The Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria comprises two locations: Melbourne Gardens and Cranbourne Gardens. Melbourne Gardens, established in 1846 on the southern bank of the Yarra River, covers 38 hectares (94 acres) of land and features a variety of plants, trees, lakes, and lawns. It showcases an impressive collection of nearly 50,000 individual plants, representing 8,500 different species, organized into 30 living plant collections. On the other hand, Cranbourne Gardens, opened to the public in 1989, is situated on a 363-hectare (897-acre) site on the southeastern outskirts of Melbourne. It encompasses native bushland, heathlands, wetlands, and woodlands, highlighted by the Australian Garden, a stunning display of around 170,000 plants from 1,700 plant varieties, which was completed in 2012.

The Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria is also home to the State Botanical Collection, housed within the National Herbarium of Victoria. This collection, boasting 1.5 million preserved plants, algae, and fungi, stands as the largest herbarium collection in Australia and Oceania. The governance of the gardens falls under the Royal Botanic Gardens Board, operating in accordance with the Royal Botanic Gardens Act 1991 and reporting to the Minister for Environment.

These gardens hold a significant historical legacy, with influential figures like Ferdinand von Mueller and William Guilfoyle contributing to their development. The gardens encompass various horticultural collections, including the Australian Forest Walk, California Garden, Cacti and Succulents, Fern Gully, Rose Garden, and many more. The combination of native and non-native vegetation within the gardens attracts a diverse range of fauna. While the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne showcase both native and non-native species, the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne focus exclusively on Australian native plants.

In addition to their aesthetic value, the gardens play a vital role in plant science and research through the National Herbarium of Victoria and the State Botanical Collection. Furthermore, the gardens offer the Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden, a 5,000 square meter area designed to provide a stimulating environment for children of all ages and abilities to explore and discover.