The best places see autumn leaves in Melbourne and regional Victoria in 2024

girl throwing autumn leaves

RACV Staff

Posted March 01, 2024

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

As the chill seeps in, noses redden, and scarves are retrieved from wardrobes, there’s something magical about the changing leaves of autumn around Victoria. 

If you’re looking for a spectacular view of where you can see autumn leaves or fall colours, here are the best places in Melbourne and regional Victoria to experience the magic of the autumnal season glow.

When can you see autumn leaves in Victoria? 

The autumn season in Victoria or, ‘fall,’ which runs from March through May, sees foliage turn to rich hues of golden browns and yellows, warm greens, crisp oranges, and rich reds across the state.

Typically, the ‘peak’ season to see autumn leaves will fall in the middle of the period, from late March to early May, although the colours may still be vibrant into early June.

Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens is a great place to see autumn leaves. Image: Visit Victoria
The Malmsbury Viaduct near Daylesford turns a vibrant orange over autumn. Image: Visit Victoria
The Alfred Nichol Gardens in the Dandenong Ranges. Image: Visit Victoria
Levantine Hill in the Yarra Valley in autumn. Image: Visit Victoria

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 great camera and good company.

Fitzroy Gardens, East Melbourne 

Fitzroy Gardens is a good place for those who want to see autumn leaves in the Melbourne CBD, but can only spare their lunchbreak to do so. 

Located near the state parliament and treasury buildings, these Victorian-era gardens started construction in 1859. These 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 in the Dandenong Ranges are stunning throughout 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 some beautiful nature home, or take a ride on the Puffing Billy for an iconic Dandenong Ranges experience. 

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.


Bright can display stunning hues of red and green. Image: Supplied
Golden views in the Yarra Valley. Image: Supplied
The glorious glow of the leaves at the TarraWarra Estate in the Yarra Valley. Image: Visit Victoria

Best places to see autumn leaves in 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 22km, 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 day trip, just one of many great free things to do in the region.

Daylesford, Great Dividing Range 

With the abundance of scenic walks and waterfalls throughout the area, 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.

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 day trip out of it 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. 

The Macedon Ranges

Celebrating the beauty of autumn, the Macedon Ranges Autumn Festival is a must for foodies and families. Featuring an exciting program of food and drink trails, markets, events and workshops, there’s something for everyone.

If you're after the best spots to view autumn leaves, new to the event program in 2024 is the Autumn Festival Treasure Trail. Create your own picnic with pies, tarts and country fare from the festival and explore eight leafy locations,  including Malmsbury Botanic Gardens and Woodend Children's Park. There's also a Tipple trail, offering a taste of Macedon Ranges’ wine, cider, craft beer and gin at country pubs along V/Line's Bendigo line. 

Or simply enjoy a Sunday drive through the towns and wineries that make up the Macedon Ranges, as you watch the foliage turn for another autumn season.

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