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20 Best Places To See Autumn Leaves In Melbourne 2024

13 mins read
Autumn
Source: Visit Victoria

Embrace the captivating colors of fall in Melbourne with our guide to the top spots for witnessing the season’s stunning foliage. From the city’s heart to picturesque day trips, Melbourne offers an array of locations to marvel at the mesmerizing hues of autumn. Wander through the enchanting Royal Botanic Gardens, stroll amidst the historic Fitzroy Gardens, or venture out to the breathtaking Dandenong Ranges. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, Melbourne’s autumnal splendor is sure to leave you spellbound. So, grab your camera and prepare to be dazzled by the spectacular display of autumn leaves in Melbourne.

1. Carlton Gardens

Discover the historic Carlton Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage site located on the northeastern edge of Melbourne’s Central Business District. Home to the Melbourne Museum and the Royal Exhibition Building, the garden’s mature trees, including elms and oaks, provide a stunning backdrop for autumn leaf viewing. The gardens are also home to an array of wildlife, including brushtail possums, making it a popular picnic and barbecue area.

Explore the Carlton Gardens’ tree-lined paths, which provide formal avenues for highlighting the fountains and architecture of the Exhibition Building. The gardens are of scientific (botanical) significance for their outstanding collection of plants, including conifers, palms, evergreen and deciduous trees, many of which have grown to an outstanding size and form. Experience the tranquility and beauty of Carlton Gardens and immerse yourself in its rich history and natural wonders.

2. Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne

Experience the beauty of nature at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne, a world-renowned garden with a diverse collection of plants, trees, and flowers. During autumn, the garden’s deciduous trees display a stunning array of colors, making it a popular spot for photographers and nature lovers. Discover the best natural wonders, events, and dining the gardens have to offer, such as the Bird’s Nest in the Wellbeing Gardens, where you can breathe in the green surroundings in a suspended swing chair.

The Royal Botanic Gardens is not only a picturesque haven for recreation but also an important resource for education, conservation, science, and horticulture. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the gardens on the Explorer, an open-air minibus tour that provides live commentary about the inner-city oasis. With over 10,000 plant species from around the world, the Royal Botanic Gardens is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a tranquil escape in the heart of Melbourne.

3. Fitzroy Gardens

Step into the enchanting world of Fitzroy Gardens, a beautiful Victorian-era garden known for its towering trees, vintage cottages, and green open spaces. The elm trees lining the pathways create a canopy of vibrant colors, making it a perfect spot to enjoy autumn foliage. Explore the park’s heritage highlights, including Captain Cook’s 1755 family home, the Conservatory, and a collection of strange fountains, statues, memorials, and follies accumulated over the park’s 150 years.

Fitzroy Gardens is a peaceful retreat for visitors and locals alike, offering a serene setting for picnics and leisurely strolls. The park is blissfully underused, especially on weekends, so you can always find a secluded spot to admire the avenues of mature elms and rare specimen trees from the 19th century. Experience the charm of Fitzroy Gardens and create lasting memories amidst its picturesque landscape.

4. Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens

Nestled in the Dandenong Ranges, the Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens is a picturesque garden famous for its scenic lake, ornamental bridges, and vibrant autumn foliage. The garden’s variety of deciduous trees, including maples and liquidambars, create a stunning display of autumn colors. Walking trails wind through this scenic, wooded garden park, allowing visitors to explore its boathouse, waterfalls, and islands.

The Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens is a peaceful retreat for nature lovers, offering a serene setting for picnics and leisurely strolls. The garden’s walking paths provide an opportunity to explore the colorful foliage up close and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere. Experience the charm of Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens and create lasting memories amidst its picturesque landscape.

5. Arthurs Seat State Park

Offering panoramic views of Port Phillip Bay, Arthurs Seat State Park is a popular destination for nature lovers. The park’s walking trails are lined with a mix of native and exotic trees, providing a colorful autumn experience. Explore the park’s diverse flora and fauna, and enjoy the breathtaking views from the summit of Arthurs Seat.

