The best places see autumn leaves in Melbourne and regional Victoria

Bright in autumn

RACV Staff

Posted February 28, 2023

From Melbourne’s quaint city parks to charming regional towns, these are the best places to see the beauty of autumn in Victoria.

As the chill begins to seep in, noses redden, and scarves are retrieved from wardrobes, there’s something magical about the changing leaves of autumn. It’s easy to get away from the stresses of daily life when golden trees line the paths, and a litter of leaves crunch underfoot.

While autumnal wonder can be found across the state, there are a number of locations in that put on a particularly good show of colour. These are the best places to see autumn leaves in Melbourne and Victoria.

Two women walking beneath a golden tree in Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens

Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens is a great spot to see the leaves turn if you don't want to leave the city. Photo: Visit Victoria.

The best places to see autumn leaves in Melbourne 

Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne  

You don’t need to leave Melbourne to immerse yourself in autumn’s beauty. With its wide green spaces, manicured gardens and abundance of trees, a crisp autumn day is best enjoyed at the Royal Botanic Gardens with a picnic blanket, some nibbles, a great camera and good company.

Fitzroy Gardens, East Melbourne 

Fitzroy Gardens is a good bet for those who want to see autumn leaves in the Melbourne CBD but can only spare their lunchbreak to do so. Located near state parliament and the treasury buildings, these Victorian-era gardens started construction in 1859 and were planted with many deciduous northern hemisphere trees like elms, maidenhairs and lindens which put on a golden display come autumn. 

Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens, Sherbrooke 

These gardens are stunning at all times of the year but autumn is particularly showstopping. The winding garden paths are lined by both towering native gums (namely the spectacular Mountain Ash) and deciduous introduced tree species, the latter which burst into yellows, oranges and reds when autumn hits. Head down to the garden’s famed lakes to see the water, bridges and gazebo framed in warm colours.

Cloudehill Gardens, Dandenong Ranges  

Head for the hills in Melbourne’s east for a glimpse of some serious autumnal magic at Cloudehill Gardens. At an altitude of 580 metres, lose yourself in an oasis of 25 garden compartments divided by stone walls and hedges. Growing on the property since 1928, each garden brings something different, from peonies to bluebells to stunning weeping Japanese maples. Drop into the nursery and take something beautiful home, or have a ride on the Puffing Billy and experience the tranquillity of the Dandenong Ranges. 

Carlton Gardens, Melbourne  

Handily sited at the northern edge of Melbourne’s CBD, city-slickers can stroll through some autumnal glory in the Carlton Gardens on their way to work. Against the glorious backdrop of the Royal Exhibition Building, it’s a beautiful place to catch up with friends on the lawn or steal a few moments to yourself.

Central Park, Malvern East 

There are only a few Edwardian gardens in Victoria, one of which is Malvern East’s Central Park. In addition to its wide paved walking trails and conservatory (one of the oldest in the state), Central Park also boasts some photogenic scenery come autumn, all thanks to its large and leafy deciduous trees.


Two people staring up at golden trees surrounding them at TarraWarra Estate

Autumn is a great time to visit Yarra Valley wineries, with vines as well as trees bursting into colour. Photo: Visit Victoria.

The best places to see autumn leaves in regional Victoria 

Bright, High Country 

There’s nowhere quite like Bright in autumn. This is the place for cosy evenings in front of an open fire, sampling some of the state’s best local produce, and marvelling at tree-lined streets transformed into a kaleidoscope of colour. Hire a bike and take in the autumnal hues on a gentle bike ride. The Murray to Mountains Rail Trail is a popular option, or take a drive through Victoria’s High Country along the Great Alpine Road. 

Ballarat’s Avenue of Honour, Ballarat 

Stretching for around 22 kilometres, this tree-lined avenue in Ballarat is one the longest of its kind in the southern hemisphere. Incorporating the Ballarat Arch of Victory, the avenue was planted to represent the 3912 local men and women who served in World War I. In autumn, as the leaves turn myriad shades of red and gold, this is a beautiful spot for a daytime drive. 

Daylesford, Great Dividing Range 

With the abundance of scenic walks and waterfalls throughout the region, there’s no shortage of spots to catch the autumnal change in Daylesford. The Lake House is always a beautiful spot for fine dining, with views over a rust-hued landscape adding seasonal drama. Follow an indulgent lunch with a stroll through Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens, or head to nearby Trentham Falls. Ah, the serenity.

Mansfield, High Country 

While this charming town at the base of Mount Buller buzzes with life each winter, don’t discount Mansfield in autumn. Watch the town change from green to red to white as you explore the natural beauty of the lake and local walking tracks. If you're there on a Saturday, check to see if you can stop by the monthly farmers' market on your journey. 

The Yarra Valley

It’s always a good time of year for a day exploring wineries, and autumn is no exception. Head to the Yarra Valley as row upon row of grapevines turn various shades of copper, gold and amber. There’s an abundance of wineries to choose from, each offering its own sliver of beauty, so make a weekend out of it, grab some loved ones, and soak up the cosy, crisp atmosphere only autumn can offer.

Valley of Liquid Ambers, Heathcote 

Heathcote might be the shiraz capital of Victoria, but it's also rich in natural beauty and breathtaking countryside. Situated roughly 35 minutes from Bendigo, you'll find the Valley of Liquid Ambers, which blooms in brilliant red, burnt orange and golden desert shades. Pack a picnic and enjoy lunch with a view, before meandering across the swinging bridge that leads back to the main street. 

Mount Macedon 

Famous for its foliage, the fallen leaves at Mount Macedon are so popular, they even have their own Autumn Festival each year. While the Macedon ranges is filled with a whirl of orange, red, and gold, some highlights to visit include Macedon's Honour Avenue, which features 154 Pin Oak trees that glisten with autumn-coloured hues. Visitors may also be interested in viewing the Forest Glade Gardens, or simply enjoying a Sunday drive through the towns that make up the Macedon Ranges as you watch the foliage turn for another autumn season.


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