The Carlton Gardens is a World Heritage Site located on the northeastern edge of the Central Business District in the suburb of Carlton, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. They are a glorious place to visit, even on a chilly winters day.
The 26 hectare (64 acre) site contains the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Museum and Imax Cinema, tennis courts and a children's playground. According to the World Heritage listing: The Royal Exhibition Buildings and Carlton Gardens are of historical, architectural, aesthetic, social and scientific (botanical) significance to the State of Victoria.
The gardens were first set out around 1856. They were later completely redesigned for the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880 for which the Royal Exhibition Building (seen in the pano) was constructed. The building later became the first home for the Australian Parliament 1901-1928.
The gardens are an outstanding example of Victorian era horticulture with sweeping lawns and varied European and Australian tree plantings consisting of deciduous English oaks, White Poplar, Plane trees, Elms (English and Dutch), Conifers, Cedars, Turkey Oaks, Araucarias and evergreens such as Moreton Bay Figs, combined with flower beds of annuals and shrubs. A network of tree lined paths provide formal avenues for highlighting the three fountains and architecture of the Exhibition building. This includes the grand allee of plane trees that lead to the exhibition building. Two small ornamental lakes adorn the southern section of the park.
Wildlife includes possums, ducks and ducklings in spring, Tawny Frogmouths, and other birds.