12 March, 2020

Make a beeline for Tasmania’s prettiest parks and gardens

You don’t need to head into the wilderness for some time out in nature.

Are you hooked on horticulture? Or do you simply enjoy relaxing in nature gently tamed by human hands? From pretty parks where conservatories, heritage fountains and duck ponds perfect picturesque landscapes, to gardens celebrating the beauty and diversity of plants, put these gorgeous Tasmanian green spaces on your wish list.

Hobart beauties

The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens are among the capital’s treasures, covering 14 beautiful hectares beside the River Derwent. Australia’s second-oldest botanic garden includes a large lily pond and tranquil Japanese garden, both popular with the resident ducks. Other highlights are the flower-filled conservatory, heritage architectural features including convict-built walls, and the views from Succulent Restaurant’s deck.


In the heart of Hobart beside Salamanca Place, St David's Park is a small English-style semi-formal garden, complete with rotunda. This area was Hobart’s first cemetery, so you’ll also find several grand 19th century funeral monuments among the mature trees. One of the paths winding through this peaceful park is also embedded with historically significant gravestones, some more than 200 years old.

St David's Park (Image: Alastair Bett)
St David's Park (Image: Alastair Bett)

Launceston’s loveliest parks

Established in 1820, pretty City Park is perfect for picnics, playtime and leisurely promenades. Linger at gracious heritage fountains, the duck pond, bandstand, bloom-filled conservatory, and the fascinating Japanese macaque monkeys’ enclosure, then stretch out on the lawn. Let the kids loose in the playground, or treat them to a ride on the park’s mini train.


A short walk or quick drive from Launceston’s CBD, Cataract Gorge Reserve is the city’s favourite place to relax. Easily conquer one of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks, following the South Esk River into the narrow gorge. In the open but still secluded area called the First Basin, pleasures include an outdoor pool, scenic chairlift, Victorian-era garden, a kiosk, cafe and the Gorge Restaurant. Peacocks parade across the lawns, where wallabies also graze at dusk.

City Park, Launceston (Image: Chris Crerar)
City Park, Launceston (Image: Chris Crerar)

History and horticulture

South of Launceston, Woolmers Estate isn’t only worth visiting for its 19th century buildings – there’s also a large rose garden inspired by 17th century French formal gardens. Its massed colour and scent peaks during November’s annual Festival of Roses (15 November, 2020), but is still heavenly in April. Neighbouring Brickendon Estate, which is also UNESCO World Heritage-listed, has a charming garden too.


Bruny Island’s Inala Jurassic Garden takes visitors even further back in time – about 185 million years ago, when the Gondwana supercontinent started splitting into separate land masses including Australia and South America. More than 650 species, from pines to proteas, are helpfully grouped to show similarities between plants from now geographically distant lands.

Woolmers Estate (Image: Tourism Tasmania and Heath Holden)
Woolmers Estate (Image: Tourism Tasmania and Heath Holden)

More gorgeous gardens

Just south of Devonport, The Tasmanian Arboretum is a living museum of trees from the world’s temperate regions, such as beech, birch, magnolia, conifer and fern. Tasmania’s diverse woody plants are especially well represented, and you’ll also see native birds and animals including platypus, which appear in the lake almost every day.


West of Devonport, Emu Valley Rhododendron Garden is an 11-hectare celebration of these stunning flowering shrubs, which look their best from September to November. This garden is always lovely though, because there are thousands of other plants peaking at different times, plus picturesque lakes, bridges, gazebos, native animals and tearooms too.

Emu Valley Rhododendron Garden (Image:Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman)
Emu Valley Rhododendron Garden (Image:Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman)

Seasonal sensations

Experiencing Tasmania’s most spectacular floral displays require good timing. Table Cape Tulip Farm is open to the public from late September through October, when countless blooms form a sea of colour. Bridestowe Lavender Estate is open year-round, but their fields are eye-poppingly purple only from December until harvest, usually in early February. Start planning now!

Table Cape Tulip Farm (Image: Tourism Tasmania & Tony Crehan)
Table Cape Tulip Farm (Image: Tourism Tasmania & Tony Crehan)


Information included in this blog is correct at the time of publishing. Please contact individual operators for further information.

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