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Flora and the Baron

October 1 - October 31


Flora and the Baron
A narrative audio tour by Bowerbird Theatre


Baron Ferdinand von Mueller – eccentric outsider, global scientific powerhouse and Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria’s first director – has a tale to tell. Cut off from his beloved Gardens for the last twenty years of his life in self-imposed exile, his spirit re-enters the Gardens as your audio tour guide, delighting in the powerful beauty of the plants, revelling in his scientific legacy, and entertaining us with stories from his remarkable life.

But he is also confronted by the environmental havoc produced from his own actions, like the introduction of blackberries, and the destruction of our native forests leaves him deeply saddened. Mueller challenges us to avoid the mistakes of the colonial scientific era, and to widen our gaze towards the future that we are in the process of creating.

Use your smartphone and headphones to listen to this audio tour, which features Mueller’s prolific writing and also imagines his response to his considerable legacy. 

You will need:

  • a charged smartphone
  • headphones
  • comfortable, weather-appropriate clothes and shoes

To start the tour: use your smartphone to scan the QR code, connect your headphones and press play on the audio file below.  Please wait outside the gate until the Baron invites you to enter.

Listen: the Baron will guide you on your journey, so listen carefully to his instructions. Flora and the Baron is a focussed listening experience – to get the most out of the tour be ready to immerse yourself in the Baron’s story.

Look: directional signs with the yellow everlasting daisy are found in some locations.  Please use the tour map for further guidance.

Be sure to pay attention to your surroundings and take care of the health and safety of yourself and others on the paths and lawns. The tour includes a mixture of gradients and surfaces. As this is a working garden, please be mindful of vehicles. Please note that some sections of the route may need to close temporarily for periodic maintenance works.

Start: outside Gate F (Birdwood Avenue)

End: Guilfoyle’s Volcano, near Gate C (Anderson Street)

Duration: approx. 50 mins

Access: There is an alternative access route which is also described by the Baron. There are three sections where the accessible path branches off. Listen carefully to the Baron for guidance.  These alternative paths are also indicated on the tour map. If you require further information, please call Visitor Experience staff on (03) 9252 2429.

Ready to go?

Follow the instructions on the SoundCloud player below. Remember, if you are at the Gardens wait outside Gate F until the Baron invites you to enter.

SoundCloud instructions

  • If you have the SoundCloud app you can select “Play on SoundCloud”.
  • If you do not have the SoundCloud app you can play the file on this page by selecting “Listen in Browser
  • To play the audio, press the play symbol.
  • To stop the audio at any time, press pause.
  • To rewind or fast forward the audio file, drag your finger left or right along the sound wave graphic.
  • If you lose this page, you can find it again via the Flora and the Baron event page on the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria website.
  • If you require technical assistance, please visit the Visitor Centre or call our Visitor Experience staff on (03) 9252 2429.


October 1
October 31
View Event Website


In Person Event
Melbourne, VIC Australia + Google Map