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Smell, touch and — most importantly — taste your way through the history of chocolate.

The Royal Botanic Garden has scored a new world-class horticultural experience — and you're invited to the opening. Called The Calyx, this architectural masterpiece will bring you several beautiful, light-filled spaces to hang out in, as well as extraordinary exhibitions that make botany look sexier than Beyoncé at the Super Bowl.

The first of these, called Sweet Addiction, is now open, and it's a glorious, indulgent exploration of chocolate. To begin, you'll be taken through the history of chocolate; prepare to be transported deep into a tropical rainforest (where the story of the cocoa bean began) before travelling to chocolate plantations, a Lindt mill and, finally, a chocolatier room. Every one of your senses will be coming along for the ride. You'll be seeing, touching, smelling — and yes, you'll get to do some tasting as well.

What's more, 18,000 plants have been transformed into living sculptures to make the Southern Hemisphere's largest continuous green wall. Expect to see representations of both the Mayan Goddess of Chocolate as well as the chocolate modern deity: the chocolate box.

"The Calyx is a fusion of art, theatre and flora with themed exhibitions that address conservation and environmental issues in an imaginative, accessible way yet to be seen in Australia," said Jimmy Turner, Director of Horticulture Management at the Royal Botanic Garden. "It's Broadway for plants, and Sweet Addiction is our first show — complete with lights, sounds and a few surprises along the way."

Sweet Addiction will be open 10am until 4pm daily, and will run until April 2017. Our tip? Grab your tickets online over here before you go — it's cheaper than buying them on the door.

Published on June 22, 2016 by Jasmine Crittenden

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