Adelaide Botanic Garden: A Guide to Best Plants and Gardens

Adelaide Botanic Garden is a world-renowned botanical garden in Glenelg, a suburb of Adelaide, South Australia. It is Australia’s oldest and one of the most important botanical gardens in the southern hemisphere.

Opened to the public in 1857, Adelaide Botanic Garden today consists of beautifully landscaped gardens and showcases an impressive variety of plants from around the world.

Adelaide Botanic Garden history

The garden was established in the 1850s and has since become one of Australia’s most important and popular gardens. Dating back to 1826, the garden has a rich history dating back to the purchase of land in what is now the city center for agricultural purposes and the subsequent development of part of the land into a botanical garden.

Adelaide Botanic Garden’s first director was Thomas Huxley, who was instrumental in building the garden’s reputation and laying the foundations for its future growth.

Under Huxley’s guidance, Adelaide Botanic Garden rapidly developed into one of Australia’s leading botanic gardens, with collections of both native plants and imported specimens from around the world. The garden has also gained international acclaim as one of the country’s leading green lung sites.

Adelaide Botanic Garden plant collections

This garden is known for its extensive plant collections, which include both native and exotic plants. The garden has a wide variety of plant varieties, including trees, shrubs, climbers and grasses.

The garden also has several different gardens showcasing specific plant species. Some of the most popular gardens at the garden include the Australian Garden, which showcases a variety of Australian plants, and the Palm House, which features palm trees.

The Rainforest Garden with a variety of tropical plants and the Orchid Garden with a wide variety of orchids. Adelaide Botanic Garden also has an exceptional collection of cacti and succulents.

Adelaide Botanic Garden Walking
Nick Blyth
Adelaide Botanic Garden Gallery Museum

What to see at Adelaide Botanic Garden

Here are some of the most popular plants you can find at the garden in Australia:

  • Australian Native Plants: The garden is home to a variety of Australian native plants. These include iconic plants like the kangaroo paw, banksia, and wattle. They have a unique look and play an important role in the local ecosystem.
  • Orchids: Orchids are popular all over the world, and the botanic garden is no exception. The garden has a large collection of orchids, including many species that are rare or difficult to find.
  • Roses: Roses are one of the most popular flowers in the world, and the the garden has a dedicated rose garden. It features a variety of rose species and cultivars, including some that are unique to Australia.
  • Succulents and Cacti: The arid regions of Australia are home to many beautiful and unusual succulents and cacti. The botanic garden has a dedicated succulent garden that showcases many of these plants, including the iconic prickly pear cactus.
  • Tropical Plants: The Adelaide Botanic Garden is home to a wide variety of tropical plants. These include banana trees, palms, and other exotic plants that are not native to Australia but thrive in the warm climate of the garden.

Adelaide Botanic Garden Australia Palm Tree
Ben Kennell
Adelaide Botanic Garden Things To Do
Jon Hunter
  • Herbs: The botanic garden has an extensive herb garden that features a wide variety of herbs from all over the world. The garden includes both culinary and medicinal herbs, as well as many that are simply beautiful to look at.
  • Ferns: The garden is home to many beautiful ferns, including some that are rare or endangered. The garden has a dedicated fern gully that allows visitors to explore these fascinating plants up close.
  • Water Plants: The garden has a large pond and water feature that is home to many beautiful water plants, including water lilies and lotus plants.
  • Carnivorous Plants: The garden has a collection of carnivorous plants that are fascinating to observe. These plants have adapted to thrive in environments where nutrients are scarce, and they are capable of capturing and digesting insects.
  • Bonsai: The garden has a collection of beautiful bonsai trees that are meticulously maintained by expert gardeners. These miniature trees are both beautiful and fascinating to observe, and they represent a centuries-old tradition of horticulture.

Adelaide Botanic Garden Entrance Gate
Nick Blyth
Adelaide Botanic Garden What To See
Lu Liu

Tips for visiting Adelaide Botanic Garden with children

When planning your trip to Adelaide Botanic Garden, remember that it is a great place for children to explore. The garden has plenty of areas with low hanging bushes and trees where children can play hide and seek and chase each other. There are also several large grassy areas where they can run and play tag.

Importance of botanical gardens in society

Botanical gardens are important institutions in society because they provide an environment where people can learn about plants and the natural world. They can also be used as public parks, providing opportunities for relaxation and recreation.

Adelaide Botanic Garden Water
Alexey Alexandrovich
Adelaide Botanic Garden Road
Peter Stenner

Some of the most famous botanical gardens in the world are those in Australia. Adelaide Botanic Garden is one of them and is responsible for the propagation of many plants found in the Australian bush.

How to get there?

There are several ways to get to Adelaide Botanic Garden, depending on your starting point:

  • By Car: Adelaide Botanic Garden is located just outside the city center, and there is ample parking available on-site. The garden is located on North Terrace, between East Terrace and Hackney Road.
  • By Public Transport: There are several bus routes that stop near Adelaide Botanic Garden, including the free City Connector bus service that operates around the city center. The closest tram stop is the Botanic Gardens stop on the Glenelg line.
  • By Bike: Adelaide is a bike-friendly city, and there are several bike lanes that lead to Adelaide Botanic Garden. There are also bike racks available on-site for those who choose to cycle.
  • By Foot: If you are staying in the city center, it is possible to walk to Adelaide Botanic Garden. It is approximately a 20-30 minute walk from Rundle Mall, depending on your walking speed.


Adelaide Botanic Garden is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in nature, horticulture, or simply seeking a relaxing and peaceful escape from the bustle of city life.

The garden is home to a diverse array of plant species, from Australian natives to exotic tropical plants, and its well-maintained walking paths and open spaces provide a tranquil and serene atmosphere for visitors to explore and enjoy.

In addition to the many plant collections, the garden also offers a variety of events, exhibitions, and educational programs throughout the year, making it a great destination for families, nature enthusiasts, and anyone looking to learn more about the natural world.

Overall, Adelaide Botanic Garden is a wonderful attraction that is sure to delight and inspire visitors of all ages and backgrounds.