Since opening in 1818, the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens have been the natural heart of Hobart.
The Royal Tasmania Botanical Gardens spreads over 35 acres of the Queen’s Domain in Hobart, the capital of Australia’s island state. The gardens hold many thriving indigenous plants, including several that are over a hundred years old. There is a focus within the gardens on the historic trees, conservation collections of rare Tasmanian plants, and exhibits that allow visitors to experience the environment of the Macquarie Island wilderness – an otherwise inaccessible experience.
A large part of the Royal Tasmania Botanical Gardens’ mission includes the education of the public about the importance of conserving plants and the environment. This includes the annual TreadLightly Harvest Festival, held 6th April 2014, that celebrates core values of environment and sustainable living whilst encouraging patrons to source local produce.
The gardens hold a number of specialised plant collections, all with carefully curated plants and award winning landscaping designs. The Japanese and Chinese Gardens follow traditional gardening practices to embody the culture they are portraying. Other specialised gardens include the Lily Pond, Veggie Patch, Herb Garden, heritage Historic Walls garden and Cactus House. The main attraction of the gardens however are the specialised gardens that focus on plants from various environments around Tasmania.
The Greater Hobart Collection showcases the surrounding bushland, and is a favourite amongst visiting school groups. The Tasmanian East Coast collection focuses on the wide range of plant habitats found in the wooded forests of the east coast. A Tasmanian Fernery displays Tasmania’s stunning range of native ferns. The most popular exhibit however is the Subantarctic Plant House.
A specially constructed building sits within the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens grounds to mimic the environment on the subantarctic Macquarie Island. The experience is made eerily realistic in the climate controlled atmosphere by the immersive audio soundscape that lets visitors hear the wildlife of the island – Elephant Seals, fur seals, multiple species of penguins, and the cries of albatross and skuas.
The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Garden is open from 9-5 daily, with extended hours during the warmer months. A restaurant and shop on site provide refreshments and souvenirs.