Originally known as Burial Hill, these gardens were the site of Melbourne's first cemetery, where eight of the city’s early settlers were buried. Today its pleasant open lawns are popular with workers taking a lunchtime break. The gardens contain trees that are well over 100 years old, including Moreton Bay figs and a variety of eucalypts, among them spotted, sugar and river red gums. There are plenty of possums about, but don't feed them.
The hill once provided one of the best views out to the bay, so a signalling station was set up here: when a ship was sighted arriving from Britain, a flag was raised on the staff to notify the settlers. The Wurundjeri people also found it significant for the same useful vista, which stretches as far as Mt Macedon.