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Central Gardens is located in the heart of Hawthorn and is popular with local residents, students and Hawthorn Community House visitors. It is known by many as 'Rocket Park'.

These gardens have an outstanding collection of majestic, mature trees surrounded by sweeping lawns. These garden 'rooms' offer a range of photo opportunities for events.

Meandering paths, lush foliage plants and a tropical-style border are highlights of this wonderful garden.

The iconic 1960s rocket which features in the Central Gardens playground was restored in 2022, significantly improving the rocket’s safety, structure, and look for future generations to enjoy for years to come.


The gardens were opened in November 1900 and designed in a formal period style with many annual and formal garden beds and water elements.

In the 1930s, the gardens began to decline. Many features such as pergolas and fountains were removed, and garden and path edging were replaced by bluestone and concrete curbing. At this time the gardens began to change in style to an open, informal garden.

The gardens were reduced in size in the 1960s and 70s to accommodate an expanded nursery and new Council depot. When these closed in the late 1990s, the gardens regained the lost land.


  • Playground
  • Barbecue
  • Seating and tables
  • Public toilets


Local children all know about the very popular ‘rocket’ playground area, with a huge rocket for climbing and a super long slide.


32 Henry Street, Hawthorn 3122

    Hire this venue

    The park is available for hire for weddings, christenings and other events.

    Booking times: 7 days including public holidays, 8am to sunset

    Marquees, arbours and other shade structures: permitted up to 100sqm

    Maximum people: 200

    Chairs and tables: up to 50 chairs and 3 tables can be brought in for events

    Portable barbecue: not permitted

    Petting zoo: not permitted


    To find out more or make a booking, see hire a park, garden or reserve.

    Want to find a nearby park, playground or picnic spot? Find a park near you.


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