The Children’s Garden – for real Kid’s & those still Kid’s at Heart


The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden

Located adjacent to the Observatory Gate and Café, opposite the Shrine of Remembrance Visitor Centre on Birdwood Avenue, the Children’s Garden entrance is down a pathway with magical creatures shaped out of plants.

This fenced garden is a perfect place to let the kids explore and investigate a garden, getting their hands dirty as they find the hidden secrets.

The Meeting Place which has a water feature that sprays up out of the ground in summer, is a hoot of fun, dodging the water jets to cool down. It always seems to entice those who ‘s parents didn’t bring the spare set of shorts and a towel, which I recommend. A great spot to let them free whilst having some fun. You could even let your own inhibitions down and play dodge yourself!!

Fountain in the Children’s Garden

Nearby watch out for the sculpture by Louis Laumen of characters from the classic Australian children’s book by Norman Lindsay – The Magic Pudding. This is a great spot if you can weave you kids around the characters for a photo shoot.

From the oriental hut you’ll overlook the Wetland Area with Bamboo Forest behind and buried inside is a platform to climb which is often missed and a great spot to wave to seated adults on the other side of the garden.

The Rill is a gentle waterway that runs through the Garden which you will stumble across at some stage and if you are tackling the garden in a clockwise fashion, it will lead you to the plant tunnel. At the back of this section you’ll come to the shell of a burnt out tree stump. Be inquisitive with your kids and get inside, looking up you may be lucky to spot the resident possum if around having a siesta.

The Children’s Garden built with assistance from the Ian Potter Foundation is well worth a visit and is easy to while away an hour or more. It is perfect for combining with other close by attractions and one activity that provide balance for the younger family members in a days Melbourne sightseeing.

Onion Heads in the Children’s Garden – Raised Beds

What’s underneath the Onion Skin – other things to do nearby:

If you are visiting the Children’s Garden with kids, further along the path from it’s entrance, inside the Royal Botanical Gardens [RBG] there are three other things which may add to your visit. This will be of course dependent on energy, age and interest of those with you.

First you’ll come across the Herb Garden and a great spot to extend the play and learning in the raised garden beds in the Children’s Garden. Further down the lawns you’ll see the ornamental lake, a great spot to see ducks, water fowl and Australia’s Black Swan and if you choose to walk through the fern gully on the way, look up and you may see fruit bats hanging in the tree tops. Thirdly there is Guilfoyle’s Volcano – the rebuilt reservoir, built with arid plants, rock and scoria has a great spiral walkway, this would have appeal to those a little older.

Food: The Observatory Gate and Café is metres from this garden entrance a great spot to purchase a coffee or an ice cream. Alternatively there is a lawn area to share your picnic if you have brought one or let the kids run and let off some steam.

Inside the RBG overlooking the Ornamental Lake is located another café which has a more adult vibe, but great for a Devonshire tea.


Suburb/Neighbourhood: MELBOURNE [5 minutes from South Melbourne Homestay]

How to get there:  Melway reference – Map 2F K12

By Car: Parking around the Tan, there are a range of two and four hour parking spots or weekend s on St Kilda Road
By Tram:
St Kilda Road and Dorcas Street – stop number 19 walk up through the Shrine of Remembrance forecourt and past the Vietnam War Memorial.
St Kilda Road and Coventry Street – stop number 18 walk past the Shrine of Remembrance Boulevard to the roundabout and right along Birdwood Avenue. This is a  gradual flatter approach but a little further to walk but easier managing a stroller and children or if steps might be a difficulty.
The Domain Road intersection Terminus– walk from the rear of the Shrine reserve to Birdwood Avenue.
By City Explorer Bus: – Free tourist shuttle, get off at stop 13 for the Shrine and Royal Botanical Gardens. Walk further along the road in the direction that the bus travels to the Observatory Gate and entrance to the Children’s Garden.


Transport to and from Melbourne – Tullamarine Airport

If you arriving at the airport and don’t have a buddy with a friendly smiling face ready to whisk you away at the end of your flight. Here are some alternative transport options from Melbourne – Tullamarine Airport to Melbourne CBD with approximate costs as at October 2016.


A great regular service to the CBD, the Skybus operates between the Airport and Southern Cross Railway Station, costing $18.00 one way or $30.00 return per person. This part of the journey takes about 30 mins.

Skybus has a free connecting shuttle  bus which drops off at hotels at the door.   If staying at a private residence the suggestion is to find a nearby hotel address and walk the short distance.

If your final destination is not in the CBD, the Southern Cross Railway Station is adjacent if you need a rail connection or outside, connect to a tram along the concourse.


Starbus is another bus service, the advantage is that it is a door to door and operates from outside the International Terminal.  The limitation is the first departure from the airport is 06:00 to the last 18.00 hours.  From the city it is 05:00 to 19:00 hours.We are located in the zone 1 with the fare being $18 one way and $30 return.  Further details and FAQ’s are on the website


We recommend making a booking through the website or they can be called on +613-8378-8700 once you have collected your luggage and they will give directions to your shuttle.  Usually across the road in the centre lane to pick up the service and remember to turn your mobile on.


The journey from the airport in non peak hour traffic to Melbourne CBD and fringes, will take about 20-30 minutes, door to door by taxi at a cost of $50-60 approximately dependant on your location. All public taxi cabs are yellow which are monitored for service. There are a range of limousine services on offer if that is your thing and within budget. Like most cities  there other drivers touting for your business and my advice is be discerning or stick to the yellow cabs.


All the usual car hire companies can be found located at the Melbourne Airport with most having their vehicle pick up point literally across the road in the car park located outside the terminal door.

If travelling into the city the main freeway – ‘Citylink‘ is a toll road and a Citylink Pass needs to be purchased. As in in some other countries there are no toll booths to pay your fee at the start of the freeway. Be aware that if travelling extensively by car tolls do apply on a couple of other freeways. Toll passes an be purchased ahead from Citylink.


Melbourne’s public tram, train and bus system has extensive coverage across metropolitan Melbourne, that is except to Melbourne Airport.

There are two zones which will inform you fare, with the  Melbourne CBD  grid  being a Free Tram Zone.  This is really useful if staying in the CBD and connecting with Skybus.

METLINK prices are are based on a two hour journey or at a maximum there is an all day fare rate.   You will need a  MYKI ticket to commence your journey and the electronic ticket needs to be purchased prior to commencing your journey and loaded with money to get you started.  These are available from a railway station,  7-Eleven, newsagent or other retail outlet.

Tickets for a two hour journey start at $3.80 full fare, for most destinations within a 5-6Km radius.

AVALON AIRPORT IS Melbourne’s second airport catering for domestic travellers using the two lost cost airlines operating out of it. The airport is 60Kms form the city, making transport difficult even if your airfare is cheaper.