Maranoa Gardens

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Maranoa Gardens
Location Balwyn, Melbourne, Australia
Coordinates 37°48′37″S 145°05′26″E / 37.81032°S 145.09054°E / -37.81032; 145.09054
Operated by City of Boroondara
Public transport access Tram route 109

Maranoa Gardens is a public garden in Balwyn containing exclusively Australian native and indigenous plants. It is officially recognised as one of the first and most significant public areas dedicated entirely to displaying native flora of Australia.[1] It contains over 4,000 different native plants from all regions of Australia.[2]


The Gardens are named after the Maranoa River in Queensland. The name originates from an indigenous word meaning 'alive', 'running' or 'flowing'. The local government ward of Maranoa was named after the Gardens in 1994.[3]


The land on which Maranoa Gardens sits today was bought by local resident and naturalist John Watson in 1901. As a member of the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria, he was keenly interested in native and indigenous flora. At the time, native Australian flora was not widely used in gardening; introduced English and other exotic species were used instead.[1][4]

Over 1911 and 1912, Watson planted and developed the gardens. Although originally maintained as a private garden, the City of Camberwell purchased the land in 1922. Maranoa Gardens officially turned over to formal public ownership upon Watson's death in 1926 and opened to the public on 18 September attracting over 500 visitors on its first day.[5]

Maranoa Gardens underwent several expansions and refurbishments by the Camberwell and subsequent Boroondara Councils. Separate vegetation zones were developed over time. These were designed to show different flora habitats in the same area and have been retained and expanded over its lifetime. The first of these zones, the Arid Rockery, was built in 1962 during the expansion into Beckett Park to the east. The temperate woodland/heathland and rainforest zones were developed over 1986 to 1988 during a major redevelopment of the Gardens. A second major refurbishment, including replacement of signage and pathways, was completed in 2016.[2]



  1. 1.0 1.1 National Trust of Australia. Maranoa Gardens and Beckett Park. 2 June 2004., accessed: 29 September 2017
  2. 2.0 2.1 City of Boroondara. Maranoa Gardens - Australian Native Botanic Gardens. Brochure. September 2017.
  3. City of Boroondara. History of Maranoa Ward. 2017., accessed: 29 September 2017
  4. Edmanson, Jane. Fact Sheet: Maranoa Gardens. 13 December 2008: Australian Broadcasting Corporation., accessed: 29 September 2017.
  5. City of Boroondara. Maranoa Gardens. 2017., accessed: 29 September 2017

See also