A Guide To The Botanical Gardens Blue Mountains Mount Tomah
The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden is the only botanic garden in the world located in a World Heritage area. Home to 21,000 plants of 900 species, the 69-acre garden is located 100km west of Sydney at Mount Tomah, in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia.
Established in 1972, the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden is heritage-listed and focusses on the conservation of cool climate plants that do not grow in the warmer climate of Sydney.
The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden is approximately a two-hour drive from Sydney’s CBD, on the boundary of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Greater Blue Mountains area.
As well as the cool climate plants, the garden is home to a diverse range of local fauna, including over 150 species of birds, marsupials, lizards and colourful insects. Brush-tailed and ring-tailed possums, sugar gliders and greater gliders might be spotted in the garden, as well as fairy wrens, lyrebirds and cockatoos. During our visit we saw kookaburras and skinks.
The garden is set out into distinct areas that highlight various plant species. Pick up a free map from the Visitor’s Centre and take a self guided tour around the gardens at your own pace.
Guided walking and shuttle tours are also available daily. Walking tours are free but the 20-minute shuttle tours attracts a fee of $8.50pp (disability Pension card holders, Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Garden members and children under 5 are free.). Check departure times and purchase tickets for tours at the Visitor Centre.
Different parts of the garden bloom throughout the year so no matter when you visit, the garden is beautiful. We visited in spring to see the daffodil display.
Kids can pick up a Children’s Adventure Quest from the Visitor’s Centre for $7.50. It includes everything in the photo below.
There is a discovery centre underneath the Visitor’s Centre that has lots of information about the plants and some hands-on elements for kids.
Eating at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden
Visitors are more than welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy in the gardens. If you would like to purchase takeaway coffee, snacks or light meals, the Ugly Mug Kiosk, located near the car park, is open Monday and Tuesday from 9am to 4.30pm and Saturday and Sunday from 9.30am to 5.00pm.
The Potager, Mount Tomah
During our visit we dined at The Potager for Father’s Day, an upmarket restaurant with a botanic theme. While the balcony offers incredible views over the garden, it also offers little shade, so we chose to dine instead as we visited on a hot day.
The Potager has a decent kids’ menu and various options for different diets. I had a vegan option, the Veggie Patch (with local kale, roasted cauliflower and sautéed mushrooms on a bed pumpkin hummus, avocado cream, sun flower seeds, fresh local herbs, $22.90).
Our group also ordered the kids’ Avo & Cheese Sandwich (with chips, $9.50), the Pan Fried Salmon, (with roasted fennel, pumpkin, tomato, spinach, hummus, topped with shaved shallot, $32) and the Botanic Burger (180g Beef patty, bacon, American cheese, pickled onions, house relish, served on toasted milk bun with chips, $26.90).
The food and service were both excellent and I would highly recommend dining here for a bit of a special occasion.
Getting to the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden
The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden can be accessed via the Bells Line of Road.
Driving from Sydney: From the CBD, cross the harbour heading north and follow the M2 motorway onto the M7 motorway. Take the Richmond Road exit towards Richmond. Follow the signs to Blue Mountains and follow Bells Line of Road from Richmond to the Garden.
Driving from Lithgow: Drive along Chifley Road from Lithgow to Bell. Continue on Bells Line of Road from Bell to the Garden. The Garden is about a 40-minute drive from Lithgow.
The Garden is not accessible by public transport.
Blue Mountains Botanic Garden
Bells Line of Road, Mount Tomah
Hours: Daily, weekdays 9am to 5.30pm, weekends and public holidays: 9.30am to 5.30pm
Prices: Entry to the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden is FREE.
Get more info on The Potager and the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden.
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Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!