Botanica Festival

Botanica is a celebration of our natural environment, gardening and sustainability.

Join us at Rippon Lea Estate for a day of botanical fun, with a plant and book sale, an open-air market, informative garden tours and walks, plus so much more.

Entry is by gold coin donation at the gate. To help us run a safe event, we ask you to register your details if you are intending to join us so we can track our capacity.


Rippon Lea Estate Gardens

The garden is complex and covers almost 14 acres, which includes a large lake, extensive shrubberies and flower gardens, an orchard of historically significant fruit varieties, a fernery, rose gardens and many other features of historical, landscape and architectural interest, all forming the setting for the polychrome brick mansion completed in 1868. The garden is tended by a Head Gardener, staff of five gardeners and a team of volunteers.

The Fernery

Even on a warm day it is a cooling experience to walk through the Rippon Lea fernery. It features meandering paths, trickling streams and hundreds of species of ferns and palms, from native to rare and unusual varieties. Built in the 1870s, when ferns were the height of fashion, almost every Victorian home featured ferns in some form. At that time, larger ferneries were developed in the Geelong and Ballarat Botanic Gardens. Many other examples have fallen into disrepair or disappeared entirely. Listen to the Rippon Lea Fernery soundscape for a truly sensory experience.

The Lake

The original lake was excavated in the 1870s. It was smaller but included exotic plants and two islands. In the 1880s it was enlarged to a depth of 114cm, and incorporated five water jets concealed in rocks, a grotto and a mound featuring a tower. The lake is populated with black duck, chestnut teal, grey teal, moor hen and hoary headed grebe. The water also supports eel, carp, and tortoises. A wide variety of plants nestle along its banks.

Supported by The City Of Glen Eira.


Download the Festival Program & Map



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Plant Sale

Plants sold have been grown at Rippon Lea Nursery. There will be a wonderful variety of plants for sale. National Trust Members receive 10% off all purchases on the presentation of their membership card.

Open Air Market

Explore the stalls of local growers and sellers of plants, bulbs, garden equipment, sustainably created objects. Thanks to The Rose Street Market.

Grotto Soundscape

This three-minute soundscape combines the tranquillity of the Rippon Lea Grotto with a mythical composition. Original Concept by Matt Chester, Concept Designer and writer Renee Palmer and Sound designer and editor Patrick Slee.

Download Soundscape

Bonsai Exhibition

The Bonsai Society of Victoria will be showcasing some of the very finest examples from their collection. Held in the opulent interior of the Rippon Lea ballroom, visitors will learn the technique of traditional Japanese styles and contemporary relationships applied to the bonsai craft

Garden Tours

Join the Rippon Lea gardening team and volunteers on a tour, including the social history of this magnificent Victorian era pleasure garden , a discovery of the significant trees of Rippon Lea, and a gardening Q&A.

Bird Observation Walk

Join the City of Glen Eira for a discovery of the local birdlife through the estate. Get close to nature and observe the birds who have taken up residence in the gardens.

Used Book Sale

Pick up a pre-loved garden or agriculture themed book under $20 and watch your garden thrive with all of the green-thumb skills you acquire.


Catch "Uptown" Brown, one band man extraordinaire, plus the Glee Club choir on the Western Veranda throughout the day.

Picnic in style

Sprawl out on a blanket with all your favourite food with the whole family, there are endless picturesque picnic spots to choose from.

Call to action section

Register for Botanica

Register your details to help us track our capacity.


Planning your visit

Rippon Lea Estate


192 Hotham Street, Elsternwick 3185 VIC

(03) 9656 9889
Learn More

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