Act & Regulations

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Royal Botanic Gardens Act 1991

The Royal Botanic Gardens Act 1991 establishes the statutory authority which is the Royal Botanic Gardens Board Victoria (the Board). The Act contains information about the Board’s objectives, the Gardens governance structure, the Board’s establishment and membership, the Board’s capacity to lease, license and permit the use of the land that it manages, its financial and reporting obligations, that it must have a corporate plan, and more.

Royal Botanic Gardens Regulations 2014

The Royal Botanic Gardens Regulations govern many day-to-day operational matters, including entry to Melbourne Gardens and Cranbourne Gardens, protection of plants and animals in the Gardens, sporting activities, commercial activities, dogs and vehicles in the Gardens, and more.

The Regulations are designed to ensure that visitors can enjoy their experience of the Gardens without undue disturbance from other people. Consequently, the Regulations, among other things, specify what visitors cannot do in the Gardens, including:

  • NO climbing on plants or trees or collecting flowers or plants.
  • NO feeding any animals (including birds, reptiles and fish).
  • NO damaging, defacing or removing any sign, structure, facility, equipment or natural feature.
  • NO camping or erecting any structure.
  • NO leaving the lawns, pathways, walking tracks, roads or thoroughfares.
  • NO climbing over fences or breaking through gates, fences, hedges or barriers.
  • NO fires or BBQs.
  • NO commercial activities or commercial functions without a permit. This includes wedding ceremonies and commercial photography or commercial filming.
  • NO ball games or playing of any other games, including the throwing of frisbees, that would cause danger to any person or animal or damage to any plants.
  • NO playing or operating of sound producing devices (including devices that make, reproduce or amplify sound).
  • NO soliciting or collecting money, distributing handbills, pamphlets, books or other advertising placards or notices.
  • NO dogs and other animals are allowed at Cranbourne Gardens.
  • At Melbourne Gardens, dogs are allowed during normal opening hours.  Dogs are not allowed at ticketed programs and events, such as Lightscape. 
  • During normal operating hours at Melbourne Gardens, dogs must be on a leash at all times and any person in control of a dog in the Gardens must pick up and remove from the Gardens any faeces deposited by the dog.

The scattering of ashes within the Gardens is strictly prohibited. Families may wish to remember their loved one with a plaque as part of the Seat Sponsorship Program. Please contact the Development team on (03) 9252 2303 for more details.

Authorised Officers have been appointed to enforce the Regulations. These Authorised Officers carry formal identification of their status. A breach of the Regulations or of the Act may result in a fine (infringement notice) similar to a traffic infringement notice. The fine payable depends on the penalty applicable to the specific Regulation or section of the Act. Further details on penalties are available on the Department of Sustainability and Environment website.

Most visitors to the Gardens do the right thing, not just to avoid an infringement notice, but because they have a sense of pride in the Gardens and a desire to protect them for future generations.

If you are unsure about what you can or cannot do in the Gardens, please check with staff at the Visitor Centre.

The material provided above is a summary only intended for use as a general reference. To access the complete Regulations, please refer to the Royal Botanic Gardens Regulations.

On-site regulations
Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne Regulations
Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne Regulations


Persons may be exempt from a number of the Regulations if they have a permit. Permits are required for:

  • wedding ceremonies
  • wedding photography and filming
  • commercial functions and activities
  • commercial photography and filming

Permits for commercial functions and activities are subject to approval based on the Gardens objectives and values. For information on all commercial functions or activities on lawns, wedding ceremonies, and wedding photography or filming permits within Melbourne Gardens, please contact Curtis Stone Events.