The 24 hectare, Bendigo Botanic Gardens at White Hills is situated 155km north west of Melbourne CBD, in the township of Bendigo. Bendigo Botanic Gardens thrives on the concept of open space for people to enjoy rather a Botanic Gardens in true sense. One thing is certain – Bendigo once being the richest town in the world due to the gold find, did not show much justice to its Botanical Gardens.
Bendigo Botanic Gardens at White Hill was formally gazetted in 1857 by the Victorian Government. Striking floral displays were a feature at the gardens in the early years. In 1873, curator Samuel Gadd rejuvenated the ground and made 28 circular and 20 rectangular garden beds. Much of these displays were destroyed by the salination problems in the 1880’s. Samuel Gadd was a resident curator at the Gardens from 1861 to 1874. He became a curator for all Bendigo’s parks and gardens in 1874 and remained in that position until 1903. He had major beneficial influence over White Hill Botanic gardens, Rosalind Park and Lake Weeroona Reserve. In the following decades the entrance gardens were tended to and became a key attraction due to elaborate floral displays. Only few of the original trees planted in the early days of the establishment of the garden survives today.
The lagoon in the garden was once part of the Bendigo Creek. The creek formed a loop which created a small island which was part of the gardens in the early days. Gold digging and urbanisation made the creek to a drain for noxious industrial liquid waste. The heritage listed pavilion which remains in use today was erected on the island around 1901 and is believed to have positioned to take advantage of the island outlook. During the Bendigo’s mining hey days, the Bendigo Creek was realigned and the existing Billabong within the gardens is the only remaining remnant of the Bendigo Creek’s natural watercourse.
An Arch of Triumph to commemorate the service of fallen soldiers in the First World War was erected in 1925 on the Napier Street entrance of the Gardens. A walkthrough bird aviary was established in 1987 at the gardens and offers a naturalistic habitat for many bird species. The main attractions at the aviary are different types of Rosellas, Golden Pheasant, blue bonnet and Cockatiel. Established in 2018, the Garden for the future provides a contemporary garden experience for everyone to explore and enjoy.
In 2001, the gardens were added to the Victorian Heritage Register.
Address: 557 Napier St, White Hills VIC 3550, Australia
Facilities: Toilets, Picnic tables, BBQ, Walking tracks, water tracks, Pavilion, Billabong
The Garden is open from 7:30am to 6pm and 7:30am to 9pm (Daylight Savings Time)
Aviary opens on weekdays from 8am until 4pm
Dogs on leash allowed inside the gardens