The Adelaide Botanic Garden is one of the best places to visit in Adelaide. In my opinion it’s one of the best Botanic Gardens in Australia, due to the varied landscapes and the interesting buildings. It’s located right in the green centre of Adelaide, with easy street parking and public transport around. In this post I’ll be sharing my favourite parts of the gardens, and what I think are the best things to see in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens.

On my South Australia roadtrip there wasn’t much time to spend in Adelaide, so I wanted to go somewhere relaxing. It was going to be an extremely hot day with a midday high of 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), so we arrived early at 9am and stuck to the shady sections of the garden. My favourite types of landscape are at the opposite ends of the spectrum – rainforest and desert.

Bicentennial Conservatory – Rainforest

As soon as you step inside this futuristic building you’ll notice the humidity rising – that’s because it’s essentially a giant greenhouse designed to be the perfect rainforest habitat. It has a beautiful layout of northern Australian, Papua Neu Guina, Indonesian and Pacific Island plants, with many rare and endangered species. There’s an elevated walkway that take you into the canopy of the trees and palms.


Amazon Waterlily Pavilion – Rainforest

This exhibit is housed in another beautiful glass building. There’s a double layer entrance to keep the temperature and humidity balanced. The Amazon waterlilies are over a metre big and support an ecosystem of water insects and small fish. To see the blossoms of the waterlily go between September and April – however to see the spectacular 30cm flowers you need to be quick because they only last about 48 hours.

Palm House – Desert Island

I think the Palm House is a must see! It reflects the classic architecture of Victorian glasshouses. It was imported from Bremen, Germany in 1875 and houses a selection of palms and succulents from Madagascar. The climate in Adelaide suits these plants, as they like warm and dry conditions. There are beautiful stained glass windows at the doors, and inside you’ll find a small pond.

Visiting Information about the Gardens

Admissions is free. The parking around the gardens is ticketed, however on Sundays it’s free. There are a few cafes to visit in the gardens. On weekdays it opens at 7:15am, on weekends 9:00am. The closing time depends on the time of year and when sunset happens. I think you’ll be able to spend at least an hour exploring the gardens, or even half a day if you want to see everything.

Buy Plants at Diggers Garden Shop

There’s a nice gardening shop where you can buy many of the famous plants from the gardens. They have seeds, vegetables, flowers and some gardening supplies too. It’s worth checking out if only to see the cute little plants on display.


Here are the highlights of Adelaide Botanic Gardens from this post. I’ve also marked where I parked on Plane Tree Drive.