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Parliament Gardens


There are really two parts to the gardens at Parliament House in Melbourne:

Parliament Gardens

Parliament Gardens
Parliament Gardens with Coles Fountain in background

This small triangular park is a pleasant respite at the Spring Street end of Town, with views of Parliament House, St. Patrick's Cathedral, St Peter's Eastern Hill, the Old Synagogue, the Old Baptist Church and the Eastern Hill Fire Station.

The Coles Fountain in these gardens is unusual because you can walk inside the curtains of cascading water - a pleasant experience on a hot Melbourne day.

Parliament House Gardens

Parliament House Gardens
Parliament House Gardens

The gardens in Parliament House have restricted access. (The nature of this access in contentious - ask your guide about it when you book on a White Hat Tour.) You may get to see them on the occasional open day (subscribe to our newsletter if you wish to be notified of these). Alternatively, get yourself invited to a garden party - all you have to do is many years of community service or become a top achiever in your field.

The garden, designed by William Guilfoyle, is in the European style which befits its surrounding buildings. The garden was originally larger, but in 1934 the area now known as the Parliament Gardens (see above) was donated to the Melbourne City Council as a public reserve. The garden also contains a tennis court and bowling green for the use of members.

Within the garden you can find The Federal Oak - planted in 1890 by Sir Henry Parkes - as well as a plaque commemorating the work of Vida Goldstein. There is also an 'oriental-style' pavilion that may be familiar to some from photographs of the 1890 Australian Federation Conference. The pavilion also serves a darker purpose - ask your guide on a White Hat Tour about the hidden function of the pavilion.

Some forthcoming events at Parliament Gardens:

Parliament House Open Day
Apart from its regular free daily tours, Melbourne's Parliament House has an annual open day. On this day not only are the interior spaces of Parliament House open to the public, the grounds and gardens are also accessible. More details at Parliament House Open Day >>

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