The Botanic Gardens are a must see when visiting Sydney. The gardens are situated on the shores of the Sydney Harbour, with the Opera House and Circular Quay on the western boundary. The gardens cover 30 hectares and attract over 3 million visitors each year.

City View from the Garden

Photo: City view from the gardens.

What to see and do at the Botanic Gardens

  • Free guided walks at 10:30am daily except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Good Friday and 1pm walks Monday - Friday except over Summer (December, January and February ). Walks leave from the Visitor Information Counter (next to the Gardens shop in the Palm Grove Centre)  Enquires phone :92318134

  • Aboriginal Heritage Tours: Includes tasting of bush foods. Fridays only -  - 1.5 hours (bookings essential)
    Tours depart from the Information Booth outside the Garden Shop at the Palm Grove Centre

  • Botanic Gardens Restaurant & Cafe - Lunch 7 days, brunch Saturday & Sunday, Licensed. Phone: 9241 2419. The Cafe offers gourmet sandwiches, pastas and ice cream. Opens 8am - 4pm, daily.

  • Gardens shop: 9:30am - 5pm daily, except during winter - only open until 4pm. Australian native food and cosmetics  and unusual souvenirs are available.

  • Scenic train tour by the Choo Choo Express operates daily every 30 minutes (weather permitting): Monday-Friday: 10 am - 4.30 pm Oct-April, 11 am - 4 pm May-October, Saturday-Sunday: 10 am - 4.30 pm. Cost: adults $10, children $5.

Choo Choo

Photo: Choo Choo Express

  • Government House and its grounds are open 10am - 4pm daily. Tours depart every half-hour from 10:30am. Admission is free but you must obtain a ticket from the gate house. Closed Good Friday, Christmas Day and for special functions.

Government House

Photo: Government House

  • Mrs Macquarie's Chair - a favourite spot to rest and take photos of the harbour with the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House as a backdrop.

  • Cadi Jam Ora: First Encounters Garden: An illustrated 52 metre outdoor storyline of the interaction between the traditional Australian owners of the Sydney area, the Cadigal people and the first Europeans. The garden is planted with local plant species which pre-dates the British arrival in 1788.

  • The Wollemi Pine (thought to be extinct until its discovery in the Blue Mountains in 1994). The species is located on the Woolloomooloo Bay side of the Gardens Shop and Restaurant.

  • The Sydney Tropical Centre is located towards the Domain end.

Garden Pyramid

Photo: Sydney Tropical Centre

  • Enchanting fountains, sculptures and memorials throughut the gardens to discover including: the sensory fountain, the herb garden sundial and the Henry Moore Reclining Figure.

  • Sightings of possums and flying foxes, waterdragons and blue-tongued lizards, Australian birds, butterflies and an eel or two. Children may enjoy discovering the giant lily-pads, the Herb Garden, the Glass Pyramid and the amazing Succulent Garden.

This can be an all day event or visit the Opera House when it first opens and then take in the gardens. You won't be disappointed either way.

Getting there:

Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia
Phone: 61-2-9231 8111

Closest train stations are Circular Quay, Martin Place or St James.