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: /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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