Arthurs Seat State Park is an ideal destination for hiking, picnicking, and birdwatching. The park also offers a range of recreational activities, including the Enchanted Adventure Garden and the Arthurs Seat Eagle, a gondola ride that offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Experience the beauty of Arthurs Seat State Park and create unforgettable memories amidst its vibrant autumn colors.

6. Buchan Caves

Although primarily known for its limestone caves, the Buchan Caves Reserve also offers beautiful autumn foliage. The reserve’s deciduous trees, including oaks and elms, create a picturesque setting for leaf-peeping, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers and photographers alike. Explore the reserve’s walking trails and enjoy the stunning autumn colors.

Buchan Caves offers a range of activities for visitors, including guided cave tours, picnicking, and birdwatching. The reserve also features a campground with powered and unpowered sites, as well as accommodations for those who prefer a roof over their head. Experience the beauty and charm of Buchan Caves and create unforgettable memories amidst its vibrant autumn colors.

7. Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden

Formerly known as the National Rhododendron Garden, the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden is Victoria’s premier cool-climate garden. With breathtaking views over the Yarra Valley, the garden features important collections of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, and more, in a setting of native and exotic trees. The garden’s deciduous trees, including maples and dogwoods, create a vibrant autumn display.

The Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden offers a range of activities for visitors, including guided tours, birdwatching, and picnicking. The garden is also home to Cafe Vireya, where you can enjoy a snack or lunch overlooking the beautiful landscape. Experience the beauty and tranquility of the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden and create unforgettable memories amidst its vibrant autumn colors.

8. RJ Hamer Arboretum

Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature at the RJ Hamer Arboretum, a picturesque arboretum featuring over 150 species of native and exotic trees. Located in the Dandenong Ranges, the arboretum offers scenic, hilly walking trails amid a diverse collection of trees, providing a perfect setting for enjoying the vibrant autumn colors.

The RJ Hamer Arboretum is not only a tranquil haven for recreation but also a great spot for picnics and barbecues, with electric barbecues, picnic tables, and toilet facilities located close to the Woolrich/Chalet Road car park. The arboretum is also dog-friendly, with designated walking tracks where dogs are allowed on leads. Experience the charm of the RJ Hamer Arboretum and create lasting memories amidst its picturesque landscape.

9. Marysville

Surrounded by lush forests and mountain ranges, the picturesque town of Marysville in the Yarra Valley is a popular destination for leaf-peeping during the autumn season. The town’s deciduous trees create a vibrant display of colors, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers and photographers alike.

Marysville offers a range of activities for visitors, including hiking, picnicking, and exploring the nearby Steavenson Falls, one of Victoria’s highest waterfalls. The town is also home to several events throughout the year, including the Marysville Jazz and Blues Weekend, which showcases local and international talent. Experience the beauty and charm of Marysville and create unforgettable memories amidst its vibrant autumn colors.

10. Malmsbury Botanic Gardens

Unwind in the serene atmosphere of Malmsbury Botanic Gardens, established in the 19th century and home to a variety of mature trees, including elms, oaks, and poplars. The gardens’ walking paths provide a peaceful setting for enjoying the autumn colors, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers and photographers alike.

Malmsbury Botanic Gardens is a charming destination for picnics, leisurely strolls, and birdwatching. The gardens are also home to several events throughout the year, including the Malmsbury Village Fayre, which showcases local arts, crafts, and produce. Experience the beauty and charm of Malmsbury Botanic Gardens and create unforgettable memories amidst its vibrant autumn colors.

11. Gardens of Glenlyon

Discover the picturesque town of Glenlyon and its beautiful gardens, known for their stunning autumn foliage. The Gardens of Glenlyon feature a variety of deciduous trees, including maples, oaks, and birches, creating a vibrant display of colors. Explore the gardens and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere as you take in the breathtaking scenery.

Glenlyon is a charming destination for nature lovers, offering a serene setting for picnics and leisurely strolls. The town is also home to several events throughout the year, including the Gardens of Glenlyon Spring event, which showcases the beauty of the gardens in full bloom. Experience the charm of Glenlyon and create lasting memories amidst its picturesque landscape.

