Carlton Gardens

At Serendipity Photography we adore the picturesque Carlton Gardens for its striking aesthetics and peaceful ambience, and ability to cater to a range of distinct wedding styles and themes.

serendipity photography carlton gardens

Notable features include a marvellous avenue of trees, Victorian fountains, lakes romanticised by characteristically serpentine borders and plantings, and flower beds that are varied and luxurious. The unique Hochgurtal Fountain which sits decoratively in the grounds surrounding the Exhibition Centre provides a beautiful backdrop for wedding day portraits of the newly weds.

The Carlton Gardens are a 26 hectare expanse of park facing onto Victoria Street, Rathdowne Street, Carlton Street and Nicholson Street, just north of Melbourne’s CBD.  The gardens are home landmarks such as the Royal Exhibition Building and Melbourne Museum, this coupled with the sites suburb landscape design and rare array of both native and exotic plant species is perhaps the reason why The World Heritage body described the gardens as being of “historical, architectural, aesthetic, social and botanical significance to the State of Victoria.”

Serendipity Wedding Photography Carlton Gardens

Serendipity Wedding Photography Carlton Gardens

The Carlton Gardens can be understood as two parts: an axial garden layout in the southern part of the site, and a northern garden that was landscaped after the close of the two great 19th-century exhibitions. During the 1880 and 1888 international exhibitions, the southern portion of the garden became a pleasure garden with many attractions.

The South Carlton Gardens, as it is now known, continues to be used for exhibition purposes. It largely remains as designed by William Sangster and Joseph Reed. The southern entrance to the building, on the city side, is the apex of the design. A level promenade was created along the front of the building, and a semi-circular space has as its centrepiece an ornate fountain. A ceremonial approach is provided by a 24-metre wide avenue, and two other paths form a radiating axis from the fountain. In 1888 another fountain, the Westgarth Fountain, was added.

With each new season the Carlton Gardens reveals a stunning level of variation, providing a gorgeous range of angles and visual details for spectacular wedding day photographs. During the Spring and Summer months an abundance of vibrant florals fill the expansive grounds with beautiful pastels and harmonies of colour. Doris and Sky made the wise decision to visit the gardens as an alternative location on their wedding day, where they were blessed with an enchanting combination of rich Autumn tones (think atmospheric deep reds, romantic sepias and hints of yellow) as well as luminous bounties of lavender — perfect for softly framing the newly wed couple.

The aesthetic significance of the Carlton Gardens lies in its embodiment of the 19th-century Gardenesque style. This includes parterre (formal or symmetrically-placed) garden beds, significant avenues such as the southern carriage drive and Grand Allée, the path system, specimen and clusters of trees boasting leafy foliage, two secluded lakes and three sculpted fountains. Whether you decide to hold your outdoor ceremony within the gardens, or you simply wish to visit the spectacular site as an alternative photographic location spot (perhaps on your way to one of the many city reception venues), there is an abundance of features to add beauty and natural elegance to each shot. Serendipity are more than confident that the combination of the lustrous grounds with the expertise and artistry of our team of photographers, will deliver a day you’ll remember for years to come.

We welcome you to look at other beautiful parks and piers around Melbourne, photographed by Serendipity:

Central Park, Caulfield

Fitzroy Gardens

Flagstaff Gardens

Elwood Beach

Green Point

Kerford Road Pier

Lagoon Pier

Mordialloc Beach

North Road Pier

Ormond Pier

Point Ormond

Queen Victoria Gardens

Royal Botanic Gardens and The Terrace

St Kilda Pier

St Vincent Gardens

Treasury Gardens

Williamstown Pier



2 Responses to “Carlton Gardens”
  1. Charlie Chen 4 May 2012 at 7:18 pm #

    Carlton Gardens are without a doubt one of Melbourne’s most interesting and gorgeous parks!

    We loved the mix of both old and new elements — it really captured our style and mood on the day. The grand trees were incredible features in our photos. Great colours! it was a really nice touch to be able to stroll down the historic avenues of trees. I loved the combination of bright colours and interesting plant textures with strong graphic elements.
    You’ve really captured the day and the gardens perfectly Serendipity!

    Thanks again

    Kisa & Charlie

  2. Sky 29 March 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    Thank you Serendipity for suggesting the Carlton Gardens!
    We were so happy with the beautiful scenery and selection of interesting backdrops in these historic gardens.

    As we strolled around the length of the gardens it really felt like being in an enchanted wood… very romantic. There were so many interesting details such as the water fountains, the tall trees (lovely shade and romantic light) plus the gorgeous architecture of the exhibition building.

    This is the nicest garden we could ever imagine; just so many perspectives and backdrops to choose from. Bright flowers, the lovely rose gardens and a fresh natural feel.

    Doris and Sky

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