The best autumn views around Melbourne
Autumn is a time like no other, with the cooler weather and seasonal wine festivals tied together by the gorgeous scenery of the changing leaves. Even the worst of our modern ills can be alleviated, if not entirely cured, by taking in all the beautiful sights that nature has to offer. Marvel at the beautifully bright autumn colours in and around the city of Melbourne at these must-visit locations.
1. Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens
55min drive from Melbourne CBD
Amidst the ornamental lakes and Japanese-style bridges of the Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens grow deciduous trees that set the landscape alight every autumn with their fiery foliage. Scattered across the garden, these native and non-native deciduous species make up the colourful canopy of its autumn scenes.
Gingkoes and maples blend in with the native mountain ash, painting the garden a delightful mixture of red and orange. The garden is also filled with wonders beyond its autumn colours: it also contains picturesque waterfalls, an ornamental lake and boathouse, and a variety of birds, from king parrots to colourful rosellas.
2. Gardens of Tieve Tara/Mount Macedon
55min drive from Melbourne CBD
The Tieve Tara estate is home to one of the state’s most famous gardens, boasting a variety of maples, oaks, aspens, and more on just 7.5 acres. In between the months of March and May, the gardens are a breathtaking scene of colour, the season rendering it a mixture of fiery shades.
Alongside the amber trees are serene lakes and quaint bridges, tying together the perfect autumnal tableau. The lawns are beautifully landscaped and make for a cosy picnic spot if you can beat the rush during the peak season. Known as the jewel of Mount Macedon, this gorgeous location is also just an hour away from the city, making it perfect for a day trip.
3. Fitzroy Gardens
in the Melbourne CBD
Right at the doorstep of the Melbourne CBD is the Fitzroy Gardens, a heritage-listed site that gives Melburnians a bright show of colour every year during autumn. You can escape from the bustle of the city by stepping into the leafy comfort of the gardens, taking in the Victorian-era landscaping and model Tudor village.
Despite being so deep in the city, the gardens are filled with old and healthy deciduous trees, and English elms, maidenhair trees, and lindens turn the ground into a golden carpet each autumn. The site is perfect for a quick stroll during your lunch break or for a day-long picnic. With a café, conservatory, fountains, and more, the park is a delight to explore.
4. Yarra Valley
1h drive from the Melbourne CBD
Bringing together the best of seasonal harvest, light-bodied wines, and autumn colours is the Yarra Valley region. Pick any vineyard in the area, and you’ll see that the grapevines – which line the ground as far as the eye can see – will have turned a beautiful array of orange and yellow.
Although the Yarra Valley is stunning all year long, both the sunsets and the vineyards are especially golden in autumn, making it the perfect time to visit. Roughly an hour away from Melbourne’s city centre, the region is perfect for a day trip or just a quick afternoon away – and autumn is the ideal time to drop by, as you'll be in time for many wine festivals hosted across the region.
5. Valley of Liquidambers
1hr 30mins from the Melbourne CBD
True to its name, the Valley of Liquidambers is a breathtaking park filled with deciduous trees that turn a vivid orange and red in the autumn months. Though native to North and Central America, liquid ambers are famous for their ochre hues, which burst into bloom every March.
On top of offering a neverending feast of colour for the eyes, the park has wonderful picnic spots and beautiful walking paths for visitors to enjoy. Though a little further away than other locations – an hour and a half drive – the Valley is truly not to be missed. The surrounding Heathcote region also boasts vineyards and homestays around every bend, making it suitable for either a day trip or a longer adventure.