We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Well worth a visit.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Chinese Garden of Friendship

Chinese Garden of Friendship
Darling Harbour, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia (City Centre)
(02) 9240 8888
Improve this listing
Book ahead on Viator
Special Offer
and up
Sydney Attraction Pass Including Taronga Zoo...
Ranked #15 of 237 Attractions in Sydney
Type: Gardens, Outdoors
Activities: Dining
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: A haven of tranquility in Sydney's bustling Chinatown, this fascinating garden with waterfalls, bridges and fish-filled ponds was designed by experts from China and reflects designs dating back to the 5th century.
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
“Well worth a visit.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2012

Always gorgeous, no matter the season, these gardens are great for a short visit, or a slow contemplative walk. I love them, and visit whenever I have time in the Darling Harbour area.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

819 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Great place to relax”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

Last weekend, we went to visit a hidden treasure of Sydney, in the middle of the city in Darling Harbour.

Initiated by the local Chinese community to share their rich cultural heritage and celebrate Australia's 1988 Bicentenary, the Chinese Garden is the result of a close bond of friendship and cooperation between the sister cities of Sydney and Guangzhou in Guangdong Province, China. The Chinese Garden of Friendship was designed by Sydney's Chinese sister city, Guangzhou.

Even though I have been living in Australia for so long I have never been inside the Chinese garden. I have walked past the garden numerous times but for some reason never thought to go inside. Last weekend the weather was so good that I and my husband decided that we must go out and enjoy the sunny day. So we took a train to the city and walked to Darling Harbour from Town Hall train station.

We were in the garden by 11am and there were only 3 people on the queue to get tickets to go inside. We got the ticket and it cost us just $6.00. We started our tour from the right hand side door of the garden.

The whole garden cannot be seen from any one point within the garden. It has a number of features including the Dragon Wall symbolizing the bond between New South Wales and Guangzhou, the Water Pavilion of Lotus Fragrance, the Twin Pavilion and The Tea House that offers traditional Chinese tea and other refreshments. The garden is a popular venue for weddings, providing many beautiful backgrounds for photographs.

We were there to enjoy the day so we just walked around the garden and enjoyed the sun taking photos from time to time. There was a big pond in the middle of the garden and it had big colourful fishes. I actually forgot that we were in the middle of the city once we were inside. As spring has started here, there were so my beautiful flowers in the garden. I just loved everything in it: the trees, well-trimmed plants, beautiful spring flowers, calm lotus pond and the magnificent temple.

It was peaceful, serene, beautiful and calming. There is a waterfall which gives the feeling that you are in some national park. There are some alcoves to rest and overlook the whole garden to just soak in its natural beauty. We took so many photos as wherever I turned there was a beautiful view. The garden isn't large but there are plenty of places to sit and take in the views. It took us about an hour to meander through the garden.

We saw a beautiful bridal carriage which is the imperial bridal carriage was used by Chinese Emperors in ancient times with extremely ornamental decorations. The jade carriage is typical of the historical carriages of past dynasties. It is believed 100 skilful artists were engaged in the laborious and intricate carving work. Over 300 tons of raw jade were used, the finished weight approx. 2 tons.

The carriage has a canopy decorated with entwining dragon motif with two lanterns in front. The main body of the carriage is carved into elaborate openwork of dragon, phoenix and fairies which are the symbol of Luck, Prestige and Authority. The two front shafts are cut as two lively charging dragons, guiding the carriage. Behind the carriage are two ornamental fans, which symbolise Royal Dignity.

The age and the cost of the carriage are unknown, however it is believed the carriage came from the Chinese Province of Guangdong and it is said to be the only carriage known to be outside China.

As we were walking around we saw a few people wearing traditional Chinese costumes and taking photos so we decided to find out more about it.

We found a place in one corner of garden where you can hire a costume for $10 and pretend to be a Princess/Queen/Emperor/Empress. They let you roam the garden with the costumes as long as you like and parade around the gardens and take as many photos as you like.

So me and my husband decided to dress up as well and become Chinese for a while. I choose a red dress and the lady in the shop helped me to do my hair. AS choose a dark blue one and even got a long white beard to try with his costume.

Once we were dressed, the lady from the shop took a few of our photos. From there we walked the whole garden taking photos in different locations. We felt like we were in some movie walking around in the costumes and taking photos. Lots of people stopped to look at us and a few even asked us to pose so they could take a photo of us . It was a really interesting experience to feel like we were in China.

If you feel hungry there is a teahouse. You can also hire a 45-minute audio tour in English and Mandarin, if you like.

For the price, we had an amazing day, relaxing and wonderful.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, FL
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“OK way to spend an hour or two”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

This place was very pretty - I'll give it that. It was smack dab in the middle of a busy area but felt very serene. But, given the chance, I don't think we'd choose to pay to walk through this again. It was basically a small walking tour of a pretty garden, and for that, I felt it was overpriced at $6 a piece. If it was free, or even just a couple of dollars, we'd probably give it higher reviews because it was really very pretty. But, I just don't know that I see the value given what we paid.

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
41 attraction reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
“So beautiful and so peaceful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

So beautiful and so peaceful and so unexpected in the middle of the city!!
There were 6 of us ranging in ages from 5 to 69 and everysingle one of us thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the gardens, which are easily accessed from Darling Harbour, the monorail or a 10 minute walk from Central Station.
It is so stunningly beautiful with so many different areas to explore and wander around, with many areas that you just feel so totally compelled to stop and just be.....

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penrith, Australia
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
32 attraction reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“So peaceful in the middle of a busy city”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2012

We thoroughly enjoyed our time spent wandering around the Chinese Gardens. Admission was only $6.00 per adult and it was money well spent. It was peaceful, serene, beautiful, calming, spiritual. A real oasis in a bustling city. We had morning tea in the tea house and could have sat for hours listening to the waterfalls and bird life and watching the fish swim by in the water.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Chinese Garden of Friendship also viewed

Sydney, New South Wales

Been to Chinese Garden of Friendship? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Chinese Garden of Friendship, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.