Adelaide Botanic Gardens Precinct Architecture Self-Guided Walking Tour

Join Grieve Gillett Andersen Architects for a unique, self-guided tour of the architecture of the historic Botanical Gardens Precinct; a beloved Adelaide institution enjoyed by generations of South Australians.

Encounter tales of the Precinct’s past, including the Indigenous history of the Kaurna people. Explore cherished 19th and 20th century heritage, including Palm House and the Museum of Economic Botany, with reimagined classics such as the Goodman Building and former Tram Barn (now the State Herbarium). Discover the Precinct’s iconic future heritage, including the Bicentennial Conservatory, Schomburgk Pavilion and the National Wine Centre.

The tour is presented as part of SA History Festival 2022: Reimagine. You can take the tour any time during Adelaide Botanic Gardens opening hours, which during May are 7.15am-5.30pm weekdays and 9.00am-5.30pm weekends. Note: the Museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

This event is taking place with special permission from the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium.

48-01 Introduction - Goodman Gate, Hackney Road

We acknowledge this land that we meet on today is the traditional lands for the Kaurna people and that we respect their spiritual relationship with their country. We also acknowledge the Kaurna people as the custodians of the Adelaide region and that…

48-02 Goodman Building

This impressive edifice is the Goodman Building, the ‘crown jewel’ of the former Hackney tram depot complex constructed on this site in the late 1900s. The Goodman Building is the former administrative ‘home base’ of Municipal Tramways Trust, a…

48-03 Tram Barn A / State Herbarium

The State Herbarium houses the Adelaide Botanic Gardens library, the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA and the State Herbarium collection, retaining more than a million plant specimens and accommodating a large number of scientific and technical…

48-04 Bicentennial Conservatory

Designed by South Australian architect Guy Maron and constructed to celebrate Australia’s 1988 Bicentenary, The Adelaide Botanical Gardens Bicentennial Conservatory is a modern Adelaide icon; its distinctive, glistening form being perhaps most…

48-05 First Creek Wetlands & Kaurna Cultural Presentation

The First Creek wetland in Adelaide's Botanic Gardens is a triumph of form and function. While its primary purpose is water conservation, its uniquely colourful yet practical design makes the wetland habitat and surrounding area a destination to…

48-06 North Lodge

This picturesque cottage is the North Lodge, constructed in 1866 as an on-site residence for the Adelaide Botanic Gardens’ head gardener. While the original architect has not been identified, it is understood that the cottage was constructed by…

48-07 Palm House

We arrive at the iconic Palm House, one of the Adelaide Botanic Garden’s most exquisite treasures. Palm House is a rare surviving example of a large mid-19th century glasshouse designed for public purposes, a feat made possible by the technological…

48-08 Simpson Kiosk / Restaurant Botanic

The famous Botanic Gardens Restaurant, now known as ‘Restaurant Botanic’, is one of Adelaide’s finest dining experiences. Originally known as the ‘Simpson Kiosk’, this building was designed in 1906 by former Colonial Architect Edward J. Woods, one of…

48-09 Amazon Waterlily Pavilion

The Amazon Waterlily Pavilion has been described as an ‘exquisite glass palace for a jewel of the natural world’, housing the Adelaide Botanic Garden’s exceptional Giant Waterlily, (botanical name Victoria Amazonica) a specimen native to the waters…

48-10 Museum of Economic Botany

The iconic Museum of Economic Botany is one of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens’ most cherished heritage treasures, housing a permanent collection displaying the practical, medicinal and economic use of plant materials. The Museum is associated with…

48-11 Schomburgk Pavilion

Named after the Adelaide Botanic Gardens’ most celebrated director Dr. Richard Schomburgk (1811-1891), the Schomburgk Pavilion was constructed in 2006 in celebration of the Gardens’ 150th Anniversary. Designed by Flightpath Architects, the Pavilion…

48-12 Mortuary

A grim reminder of the site’s early history, this small building, now used as a maintenance shed, was the former Mortuary of the Adelaide Lunatic Asylum. Established in 1852, the Adelaide Asylum overlooked the original Adelaide Botanic Gardens and…

48-13 Australian Native Garden

The Adelaide Botanic Gardens’ delightful Australian Native Garden, located next to the National Wine Centre, effectively displays the beauty of Australian native flora, of which the Adelaide Botanic Gardens’ retains the nation’s largest collection of…

48-14 National Wine Centre

Our tour concludes at the National Wine Centre of Australia, the flagship of the Australian Wine industry; a cultural and educational centre for winemaking in Australia and a major tourist attraction. Designed by Grieve Gillett Andersen in…

48-15 Conclusion

We’ve reached the conclusion of our tour. We hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about these significant places and Grieve Gillett Andersen’s role in their development, recognition and protection. Feel free to explore these locations further, or enjoy…