Ask any Melbournian what their favourite season is, and I can guarantee most will say Autumn.
We love our distinctive seasons down here in Melbourne, and as the shadows get longer and the air gets crisper, it’s the perfect opportunity to layer up, get outdoors, and enjoy the stunning displays of turning leaves in March, April and May.
A Melbourne Autumn is really something to behold. If you live in Australia’s more tropical climes, I’d really recommend visiting Victoria at this time of year.
Many parks and gardens in and around Melbourne and regional Victoria are planted with European tree species, which unlike our native flora, put on gorgeous orange, yellow and red displays of colours before the leaves drop off in Winter.
You won’t have to travel far to enjoy Melbourne in its full Autumnal glory, just take a stroll through many of the city’s gardens. Or if you fancy a day out-of-town, pack a picnic, drive up to the hills of the Dandenong or Macedon ranges for the perfect day out. Don’t forget your camera!
Where to head this Melbourne Autumn for Nature’s Kaleidoscope of Colour
Here are some of my favourite locations to see Melbourne’s Autumn colours.
When you get home, why not enjoy one of my Autumn Cocktails to round off the day.
Without a doubt the city’s most well-known and treasured garden oasis. Extending over 38 hectares and houses a collection of more than 8,500 species of plants from around the world. There’s always something to see, do or explore in the city’s most loved park which burst into colour every Melbourne autumn.
Join the Botanical Gardens Aboriginal Heritage Walk to learn about the ancestral lands of the Koolin nation and Aboriginal traditions. Your guide will teach you about indigenous plants and trees, and their uses for food and medicine. Book Here
Birdwood Avenue, Melbourne.
A leafy escape that’s just a short stroll from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne’s city centre. Reminiscent of Victorian era landscaping, in the gardens you’ll find an ornamental lake, a cafe, a conservatory, James Cook’s English cottage, a model Tudor village, fairy tree, fountains, sculptures and a rotunda amongst its magnificent tree-lined avenues.
The kids will love playing in the big piles of leaves that fall from the elms that line the paths.
230-298 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne.
Where to stay in Melbourne close to the Botanical Gardens?
Stay at the Seasons Botanic Gardens Melbourne – Just a stones throw from the Royal Botanic Gardens, with a view of the Shrine of Remembrance and all of the Melbourne autumn colour. Located on St Kilda road, this hotel with self-contained apartments is walking distance from the NGV, Tennis Center and CBD.
Family rooms are available and it has free WI-FI, indoor pool and gym facilities.
ApartHotel Seasons Botanic Gardens Melbourne – Check the room rates here on Booking.com
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Seven beautiful gardens can be found in the Dandenong Ranges, just 35 kilometres east of Melbourne. Each garden features stunning fiery colours set amongst the picturesque hills and views of the Dandenongs.
Less than an hour’s drive from the city and with free admittance, the gardens are open every day.
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Book a Mystery Picnic in the Dandenong Ranges
Enjoy some local produce whilst you enjoy the Autumnal vibes of the Dandenong ranges. You’ll start with an empty basket and gather delicious edible treats from artisan food vendors on this self guided tour with fun cryptic clues to solve. It a perfect way to enjoy an Autumn afternoon with friends or family.
Book a Mystery Picnic in the Dandenong Ranges here on Klook
Where to stay in the Dandenong Ranges?
Stay at A Loft In The Mill Boutique Accommodation – A charming Tudor style bluestone replica of a 19th Century flour mill and Carriagehouse. Located in Olinda in the heart of the Dandenong ranges. The property offers a variety of individually decorated suites, may which boast a fireplace. A Continental breakfast basket is provided. Perfect for a romantic weekend getaway.
A Loft In The Mill Boutique Accommodation – Check the room rates here on Booking.com
Visitors can enjoy a network of walking tracks through formal gardens and native bush. Spectacular views over Port Phillip Bay and sculptures in the garden make this a very popular spot. The 34- hectare Seawinds Gardens lie within Arthurs Seat State Park on the Mornington Peninsula, one hour and 15 minutes from Melbourne.
21 Purves Road, Arthurs Seat, Victoria.
Just over an hour from Melbourne, Coolart’s historic mansion is set in a delightful garden with wetlands, woodlands and pasture nearby. Paths lead to the beach, lagoon and wetlands and the Homestead lawns are the perfect location for a leisurely picnic. Autumn is most definitely the prettiest time to visit with the vibrant hues of the leaves transforming to all the colours of the nature.
Lord Somers Rd, Somers, Victoria 3927
Where to stay in the Mornington Peninsula?
Stay at Lancemore Lindenderry Red Hill – This 4-star luxury guest house is set on a 30 acre estate and offers secluded, countryside accommodation in the heart of Victorias Mornington Peninsula. Lindenderry has a winery, gardens, lawns, and private vineyards, as well as an indoor pool and spa. Gourmet breakfast is included.
Lancemore Lindenderry Red Hill – Check the room rates here on Booking.com
The Avenue of Honour in Macedon is a spectacular tree-lined stretch of road which leads to Mount Macedon Road. The spectacular avenue of oaks honours the 154 men and women of Macedon and Mount Macedon who enlisted for service during the World War I.
Due to the high number of visitors to the region in the peak Autumn season, from April to Early May, temporary traffic management measures are in place to ensure everyone has the best experience.
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The Gardens of Tieve Tara undulate across 7.5 acres of sweeping lawns, lakes and trees, with vibrant seasonal colours. Probably the most famous private garden in Macedon, these gardens are open on selected days in Autumn, check their facebook page for details.
751 Mount Macedon Rd, Mount Macedon, Victoria.
Where to stay in the Macedon Ranges?
Stay at Macedon Ranges Hotel & Spa – Treat yourself to a spa bath with a stunning view. Rooms are generously sized and the facilities include indoor swimming pool and open fireplaces. On site day spa is available for massage and beauty therapy bookings. Perfect girl’s weekend retreat.
Macedon Ranges Hotel & Spa – Check the room rates here on Booking.com
Early autumn is harvest time in the Yarra Valley and it’s also the perfect season to visit this visually stunning wine region. Vineyards turn a golden hue and exceptional sunsets combine to ensure the region is at its most stunning.
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The Maroondah Reservoir Park must be one of the regions best kept secrets and about one kilometre past the centre of Healesville. Featuring gardens with stands of native and exotic trees, walking tracks native animals and birds. With plenty of playgrounds and expansive lawns, it’s the perfect place for a picnic.
The historic Rose Stairway which is at its best in Autumn is a popular photography spot.
Maroondah Hwy, Healesville VIC.
Where to stay in the Yarra Valley?
Stay at Balgownie Estate Yarra Valley – Located on a award-winning vineyard, Yarra Valley offers luxurious Yarra Valley accommodation. Facilities include a cellar door, restaurant, day spa and indoor swimming pool. Suites with a spa bath, kitchenette and Yarra Valley views are available.
Balgownie Estate Yarra Valley – Check the room rates here on Booking.com
Get the full Yarra Valley Experience with this Yarra Valley Wine, Bubbles & Gin tour. Take a tour of five Yarra Valley wineries with a local driver and guide that can pick you up from your Yarra Valley accommodation. Book Here
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Parts of this Melbourne Autumn post have been republished with permission from www.visitvictoria.com under creative commons.
This post was originally published March 2019 – Updated March 2022