New master plan for Ballarat’s botanical gardens

March 25th, 2024New master plan for Ballarat’s botanical gardens

The City of Ballarat is developing a new master plan for its botanical gardens, to guide how it shapes the living attraction into the future. 
Image: City of Ballarat.

The City of Ballarat is developing a new master plan for its botanical gardens, to guide how it shapes the living attraction into the future. 

The new plan will focus on the main part of the gardens and the North and South Reserves. 

The Master Plan is the community’s chance to take a big picture look at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens – what’s working, what’s not working and what residents want them to look like in 20 years’ time. 

The City of Ballarat has appointed a consultant to undertake this work, and to assist is now inviting all residents, visitors and people with an interest in the gardens to join the conversation. 

Landscape architect Andrea Proctor will lead the process of developing the new Master Plan and has recently been involved in similar processes for the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne, the Albury Botanic Gardens and the Colac Botanic Gardens. 

Ms Proctor and her team will also work with a range of stakeholder groups, including the Friends of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens, the Ballarat Botanical Gardens Foundation and Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation. 

City of Ballarat Councillor Amy Johnson said the Ballarat Botanical Gardens are much-loved in Ballarat and encouraged the community to get involved and help shape the future of the gardens for generations to come. 

“Everyone has their own special memories of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens and now is the chance to put your ideas forward to inform the preparation of the Master Plan,” she said. 

“The Master Plan will be the long-term plan for the gardens which will maintain and protect the gardens’ important and well-loved features while allowing it to meet visitors’ contemporary needs. 

“The more feedback from our community and visitors, the better informed our plan will be.” 

The Ballarat Botanical Gardens is renowned as one of Australia’s most attractive cool climate gardens. 

The gardens were first reserved for a public garden in 1857. 

Today, the 40 hectares of leafy gardens and avenues located opposite Lake Wendouree feature a fine collection of exotic conifers, deciduous and native trees and historic bedding displays. 

The gardens are a popular and an invaluable heritage and recreational location for residents and visitors, featuring a remarkable plant house and a world-renowned collection of tuberous Begonias. 

The gardens also feature the Robert Clark Conservatory (home to the annual display of Begonias), the Prime Ministers’ Avenue in the Horse Chestnut Avenue, a significant collection of late 19th Century statues and the recently reconstructed Fernery.  

Feedback from the community will be used to guide the development of the Draft Ballarat Botanical Gardens Master Plan. 

The survey closes 5pm, Sunday 21 April via the council’s MySay online platform.

All feedback will be considered in the development of the final master plan, which will then be presented to the council for consideration. 

There will also be a community pop-up session where you can share your feedback in person on: 

  • Sunday 7 April at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens Conservatory from 10am to 2pm. 

Those interested can also pick up a printed copy of the survey at City of Ballarat sites, including the Ballarat Botanical Gardens’ Robert Clark Conservatory, Customer Service and Ballarat Libraries. 

The new master plan will replace the 1995 Ballarat Botanical Gardens Master Plan. 

More Articles

Back to top