The iconic Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens was established in 1818.

It is a popular historic and natural attraction in Hobart.

Located minutes from the city centre, the 14-hectare site is home to hundreds of significant plants including a number of trees that date back to the 19th century.

You can wander along the many paths, enjoy the diverse fauna and nearby Derwent River.

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Things to see and do at Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens

Gardens 

The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens is home to a number of separate and unique garden spaces.

For example, you’ll see the perfect Japanese Garden designed by landscape architect Kanjiro Harada.

After that, relax by the Lily Pond where you’ll find an iconic collection constructed in 1840.

If you want to get a glimpse of TV in action, you might see ABC’s Gardening Australia host their show at the Veggie Patch.

Alternatively, you can see the Herb Garden filled with culinary and medicinal herbs.

During your visit, you’ll see all the native plants of the area, particularly in the Greater Hobart and Tasmanian East Collections.

This is just a small selection of the immense choice at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens.

Buildings and Landmarks

Considering the long history of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, it isn’t surprising the site is home to a number of historically significant buildings.

For example, the most recognisable buildings is the Conservatory.

This was constructed in 1939 from sandstone salvaged from the demolished Hobart General Hospital.

However, you will also see the Historic Walls, spread around the site, some of which were constructed as early as 1829.

In addition to this, you’ll see impressive landmarks like the Tasmanian Fernery, the Subantarctic Plant House and the Fuchsia House.

All of these buildings and diverse plants are open for you to explore.

Tours and Walks

Guided and self-guided tours are available at the garden.

The guided tours run for 1.5-hours through the gardens, highlighting its history behind the various collections.

However, you can choose to take a self-guided tour if you prefer to explore at your own pace.

There are two available, the Significant Trees Walk and the Waterwise Plants Walk.

These can be undertaken at your own pace and run through small sections of the garden’s broad collection.

Tips

Visitors Centre 

The Visitors Centre is the best place to start your journey.

It offers facilities and services that help improve your visit.

Staff will provide information about the gardens, suggested activities and expert advice.

There is also a Botanical Shop selling gifts and books.

If you need a rest, enjoy a meal or snack at the Garden’s Restaurant.

Download the App

The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens has created a free iPhone app to download.

This app is the best guide to the gardens.

It features up-to-date info on the latest blooms as well as upcoming events.

Maps and useful garden details are also available.

Nearby Attractions 

Located around five minutes from the Hobart CBD, the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens is an attraction that can easily be seen alongside a number of other Hobart sights.

In other words, try to fit more activities when you visit Hobart.

Nearby options include the Derwent River, Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Cascade Brewery and even Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary.

How to get to Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens

Walk

The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens can be reached from the city by foot.

The walk takes around 30 minutes via the Queens Domain.

Bike

There is a cycle track from the Cenotaph along the river past the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens.

The ride takes around 15 minutes.

Hop-On Hop-Off

The metro bus service doesn’t have stops in close proximity to the gardens, so its best to book a pass on the Hobart Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour.

This stops at the gardens along with other attractions.

Car

Driving to the gardens takes around five minutes from Hobart and parking is available at all entrances.

Tour

You can take a city sightseeing tour around Hobart, which stops at five of the most popular attractions in the city.

More importantly, it stops at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens.

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History

The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens is the second oldest garden in Australia, established in 1818.

Public visits were limited since it was the lieutenant-governor’s garden.

The garden grew slowly, with most of the plants being forest trees and grasses.

In 1844, management of the gardens was passed to the Royal Society of Van Diemen’s Land, a newly formed group.

Later on, the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens began to grow in earnest.

In 1856, new plans were put out for the gardens to include promenade walks and an orchard.

This improved the garden’s popularity amongst locals.

So visitation increased allowing the garden to grow even more.

The current Royal Tasmanian Gardens are the result of almost 200 years of dedicated and intense work.

Today is has become a historical and botanical marvel.

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For all new cities, I go overboard on my itinerary, just to see every major attraction. Countries I've visited include New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Cambodia, Japan and Thailand. Mostly Asian countries. Next target - Europe!