The heritage listed Treasury Gardens provide a magnificent setting for the government offices in the Parliamentary Precinct. Originally an unsightly swamp, the area was given to designer Clement Hodgkinson in 1867 to transform into a public area of ornamental ponds and pleasant landscapes of treed avenues and colourful flower beds.
The Fitzroy Gardens were set aside in 1848 as a public reserve and named Fitz Roy Square, after Governor Fitz Roy. The area was used as a rubbish tip and night soil dumping ground until it was decided to transform the reserve into formal gardens. The first design was drawn up by Governor La Trobe’s nephew Edward La Trobe Bateman in 1857. Drawings were later modified by the gardens first curator James Sinclair.
The heritage listed Fitzroy Gardens consist of glades, woodlands, fern gullies and treed avenues of elms. Other features include the Band Pavilion, Rotunda, Conservatory, Cooks’ cottage (home of the parents of James Cook), a miniature Tudor Village, Ola Cohn’s Fairies Tree, various fountains and the ‘Pavilion Cafe’.
Yarra Park is a large area of public recreational parkland bounded by arterial roads being Punt Road, Wellington Parade and Brunton Avenue. Although the original 200 acres have been reduced over the years to 62 acres, the area remaining still reflects the layout of the pathways and avenues of the natural tracks carved out by early settlers going to and from the city.
The Park was the location of an indigenous community, remnants of which still exist in the form of Scar Trees located in the Park today. In 1858, during the period of land sales, Lieutenant-General La Trobe ‘set aside’ the area for recreational parkland.
Yarra Park is characterised by open grasslands and mature trees. A mix of native and European trees dominate the wide open spaces, while over 400 English elms line the majestic avenues.
The area is the site of the development of sports clubs and games, most notably the rules of Australian football and the establishment of early cricket and football clubs.
Although Yarra Park is the location of the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Punt Road Oval, they are not part of Yarra Park.
Powlett Reserve is bounded by Albert Street, Powlett, Simpson and Grey Streets. It offers various public and recreational uses; a children’s playground, tennis courts, and child care centres.
Darling Square is a small park bounded by Darling Street, Gipps Street, Grey Street and Simpson Street. A circular garden bed is the central feature with diagonal pathways crossing the park.
This small triangle is a small restful oasis for city workers and visitors. located beside the Houses of Parliament, and bounded by Spring and Albert Streets, the park is home to the Coles fountain and the bronze statues of Pastor Sir Douglas and Lady Nicholls.
This small reserve, also in Spring Street, was named after General Gordon and the Australian poet Robert Lindsay Gordon.The Stanton fountain was sculptured by convict William Stanton while in Pentridge Prison in the 1860s.