The Guiding Friends are interested in learning and sharing their knowledge of these heritage gardens. The guides pride themselves on their friendly and informative tours.
Informal meetings are held on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 10 am in the George Longley Building. The meetings are more like workshops and a range of activities takes place - guest speakers, garden tours, excursions, preparing brochures and AV presentations to enhance visitors' experience of the gardens and opportunities to research topics of interest. The aim of the meetings is to support each other in our quest to become more knowledgeable and confident guides. If you want to learn about the Gardens and to help visitors enjoy them please consider joining the Guiding Group. Guiding is often very busy at peak times and we need more guides. Contact the Convenor of the Guides group and come and try and see if you enjoy.
Guided Tours of the Gardens
Volunteer guides of the FBBG (Friends of Ballarat Botanical Gardens) take guided walks and tours and cover the highlights of the gardens and the stories behind these historic gardens established in 1858.
- Meet in front of the Conservatory.
- Book through the Robert Clark Centre (5364 2764) or FBBG (53429354).
- Bookings need to be made at least two weeks prior to your visit.
Booked Guided Walks for Groups
- Tours take approximately one hour but can be negotiated depending on the interests and needs of the group.
- We provide enough guides per tour so that groups will be small (10 people or less).
- Cost for these tours is $5 per head.
- Local Ballarat groups are discounted and tours are $2 per head.
Guided Sunday Leisurely Walk in Autumn and Spring
- No booking required. Held every Sunday in Autumn and Spring.
- Sunday morning at 11 am. Meet at the conservatory.
- General tour but with an emphasis on the garden’s seasonal highlights at the time of the tour.
- No charge but donation appreciated.
Specialised Tour Catered to Meet Your Needs and Interests
Indicate if you want your tour to explore more fully particular aspects of the gardens. Guides can provide hour long tours of the following if required:
- Statues (Stoddart and Thompson collection and other garden statues).
- Heritage trees.
- Prime Ministers Avenue.
- Western Bed (plant collection along Gilles Street).
- Garden history and its changes over time.
Self - Guided Tours
At the conservatory collect brochures prepared by the guides and then do your own guided interpretative tour. We have brochures on Significant Trees, the Statues and the Prime Ministers Avenue. The brochures help you navigate the gardens and also provide information.
Talks to Community Groups
Guides can also offer illustrated talks to community groups on aspects of the gardens - history, trees, statues, Prime Ministers Avenue, Western Bed.
Guides also run classes for Ballarat U3A (University of the Third Age). These classes are usually in term one and run over 10 weeks on a Tuesday morning from 10 -12 noon. This provides an opportunity for this group to explore and extend their knowledge and understanding of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens.
Periodically Guides will also conduct tours to draw particular focus on an important aspect of the gardens and perhaps link in with an occasion. Some examples would be our Australia Day Prime Ministers tour, Wartime connections and stories for Remembrance day or Anzac day. These special tours are often twilight tours and sometimes combined with some hospitality. Sometimes these are ticketed events and there is a cost for the tour.