12. Wombat Botanical Gardens, Daylesford

Discover the enchanting Wombat Botanical Gardens in Daylesford, a regional botanic garden featuring a diverse collection of native and exotic plants. The garden’s deciduous trees, including maples and liquidambars, create a stunning autumn display, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers and photographers alike.

Wombat Botanical Gardens is a peaceful retreat for visitors and locals alike, offering a serene setting for picnics and leisurely strolls. The garden is also home to several events throughout the year, including the Daylesford Macedon Ranges Open Gardens program, which showcases the beauty of the gardens in full bloom. Experience the charm of Wombat Botanical Gardens and create lasting memories amidst its picturesque landscape.

13. Bright

Known as the “Autumn Capital” of Victoria, Bright is a popular destination for leaf-peeping. The town’s streets are lined with deciduous trees, including poplars, oaks, and maples, creating a vibrant display of autumn colors. Explore the charming town and its surrounding natural beauty, including nearby Mount Buffalo National Park and the Alpine National Park.

Bright offers a range of activities for visitors, including hiking, cycling, and wine tasting at local wineries. The town is also home to several events throughout the year, including the Bright Autumn Festival, which celebrates the region’s stunning autumn foliage. Experience the beauty and charm of Bright and create unforgettable memories amidst its vibrant autumn colors.

14. Castlemaine

Explore the historic gold rush town of Castlemaine, known for its beautiful gardens and parks. The town’s deciduous trees, including elms, oaks, and maples, provide a stunning backdrop for autumn leaf viewing. Discover the town’s rich history, including the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park, which preserves the area’s gold-mining past.

Castlemaine offers a range of activities for visitors, including hiking, cycling, and exploring the town’s art galleries, museums, and boutique shops. The town is also home to several events throughout the year, including the Castlemaine State Festival, which showcases local arts and culture. Experience the beauty and charm of Castlemaine and create unforgettable memories amidst its vibrant autumn colors.

15. Macedon Ranges

Experience the beauty of autumn in the Macedon Ranges, a region known for its stunning landscapes and historic gardens. The area’s deciduous trees, including oaks, elms, and maples, create a vibrant display of autumn colors, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers and photographers alike. Explore the charming villages connected by scenic backcountry roads and enjoy the picturesque views of the region.

The Macedon Ranges offer a range of activities for visitors, including hiking, picnicking, and exploring the local farmers markets and artisan workshops. The region is also home to several events throughout the year, such as the Macedon Ranges Autumn Festival, which celebrates the stunning autumn foliage. Experience the beauty and charm of the Macedon Ranges and create unforgettable memories amidst its vibrant autumn colors.

16. Yarra Valley

Famous for its wineries and rolling hills, the Yarra Valley offers a picturesque setting for enjoying autumn foliage. The region’s deciduous trees, including oaks, elms, and maples, create a stunning display of colors, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers and photographers alike. Explore the wineries, gardens, and forests of the Yarra Valley and enjoy the crisp fresh air and vibrant autumn colors.

The Yarra Valley offers a range of activities for visitors, including wine tasting, hiking, and cycling. The region is also home to several events throughout the year, such as the Yarra Valley Wine and Food Festival, which showcases local wines and culinary delights. Experience the beauty and charm of the Yarra Valley and create unforgettable memories amidst its vibrant autumn colors.

17. Broughton Hall

Discover the historic estate of Broughton Hall, featuring beautiful gardens and a variety of deciduous trees, including oaks, elms, and maples. The estate’s walking paths provide a peaceful setting for enjoying the autumn colors, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers and photographers alike. Explore the garden’s secret nooks and delightful crannies, and enjoy the lush, green trees and dramatic roses.

Broughton Hall offers private tours for groups of 20 or more, as well as the option of morning or afternoon tea. If you are inspired by the horticulture on display, Broughton Hall also has a nursery, where you can purchase a selection of rare plants. Experience the beauty and charm of Broughton Hall and create unforgettable memories amidst its vibrant autumn colors.

18. Mount Beauty

Nestled in the Alpine region of Victoria, Mount Beauty offers stunning mountain views and vibrant autumn foliage. The town’s deciduous trees, including poplars and oaks, create a picturesque setting for leaf-peeping, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers and photographers alike.

