Royal Botanic Gardens
If you are a green thumb or just love gardens The Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney is “not to be missed” and it’s free. You can easily venture into the gardens from the city via the Opera House (just follow the harbour foreshore) or enter one of various gates further up off Macquarie Street.
If you don’t have the time or the inclination to do it yourself, we can include a brief tour as part of our Essential Sydney Tour.
Established in 1816, it is the oldest botanic garden and scientific institution in Australia. It is home to an outstanding collection of plants from around the world with a focus on Australia and the South Pacific.
Number of plant species in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and Domain: 8,900
Number of plant specimens in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and Domain: 67,100
Number of trees in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and Domain: 3,964
Number of preserved plant specimens in Herbarium of NSW: approx. 1.2 million
Source: The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
Leura Village is visited by us on our Blue Mountains and Featherdale Private Tour as it is one of a number of towns you come across as you travel to the Blue Mountains.
Most visitors prefer Leura Village (over Katoomba) to stop off for some shopping or eating as it has a large variety of interesting shops and boutiques as well as some very good cafes/restaurants.
You can also visit Sublime Point close by, which offers beautiful panoramic views over the Jamison Valley.
Leura also hosts the Everglades Gardens, the former home of Belgian-born industrialist Henri van de Velde, which has 5 hectares of landscaped gardens designed by Danish architect Paul Sorensen.
We visit The Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park as part of our North Shore & Beaches private tour. This is a protected national park (created in 1894) of some 14,977 hectares (37,010 acres).
The park is a recreational park for many Sydneysiders. There are many great walking tracks, fishing spots, a camping ground at The Basin and spectacular views out over The Pittwater and the Hawkesbury river.
The first inhabitants of the area were the indigenous Garigal people and the park contains many rock engravings and other aboriginal art such as cave drawings, axe grinding grooves and middens.
We visit the Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens as part of our Blue Mountains & Featherdale Private Tour
Sydney is blessed with some wonderful public gardens but Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens is not just another garden. Set in the mountains it has a huge variety of plants and trees that don’t feature in more urban settings.
Be sure to see the Wollemi Pine which was thought extinct until recently when it was discovered by a Park Ranger By chance.
This really is a beautiful public reserve that has the lot. Views, picnic spots,walking tracks, fishing, a swimming pool, a kids playground, gardens and a ferry stop (Cremorne Point).
For me the best part of Cremorne Point is the walking track on the Eastern side (the side looking back towards the heads not the city view side (although it is also fantastic).
The Greater Blue Mountains region is Australia’s most accessible wilderness area approximately 90 minutes drive from Sydney.
This is a world heritage listed National Park with a diverse mix of temperate rainforest, native forest, rugged sandstone cliffs, deep canyons and towering waterfalls.
This area offers some of those most spectacular views and too many to mention. However any visit to the mountains would not be complete without a viewing from Echo Point and Govetts Leap. Don’t miss these. See our Blue Mountains & Featherdale Tour.
The Chinese Gerdens of Friendship are located in Darling Harbour and are a beautiful oasis in the centre of the city. Open daily at 9-30am they are a worthy addition to any visit to the area.
Located a the Balmain peninsula this fascinating park has had a varied history.
The site was variously:
A sandstone quarry in the 1850s supplying ballast to the nearby shipyards at Balmain and Birchgrove;
1864-1928 – the location of the two storey marine villa, Menevia, home of Thomas Perkins and his family; and later a boarding house from 1893 to 1915.
From 1928, the first seaboard terminal for the Texas Company (Australia) Limited, later Caltex. Used as a fuel storage and major oil distribution point for Sydney. Caltex phased out its operations in the 1990’s.
Public land from 2002. Clearing of the infrastructure of tanks.
In 2009 it was opened to the public after a significant transformation from a contaminated industrial site to a beautiful public space right on the harbour.
This huge national park is so special that we make it one of our main tour destinations.
If you are interested in Royal National Park we have a specially designed full day tour to this location.
Situated on the harbour at Garden Cove a short walk from the Opera House, this is one of Sydney’s real treasures.
Located just above Luna Park in Milsons Point on the Lower North Shore is a beautiful example of one persons vision and communities efforts. Created by Wendy Whiteley, the wife of Sydney’s best known modern artist Brett Whitely, Wendy’s Secret Garden is hidden away and not yet frequented by hoards of tourists.
If you are a gardener, or just love to see what one person’s vision and effort can create from a derelict harbourside site don’t miss Wendy’s Secret Garden.
You will also see Brett and Wendy’s spectacular home in the park just prior to heading down the steps to the harbour easily distinguished by a round tower.
This is a spectacular harbour walk and not to be missed. This photo is from the point back towards the city. And don’t just walk the city side of the reserve as in my opinion, the eastern side look…
Source: Cremorne Point Reserve
Centennial Parklands (“ CP ‘) is one of Sydney’s real gems and it includes Centennial Park, Moore Park and Queens Park. Close to the CBD this is where the locals go to play sport, ride a horse, take a walk, ride a bike , picnic, feed the ducks or explore the nation’s Federation history.
- Formal gardens, ponds and heritage features
- Native wildlife
- Sporting Fields
- Picnic sites
- Bike and horse riding facilities.