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Botanical Gardens and Nature Based Play Space

Through the years the Warrnambool Gardens have remained an important part of the life of the city.

The site of these botanic gardens was selected in 1866, replacing an earlier site near the mouth of the Hopkins River. The early development of the gardens owes much to Charles Scoborio, curator, and Government botanist Ferdinand von Mueller.

In 1877 Warrnambool Council commissioned William Guilfoyle, then Director of the Melbourne Botanic Gardens, to design an appropriate layout. His vision of sweeping lawns and long curving paths where the viewer can gaze into the distance, was implemented by successive curators, and remains intact.

The Warrnambool Botanic Gardens Conservation and Development Plan was carried out in 1995 with the assistance of funds made available by the Commonwealth of Australia under the National Estate Grants Program.

The new nature based play space in the Warrnambool Botanic Gardens has been designed to engage children with plants and the heritage botanic gardens. The new space draws on a number of themes, the primary one being the site’s location in a William Guilfoyle designed heritage botanic garden. New clambering logs and rock shards are a modern interpretation of the grotesque Victorian follies favoured by Guilfoyle, and the dramatic foliage plants draw on the site’s gardenesque design themes.

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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawuurung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Ancestors, past present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.