Mount Beauty offers a range of activities for visitors, including hiking, cycling, and fishing in the nearby Kiewa River. The town is also home to several events throughout the year, including the Mount Beauty Music Festival, which showcases local and international talent. Experience the beauty and charm of Mount Beauty and create unforgettable memories amidst its vibrant autumn colors.

19. George Tindale Memorial Garden

Located in the Dandenong Ranges, the George Tindale Memorial Garden is known for its collection of rare and unusual plants. The garden’s deciduous trees, including maples and magnolias, provide a stunning autumn experience. Set under the canopies of towering Mountain Ash Trees, this cool climate garden is sure to delight.

The George Tindale Memorial Garden is a peaceful retreat for nature lovers, offering a serene setting for picnics and leisurely strolls. The garden is a reflection of the passion and dedication of its namesake, George Tindale, who worked tirelessly to create a unique and beautiful garden for future generations to enjoy. Experience the charm of the George Tindale Memorial Garden and create lasting memories amidst its picturesque landscape.

20. Ballarat’s Avenue of Honour

Immerse yourself in history and natural beauty at Ballarat’s Avenue of Honour, a historic avenue in Ballarat that spans 22 km with 3,771 trees, each planted with a plaque dedicated to local soldiers who served in World War I. The trees, primarily elms and oaks, create a stunning display of autumn colors, making it a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or bike ride.

The Avenue of Honour is not only a living memorial but also a testament to the community spirit and dedication of the people of Ballarat. It was the first of its kind in Australia and remains the longest avenue of honor in the southern hemisphere. Experience the tranquility and beauty of Ballarat’s Avenue of Honour and pay tribute to the brave soldiers who served their country.

Best Places to See Autumn Leaves in Melbourne at a Glance

Our list of best places to see autumn leaves in Melbourne goes like this:

  • Best city location for autumn leaves: Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne
  • Best historic garden for autumn colors: Fitzroy Gardens, East Melbourne
  • Best UNESCO World Heritage site for autumn foliage: Carlton Gardens, Carlton
  • Best garden in the Dandenong Ranges for autumn leaves: Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens, Sherbrooke
  • Best regional location for autumn colors: Macedon Ranges, Victoria

Experience the vibrant hues of autumn in Melbourne and its surrounding areas by visiting these stunning locations.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to see autumn leaves in Melbourne?

The peak time for autumn foliage in Melbourne is typically from late April to early June, but this can vary depending on the weather and specific location.

Can I access these locations using public transport?

Many of the locations within Melbourne, such as the Royal Botanic Gardens and Fitzroy Gardens, are easily accessible by public transport. For some destinations outside the city, like the Dandenong Ranges or Yarra Valley, it may be more convenient to rent a car or join a guided tour.

Are there any autumn festivals or events in Melbourne?

Bright, a popular destination for autumn foliage, hosts the annual Bright Autumn Festival, which celebrates the vibrant fall colors with events, markets, and guided walks. Other locations may have seasonal events or activities related to autumn as well.

Are these locations suitable for families and children?

Yes, most of the locations on our list are family-friendly and offer a range of activities suitable for all ages. Parks and gardens, such as the Royal Botanic Gardens and Fitzroy Gardens, provide open spaces for children to play and explore, while regional destinations like the Macedon Ranges and Yarra Valley offer opportunities for family hikes and picnics.

Is there an admission fee for these locations?

Most of the locations on our list offer free entry, although there may be additional costs for parking, guided tours, or special events. For example, entry to the Buchan Caves Reserve is free, but there are fees for guided cave tours. Always check the specific location’s website for up-to-date information on fees and opening hours.

Madie

Madie is a lifestyle and travel writer at HumbleTrail. With her roots in the sunny coastal town of Eden, New South Wales.

She moved to Melbourne straight after high school and is now the go-to person in the team for the best local gems around Melbourne. She's got her ways in staying up to date with the upcoming cafes in the city before they become mainstream.

Madie's day starts off at 5 AM for her morning gym session. By 10 AM, you'll find her energized with her second coffee of the day, often sharing her latest K-pop crushes with the team.

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