These beautifully landscaped escapes, in and near to the city, deliver some serious flower powerLess
Thought to be one of the oldest public gardens in the Southern Hemisphere, Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens date back to 1810 when Governor Lachlan Macquarie and his wife had a vision for an "English parkland setting with a grand house". It's an oasis of calm in the urban jungle, where you can stand amongst beautiful greenery as you look out over the harbour with the bridge and Opera House magnificently in view.
First built nearly 150 years ago, this sunken Romanesque garden has in previous incarnations served as an early 19th-century water reservoir, a garage, a petrol station, and a secret underground hub for budding graffiti artists. This otherworldly oasis below street level has undergone a $10 million restoration and is now a cultural precinct hosting markets, art and film festivals.
The site is broken down into themed areas that include a Japanese garden, complete with a pond, waterfall and ornamental bridges. There’s also a reflecting pool, a scented garden, a sunken rose garden, a billabong, a native rainforest and even a playground that has full wheelchair-accessible equipment, including a liberty swing.
On the slopes of Mount Tomah, less than 100km from Sydney's CBD, you’ll find 28 hectares of glorious gardens that not only boast a diverse range of native and imported plant life, but also a view of the surrounding mountains that really cements why this part of NSW has UNESCO World Heritage status.
The lesser known but equally beautiful sibling of Sydney’s central Royal Botanic Gardens, this expansive garden located in a hilly area of the southwestern suburb of Mount Annan boasts 416 hectares of plants, birds, mammals and reptiles which you can explore via over 30km of walking and cycling tracks.
Adjacent to Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park in Sydney’s North, there’s a whopping 123 hectares of wildflower gardens surrounded by Sydney sandstone bushland. Every plant found here is native, although not necessarily local – these colourful blooms have been sourced from across Australia, including 18 threatened species of flora.
This landscaped garden is carved up with winding paths, cobblestoned stairs and quiet benches. Alongside the natural beauty of curling ferns, flowering lilies and towering shady figs, you’ll also find bronze busts, engraved stone tablets, wooden carvings and other sculptures dotted around the garden.
Waterfalls, weeping willows, lily pads and blossoms make this one-hectare garden, in the heart of the Darling Harbour precinct, a charming and calming place to spend an hour or two. Officially opened in 1988, the Chinese Garden of Friendship was a gift from Sydney's sister city Guangzhou to cement the bond between the two metropolises.