A living treasure of Boroondara, the Maranoa gardens will officially be called the Maranoa Botanic Gardens to acknowledge the special history of the reserve and its importance as a significant landmark in Boroondara.

At a Services Special Committee meeting held on Monday 11 May 2020, Council decided to rename the historic landmark following consultation with the community. 

In making the announcement, City of Boroondara Mayor Cr Cynthia Watson said, “This name reflects the history and purpose of the garden as a public botanic garden in Boroondara."

With nearly 5,000 native plants and 3,000 species of plants spread across 2.6 hectares in Balwyn, the Maranoa Botanic Gardens showcases the diversity and beauty of Australian flora.

The gardens’ rich history began in 1901 when broker John Middleton Watson purchased 1.4 hectares of land for a private garden in Balwyn, in which he planted a collection of Australian and New Zealand natives.

“Anecdotal Watson family history said that John Watson walked from Melbourne to the New South Wales, and Queensland, borders where the Maranoa River flows, collecting plants and seeds along the way. Some of these plants are believed to be in the garden today,” said Cr Watson.

“After initially calling the gardens the Australia Garden, Mr Watson named it the Maranoa Garden after the Maranoa River. The name Maranoa is an Aboriginal word, which means flowing or alive, and I believe this name reflects the current vibrancy of the gardens’ plants and design”.

In 1922, the City of Camberwell acquired the garden and it was officially opened to the public on 18 September 1926.

For open hours, and information on how to book the Maranoa Botanic Gardens for weddings and other special celebrations, see Maranoa Gardens.