The Mt Lofty Botanic Garden is a lovely place to get away from the heat and noise of Adelaide. Less than 20km from the city centre, the garden stands 700 metres above sea level and has a cooler climate than the capital.
The garden was started in 1952 and first opened to the public in 1977. It features plants from the cool climates of both the northern and southern hemispheres which do not grow well on the hot, dry Adelaide plains.
Part of the land had previously been used for market gardening, with an aqueduct system still evident in parts of the garden.
Several walking trails lead up and down the seven valleys, each dedicated to a particular plant group, including magnolias, rhododendrons, camellias, roses and peonies.
There are picnic tables and amenities. The kids loved it and we plan to revisit in autumn, when the colors are sure to be spectacular.
The top picture shows a Rhododendron sinogrande.
It was a cool (for summer) 12 degrees on the summit of Mt Lofty.