Parks in Melbourne to Explore this Spring

Escape the city and head for greener pastures with our round up of the best hidden parks in Melbourne.

Cactus Country
Cactus Country

Long regarded as the most liveable city in the world, Melbourne is a cultural mecca for locals and tourists alike. While our rooftop bars and multi-coloured laneways often take centre stage, we could all do with a little fresh air and greenery from time to time. From historic national parks to enchanting gardens promising a kaleidoscope of colours, venture into the great outdoors with our roundup of the best hidden parks near Melbourne.

Heide Gardens & Sculpture Park

It’s well worth the drive out to quiet Bulleen, if not for its prized museum, then for the magnificent gardens that surround it. Where art meets nature, this former dairy farm has been transformed into a magnificent floral oasis. Peppered throughout the property’s 15 acres of manicured gardens are over 30 striking sculptures from the likes of Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker, Joy Hester and more.

Bulleen

Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm

If you’ve ever dreamt of frolicking in a field surrounded by lavender, then a visit to Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm, should score high on your wishlist. This 100-acre property was once farmed by Swiss-Italians, and today features acres of sprawling gardens, a charming historic homestead, and rows upon rows of lavender, that stretch as far as the eye can see. Take your time here and explore the farm at your leisure.

Daylesford

Cactus Country (Image Credit - Visit Melbourne)
Cactus Country (Image Credit - Visit Melbourne)
Cactus Country

Millennials, you’ll want to sit down for this one. Just three hours from Melbourne, Cactus Country houses Australia’s largest congregation of these trendy succulents guaranteed to level up your home decor. Venture along one of the eight trails spanning 4 hectares and find your next window piece – there are more than four thousand different species to choose from.

Strathmerton

Organ Pipes National Park

We’ll give you one guess what the remarkable stone columns inside the Organ Pipes National Park resemble. Located at the eastern-most edge of ancient volcanic lava flows, these basalt beauties were formed around one million years ago. One of the best hidden parks in Melbourne for wildlife, be sure to keep an eye out for echidnas, kangaroos, platypuses, and wallabies on your travels.

Keilor North 

George Tindale Memorial Gardens

While away an afternoon amidst the magnolias at one of the best hidden parks in Melbourne for flower enthusiasts. From hydrangeas and lilliums in summer to a rainbow assortment in the spring, with every season comes a new reason to visit the George Tindale Memorial Gardens. Thanks to the acidic soils and cool climate of the Dandenong Ranges, green thumbs will find a number of plants that are rarely found in cultivation here.

Sherbrooke

Blue Lotus Water Garden
Blue Lotus Water Garden
Blue Lotus Water Gardens

From December to April each year, this 50,000 square-metre water garden in the Yarra Valley blooms with water lilies and lotus flowers. Ponds, lakes, palms, lagoons and even a waterfall create a tropical paradise that feels a universe away from Melbourne despite only being a 90-minute drive away.

Yarra Junction  

Image Credit - Pram Walks
Image Credit - Pram Walks
Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens

Only 45 minutes out of the city is an otherworldly secret garden nestled deep in the Dandenongs, where a thick canopy of mountain ash, maple and ginkgo trees join picturesque waterfalls, rock pools and native flora. It’s one of our favourite spots for a picnic – make sure to keep an eye out for king parrots and colourful rosellas.

Sherbrooke  

From stunning water gardens to ancient volcanic lava formations, Melbourne’s hidden parks are some of the world’s finest. For more outdoor adventures promising breath-taking vistas as far as the eye can see, check out our roundup of the best hikes near Melbourne or hit the road and explore Victoria’s best national parks.