Nestled alongside the Yarra River, Kings Domain Gardens is part of the Domain Parklands along with Queen Victoria Gardens and the Shrine Reserve. The historic 19th-century gardens of Kings Domain was established in 1854 and designated as a public park in 1935. Within the verdant, landscaped 36-hectare city parklands are several lawns, pathways, landmark areas, statues and memorials.
Kings Domain is a picturesque park with mature trees offering shade, lush lawns and landmark features. Structures within the parklands include Sidney Myer Music Bowl – an outdoor amphitheatre hosting music events; Government House; and La Trobe Cottage, the original home of the first Victorian Governor Charles La Trobe from 1839 to 1854. The cottage has been relocated from its original site in Jolimont and is available for tours for an insight into early colonial life. Notable statues and memorials in the park include King George V Memorial, Shrine of Remembrance war memorial, a statue of World War II doctor and POW Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop and a memorial for the remains of indigenous people, which consists of painted eucalypt poles above a sacred burial rock. Other significant features include the interactive Tilly Aston bells and Walker Fountain, a lake with water streams.
Natural attributes abound in Kings Domain making it an ideal picnic spot or area to relax for city workers and visitors. The Pioneer Women's Garden is a sunken area with a blue-tiled space, while the Grotto is a fern gully built on a quarry with steps leading down to a small pool. Wildlife such as native birdlife and mammals also make their home in Kings Domain. The 3.85km trail that loops around Kings Domain and the Royal Botanic Gardens is known as 'The Tan', and was originally a horse track. Locals and visitors walk, run or jog the popular and famous track with an annual Go The Tan run held every February.
The closest tram stop to Kings Domain is the Arts Centre stop, which is on St Kilda Road at the junction of Alexandra Avenue.