Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens: Seeking Autumn in Melbourne

There is something special about watching foliage undergo a fiery transformation during the autumn-time. In Australia, most of our trees are non-deciduous, so finding pockets of autumn has become a bit of a mid-semester pastime (no shame). Having explored popular hotspots like the Botanical Gardens, it was time to turn my eyes further out of the CBD.


The Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens are about a 50 minute drive from the city and are in the iconic Dandenong ranges. The garden surrounds ‘Burnham Beeches’, a mansion build in the 1930s for Alfred Nicholas. The mansion has had an interesting past as a residence, children’s hospital in World War II, research facility, and hotel until the 1990s, and has since remained empty. The gardens themselves however are now owned by a trust and remain as beautiful as ever.


Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens is one of those places that has unique character in every season. In the spring and summertime, the bright light and vibrant greenery creates an oasis, and in the autumn the foliage turns bright hues of orange and red. Only a short drive away from the hectic atmosphere of Melbourne, the gardens are well-worth visiting to inject a soothing atmosphere.


In autumn, the traditional Australian trees are punctuated with fiery red and orange non-natives. With man-made lakes, water features, boat sheds, and bridges, the gardens paint a relaxing picture which harks back to good times gone by.


Distance from Melbourne: 50mins

Autumn foliage rating: [icon color=”#f4b538″ icon=”icon-leaf” size=”14px”][icon color=”#f4b538″ icon=”icon-leaf” size=”14px”][icon color=”#f4b538″ icon=”icon-leaf” size=”14px”][icon color=”#f4b538″ icon=”icon-leaf” size=”14px”][icon color=”#f4b538″ icon=”icon-leaf” size=”14px”] /5

Cost: completely free ~yay~ and donations welcome


Because a picture tells a thousand words (and the Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens deserves many thousands of words), here are lots of lovely photographs from the memorable afternoon.





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Have you found any autumn hotspots? Or have questions about this one? Comment below — I would love to hear from you!

Lucy Owens Travel Textbook


My name’s Lucy and I’m the junior doctor and travel writer behind the blog. If you’re a fan of scratching beneath the surface of travel, visiting interesting destinations, and exploring ethically, then you’re in the right place. Focusing on purposeful budget and solo travel, Travel Textbook hopes to inspire more young people to seek meaningful adventure.


NEXT UP: Melbourne



3 thoughts on “Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens: Seeking Autumn in Melbourne”

  1. I was meant to go to Australia this year, but as me and my friend would love to go to the great barrier reef (seems it is not so safe to go snorkelling, for example, in November), we had to put it on hold for now. This has made me want to go even more now… The images look amazing Lucy! The trees are quite bigger than in UK or it may just be me thinking that?

  2. The pictures look very beautiful. I’ve never seen such a colorful forest and if I had enough time and money I would love to go there. I also would like to see the Alfred Nicholas mansion if it is possible to enter it. From what you wrote I can tell that the gardens are really relaxing beautiful. It is very cool that the entry is completely free.

  3. The pictures look very beautiful, intresting, real and impressive . I’ve never seen such a dense and colourful forest with so green environment and if I had get time from my holidays and money I would love to go there. You just really motivates me to go there. Thanks a lot for sharing it. Keep it on going.

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