Fitzroy Gardens

sights / Parks & gardens

Fitzroy Gardens information

Location
Melbourne , Australia
Address
Wellington Pde
btwn Lansdowne & Albert Sts
Getting there
Train: Jolimont
Bus: Tourist Shuttle
Tram: 75
More information
www.fitzroygardens.com
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The city drops away suddenly just east of Spring St, giving way to Melbourne’s beautiful backyard, the Fitzroy Gardens. The stately avenues lined with English elms, flowerbeds, expansive lawns, strange fountains and a creek are a short stroll from town.

The highlight is Cooks' Cottage , shipped brick by brick from Yorkshire and reconstructed in 1934 (the cottage actually belonged to the navigator’s parents). It’s decorated in mid-18th-century style, with an exhibition about Captain James Cook’s eventful, if controversial, voyages to the Southern Ocean.

Nearby is writer Ola Cohn’s kooky carved Fairies Tree , a 300-year-old stump embellished in 1932 with fairies, pixies, kangaroos, emus and possums. Between Cooks’ Cottage and the Fairies Tree is the Scarred Tree : now a large stump, it was once stripped of a piece of its bark to make a canoe by Aboriginal people. In the centre of the gardens is a ‘model’ Tudor village . This well-meaning gift was a way of saying thanks for sending food to Britain during WWII.

The delightful 1930s Conservatory is built in a Spanish-mission architectural style and features a range of different floral displays each year. A new visitor centre and cafe was being constructed here at time of research.