Maze gardens are an outstanding feature of the Mornington Peninsula, where the Enchanted Maze Garden has four mazes including the indoor 3D maze and many outdoor activities. Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens has Australia’s oldest hedge maze, circular rose maze and lavender bushes blooming all year.
Boneo Maze and Wetlands has a large maze, smaller kids’ mazes and boardwalks through bird-filled wetlands. Other famous gardens include Heronswood, home to the Diggers Club, with a charming thatched roof café. Morning Star Estate at Mt Eliza has 75,000 rose bushes. The Australian Garden at Cranbourne (half way to Phillip Island) won a Gold Medal in the 2011 Chelsea Flower Show.
Grand gardens of the Dandenongs
The Grand Gardens of the Dandenongs are magnificent year-round. In springtime there’s a riot of colour in the National Rhododendron Gardens, while George Tindale Memorial Garden puts on a brilliant show with flowering trees and shrubs, some rarely cultivated.
On summer days, the woodlands of the RJ Hamer Arboretum spread welcome shade. In autumn, watch the colours turn on trees around the feature waterfalls in the Alfred Nicholas Gardens. Another lovely spot is the Pirianda terraced gardens, with fern gullies, significant trees, shrubs and perennials. The SkyHigh Mt Dandenongs Garden and Maze have been refurbished, with beautiful features including the English Garden and the Secret Garden.
Phillip Island’s Churchill Island heritage farm includes an original, fragrant cottage garden, expansive lawns and heritage homestead, with walks through wetlands and ancient Moonah trees.