Advantages relaxing, park, free, green, spacious
Disadvantages nothing spectacular, not a massive range of flowers
The Darwin Botanic Gardens are situated about 1.5km out of the CBD.
The Gardens are easily accessed by bus (double check times/bus numbers at the bus station which is just off Smith Street, past Bennett Street if heading toward the waterfront). Nearby (walking distance) there is a golf course, Mindil Beach and the Casino. The museum is also nearby.
It's definitely a nice, tranquil place to spend a few hours. There's plenty of seating and little things to look at as you're wandering around. I am into my photography so as I live in Darwin now, I am regularly down there taking photos of various things!If you are only in Darwin for a short time - e.g. 2 or 3 days, there are better things to go and see though. The gardens, as nice as they are, are just gardens. They can be seen in their natural environment if you are doing a trip to Litchfield National Park or Kakadu National Park (for example). The range of flowering plants is not extensive, and there is nothing out of the ordinary to see. If you are craving a nice grassy area to sit and read a book or something, then it is certainly a desirable place for that if you don't fancy a beach! It is also a nice place to go with a family - lots of little things to keep the kids amused (I there is a maze, but don't quote me - I've never looked for it as I don't have kids!).
One thing to bare in mind is the time of year - at the moment (February 2011), the gardens are closed due to a lot of rain/flooding.
Every wet season the rainforest walk closes (and some other pathways too), because of the rain. If you do happen to be at the gardens and get caught in the rain, there is no where to shelter!
They are free though, and open for the whole day, so if you're at a loose end it is definitely a nice place to relax, with some other attractions in walking distance nearby.
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