Carlton Gardens

Carlton Gardens adjoins the northeastern corner of Melbourne's central business district, near Victoria Street, Rathdowne Street, Carlton Street and Nicholson Street.

The Gardens slope gently down to the northeast and southwest from the Exhibition Building. Mature trees, many of which line the garden paths in formal avenues, dominate these areas. The tree plantings are widely mixed, including deciduous oaks, planes, elms, conifers, araucarias and broad-leafed evergreens such as Moreton Bay Figs. Much of the garden area is grassed lawns beneath trees with annual and shrub beds at key locations.

The southern section of the gardens has two ornamental lakes, avenues of trees and a most impressive alley of plane trees leading to the Hochgurtel Fountain in front of the Royal Exhibition Building. The northern section has a similar layout of treed avenues with a new children's playground, the Carlton Gardens Tennis Courts, a park maintenance depot and a caretaker's cottage.

Royal Exhibition Building


Carlton Gardens surround the majestic Royal Exhibition Building erected for the Great Exhibition of 1880 Victorian parliament met at the Exhibition Building for 27 years, when the Victorian Parliament building was being used by the National Legislature until the parliament building in Canberra was being built.

Many exhibitions are still held in the Royal Exhibition Building including the International Flower and Garden Show.

The Melbourne Museum and Imax Theatre are situated in the centre of the gardens to the north of the Royal Exhibition Building.

A popular picnic and barbecue area, the gardens are also home to an array of wildlife, including possums. Tree-lined avenues, Exhibition Fountain, formal flowerbeds and miniature lakes are a feature of Carlton Gardens.

Area of Solitude for Missing People


A bench is located approximately 100 metres west of the intersection of Gertrude St and Nicholson St, Carlton, under a large tree overlooking a small pond, serving as a reminder for Missing People: With Hope in Our Hearts.

Transport: tram number 86 or 96 along Bourke Street to the Nicholson Street Entrance Open: daily


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