Mount Lofty Botanic Garden
Mt Lofty Botanic Garden is a beautiful botanical adventure in the Adelaide Hills only 20 minutes from the city. It is the perfect spot for a relaxing family picnic or walk at any time of year.
Put on your walking shoes, pack your camera, pack some snacks or a picnic and get ready to explore this amazing wonderland which kids will have a fabulous time exploring.
The garden is stunning during every season as there are lovely cool valleys to explore during spring and summer, while it is serene and beautiful during winter. Spectacular Autumn tree colours fill the garden with contrasting reds, oranges, yellows, and greens and kids will love playing in all the scrunchy leaves.
The lower areas of the Garden are more suited for strollers and the paths are flatter for little ones, so entering from the lower entrance is recommended if you have a stroller.
Bracegirdle’s food truck is parked near the top of the lower carpark every weekend and public holiday from 10am – 3pm serving a full drinks menu and sweet and savoury food options.
You can take a leisurely stroll or go on a more vigorous trek, there is so much to discover here with over 97 hectares of garden.
We visit the garden throughout the year and love meandering along our favourite paths or discovering new ones.
There are plenty of spots along the way where you can sit and enjoy the views, as well as open areas to run around and hilly areas to roam.
And of course, plenty of trees to explore and be intrigued by.
This amazing old tree is perfect for older kids to explore. It is near the Rose Garden which is situated in the Northern part of the garden. This is one of the lesser-explored parts of the garden, but well worth the visit as the Heysen Trail meanders along here and you’ll usually have the whole area to yourself, even on a busy day.
The two lakes are central features of this garden. The main lake is a great place to stop and visit the swans and ducks. On the other side of the lake is a huge hill which is great fun for kids to run down. There is also a lovely grassy, shady area at the bottom, perfect for family picnics.
The upper lake is dominated by beautiful water lilies and is surrounded by a variety of trees and sculptural plants. It is a popular place to stop for family photos or just to admire the array of colours and textures of the plants and trees surrounding the lake.
Visitors are encouraged to feel free to walk on the grass, touch, smell and enjoy the wonderful plant life and atmosphere.
You can hear the frogs in the ponds; look out for colourful butterflies and parrots; see if you can spot the Southern Brown Bandicoot (signs near their habitat will show you what to look out for); and you may see kangaroos and koalas when they visit.
Look out also for the sculptural pieces by renowned artist, Greg Johns.
There are so many paths to take that you can easily visit time and time again to discover new things.
All through the year, the seasons bring magnificent changes to the flora so the garden will look quite different each time you visit.
There are creeks flowing at some times, the Magnolias are in full bloom around August – September.
During Spring there are flowers everywhere. Make sure you take the path along the Rhododendron Gully to see the vibrant colours of the Azaleas and Rhododendrons when they’re in bloom.
In Autumn the colourful leaves are spectacular. Many visitors come from far and wide just to see the garden in all it’s Autumn glory.
On weekends, be prepared to walk a little further because carparks fill up early. There will be assistants directing traffic and signage to help out.
If you can, visit during the week when there are less visitors and plenty of carparks available.
During the cooler months, keep an eye out for these spectacular and deadly toadstools that tend to pop up near the top of the garden under the oak trees.
During Summer, the shady gullies following the creek line are lined with stunning hydrangeas.
Mt Lofty Botanic Garden is truly spectacular and a wonderful place to visit with kids. There is so much enjoyment to be had exploring nature, getting lost amongst the trees, running around the Garden. Our kids never want to leave. The views are breathtaking and it makes you realise just how lucky we are to have this right in our backyard. Exploring the Garden is a great active outdoor experience and admission is free.
Future Development Plans
Upgrades will include:
- Additional overflow car parking to cater for increased autumn and spring visitation.
- New public toilets
- Improved way-finding signage
- Upgraded walking trails.
Pending funding, additional upgrades will include:
- A new visitor and educational hub
- A new horticulture and conservation hub.
For more information and all enquiries please visit the Mt Lofty Botanic Garden website.
What: Mount Lofty Botanic Garden
When: Open all year round. Opening times vary. **In the Fire Danger Season, the garden may close for safety reasons. Click here to check the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden
Facebook page for updates.
Where: Mount Lofty Summit Road or Piccadilly Road, Crafers – Upper Entrance off Mawson Drive, Lower Entrance off Lampert Road – see map here
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.
Image Source: Play & Go
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