The George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens in Darwin is probably not much more than a five-minute drive from the city centre. I can’t say as I arrive by bike and it’s taken about 15 minutes of pedal power on a rusted old bike with squeaky brakes. First established in 1886, the gardens were almost wiped out by Cyclone Tracy in 1974 and were re-established. A network of paths crisscross the Gardens, which showcase a collection of Northern Australian monsoon flora such as mangroves, wet forests, native and introduced tropical plants. Even if you aren’t into flora, it’s a beautiful place for a stroll. Close to one of the main entrances is the former Wesleyan Methodist church that was moved from the city centre and reconstructed at the Gardens. It’s now known as Eva’s Cafe and with plenty of seating both inside, out on the lawn and out the back on the covered deck, it’s no doubt a popular spot. My scone arrives on an enamel camping plate and my jam in a disposable balsa wood dish. It’s certainly unique, and makes for a stand out presentation. The scone is definitely homemade and not commercially baked. It’s fresh and slightly crispy on the outside and goes perfectly with the rich raspberry jam. The cream is fresh but so light that it doesn’t have a chance of remaining intact for more than a few minutes due to the humidity. Don’t get caught out by the short opening hours: 8am – 2pm Monday to Friday and 7am to 3pm on weekends.
Tea: A small variety of SereniTEA pyramid tea bags served in an adequate size pot.
Overall: Every Botanic Gardens should have a café like this.
Location: George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens, Gardens Rd, The Gardens NT 0820 Ph: 0434 544 210
Reviewed February, 2015