Explore the most beautiful Sydney gardens
Sydney gardens are stunning to visit in any season, particular so in spring and autumn. With a huge variety of gardens and parks across the city and extending into day trips, it’s the perfect time to get outside and enjoy beautiful blooms and stunning foliage.
Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, was established in 1816, making it the oldest botanic garden and scientific institution in Australia. The garden is home to a collection of plants from around the world, with a focus on Australian plants and also a collection from the South Pacific.
The gardens have so many areas to explore, our favourites being The Calyx, which is home to one of the largest green walls in the southern hemisphere and cafe, the lion sculptures, the Palace Rose Garden and the Spring Walk. The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, are particularly stunning in spring when the Spring Walk and Rose Garden are in full bloom, and in November when the jacarandas carpet the garden in a stunning shade of purple.
Wendy Whitely’s Secret Garden, Lavender Bay
Sydney’s Lavender Bay is the perfect spot to enjoy the spectacular Sydney scenery and let time pass by. If you turn your back to the gorgeous view and walk a up a stealthy flight of stairs, you’ll find yourself somewhere a bit magical – Wendy’s Secret Garden.
The garden was created in 1992 by Wendy Whiteley, wife and muse to artist Brett Whiteley, following her by then ex-husband’s death. Before Wendy turned the patch of land into the whimsical retreat it is today, it was a dumping ground, overgrown with weeds. The lot is officially owned by NSW State Railways, but after Wendy’s incredible efforts to turn it into a treasure to be enjoyed by the general public, the government has agreed lease the land to North Sydney Council on a 30-year renewable lease, securing it for hopefully generations to come.
Read more about visiting Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden.
Paddington Reservoir Garden
Paddington Reservoir Gardens is an award-winning location in Sydney’s east. It was completed in 1864, created as part of Sydney’s third water supply to contain water pumped from Lords Dam at Botany Bay.
The garden contains wide boardwalks and green spaces free for the public to use. Pull up a deck chair or lie on the grass with a book. It’s a quiet spot in an otherwise very busy part of Sydney.
Read more about visiting the Paddington Reservoir Garden.
Auburn Botanic Garden
The delightfully zen Auburn Botanic Gardens are located in Auburn, in South-West Sydney. Established in 1977, the gardens are surprisingly tucked away in a suburban pocket between rows of houses. Spread over 9.7 hectares, the gardens are a serene place to enjoy nature.
This Sydney garden is particularly well known for it’s stunning Japanese Garden and native animal enclosures. Auburn Botanic Garden is particularly beautiful in the spring, where the cherry blossoms are in bloom, and in autumn where the fall colours are spectacular.
Read more about visiting the Auburn Botanic Garden.
Fagan Park, Galston
Fagan Park in Sydney’s Hornsby shire is a 55 hectare park with themed gardens, playgrounds, historic Netherby Cottage and an Eco Garden to explore.
Fagan Park is particularly beautiful in spring, with a stunning selection of cherry blossoms in bloom, and in autumn where the deciduous trees around the lake are in full colourful glory. One of our favourite Sydney gardens, Fagan Park is a special spot that the locals have kept hidden for way too long.
Read more about visiting Fagan Park.
E.G. Waterhouse National Camellia Gardens, Caringbah South
The beautiful Camellia Gardens in Southerland Shire are filled with hundreds of types of camellias which flower from the start of autumn till early springtime and are at their best between April and August each year. The Rose Garden blooms from the end of September until the end of summer, so there is always something beautiful in bloom to see.
Enjoy high tea or a coffee in the Teahouse or take kids to one of two playgrounds located inside the garden grounds.
Read more about The Teahouse and visiting the E.G. Waterhouse National Camellia Gardens.
Ku-Ring-Gai Wildflower Garden
The Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden is a 123-hectare garden on Sydney’s north shore. Established in 1968, the garden is dedicated to preserving and showcasing Australian plants.
The Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden is a beautiful spot to picnic, bushwalk and learn about Australian flora and fauna.
While some areas of the garden have been cleared from bush such as Lambert’s Clearing, which has a large grassed area with picnic tables and a children’s playground, most of the garden is in a natural bush state.
Read more about visiting Ku-Ring-Gai Wildflower Garden.
Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour
The gardens were built in 1988 as a symbol of friendship between Sydney and the southern Chinese city of Guandong. It was designed and built by Chinese landscape architects and gardeners to reflect the “yin-yang” Taoist principles and the elements of earth, fire, water, metal and wood.
Read more about visiting the Chinese Garden of Friendship.
Gardens to Day Trip To
Wollongong Botanic Garden
The Wollongong Botanic Garden is a 30-hectare garden in the suburb of Keiraville featuring a large collection of native and exotic plants from around the world.
During winter, the succulent garden is in full bloom, and spring sees many blooms around the Azalea Bank and Middle Creek. The Japanese Drum Bridge is a popular spot for a photo.
Read more about visiting the Wollongong Botanic Garden.
Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan
The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan is a 416-hectare garden set in a hilly area of the southwestern Sydney suburb of Mount Annan. During September, the gardens have a stunning display of paper daisies.
The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan are free to enter. They are popular place for families in Sydney’s west and south-west to visit for picnic lunches, due to their large grassed areas, huge playground, and excellent facilities including a great cafe.
Read more about visiting The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan.
Blue Mountains Botanic Garden 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.
During September, the gardens have a stunning display of daffodils.
Read more about visiting Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah.
Wildwood Garden, Bilpin
Enjoy seasonal colours in the fresh mountain at at Wildwood Garden, a privately-owned cool climate garden in the Blue Mountains, 90 minutes drive west of Sydney.
Wildwood Garden was created over 38 years by Wayne and Sue Tapping. Located in Blipin, on the fringe of the Blue Mountains and deep in apple country, the garden has a glorious collection of plants which are stunning to behold throughout the year.
The gardens are particularly stunning in autumn and spring with cherry blossoms, however in summer the rose garden is also in full bloom.
Read more about visiting Wildwood Garden.
Everglades Historic House and Gardens Leura
We love a beautiful garden and the Everglades Historic House & Gardens certainly ticks all the boxes. A beautiful 1930s, Art Deco home set amongst 5.2 hectares of stunning gardens, the Everglades is destination that will transport you to a bygone era of grace and charm.
This private garden is stunning to wander around in any season, particularly so in autumn and spring. Be sure to enjoy a scone from the cafe.
Read more about visiting Everglades Historic House and Gardens.
Norman Lindsey Gallery, Museum & Sculpture Garden, Faulconbridge
Norman Lindsey (1879-1969) was an Australian artist, cartoonist, and writer. His former home and studio have been turned into a gallery and museum run by the National Trust, showcasing his work and life.
We love to wander around the landscaped gardens and admire his sculptures, or wander through the gallery to see his beautiful paintings and etchings. You can read more about Norman Lindsey and his work here.
Norman Lindsey is also the creator of the Magic Pudding. Visiting the gallery is a great introduction for kids to this Aussie masterpiece.
Read more about visiting Norman Lindsey Gallery, Museum & Sculpture Garden.
Mayfield Garden, Oberon
Nestled on the outskirts of the Blue Mountains, in the central tablelands area of NSW, lies a hidden gem called Mayfield Garden.
Created by the Hawkins family in the mid 1990s, Mayfield is now one of the world’s largest privately-owned cool climate gardens. Set on a working farm spanning thousands of acres, the European-inspired garden is at once both intimate and immense.
Mayfield is open year-round. I would strongly advise visiting in different seasons; waterlilies in summer, colourful foliage in autumn, raw structure of plants in winter and fragrant blooms in spring.
Read more about visiting Mayfield Garden.
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Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!