Sydney’s best parks and gardens provide spectacular backdrops with so many outdoor activities to enjoy. Here are four great walks you can take in some of the best parks and gardens our city has to offer.
From harbour-side to mountain-top, don’t miss these:
Grand Drive and Parkes Drive, Centennial Park
Centennial Park is one of the world’s best public parks, and one walk around the Park will show you why. For those unfamiliar with the park or haven’t visited for a while, to walk Grand Drive and Parkes Drive within the park gives you some spectacular scenery and some of the most historically important sites in Australia.
Starting at Paddington Gates off Oxford Street, these domineeringly large sandstone gates were first opened in 1888 and have allowed literally millions of visitors into the park over the years.
Heading down Parkes Drive you will pass the ever popular Paperbark Grove and significant statuary that dates from the 1890s (most notably the Griffins and the We Won Statue).
Turning left at the Centennial Parklands Dining corner, you will begin the tree-lined walk around Grand Drive where thousands of people every day are busy ‘pounding the pavement’.
The first prominent building that emerges is the Federation Pavilion. This iconic domed building marks the exact site of the ceremony of the Federation of Australia in 1901 – the birthplace of modern Australia!
Farm Cove Sea Walk, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
If you haven’t been to for a walk around the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney lately, you’ve missed out on experiencing one of most outstandingly beautiful places in the world.
The Garden provides perhaps the most delightful and easily accessible view of the beautiful Sydney harbour, while you savour the colourful array of floral displays found amongst one of the planet’s most outstanding tree collections and bountiful grassed areas.
The 1.2 kilometres Farm Cove Sea Walk stretches from the Sydney Opera House to Mrs Macquaries Point. Along the way you can stop off to look at the ponds, gardens and wildlife. There’s an abundance of signage to guide you to short side-walks off to the Sydney Fernery, the flourishing Palm Grove, Rose Garden, Herb Garden…and so much more!
As the oldest botanic garden in Australia, the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney abounds with enchanting stories and is the site of the country’s first European Farm and first scientific institution.
While a self-guided walk is unmissable, there are free guided daily walks available with volunteers, and a truly Australiana experience is the weekly Aboriginal Heritage Tours.
Discover the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah
You’ll know the Three Sisters, the Skyway and the zigzag railway, but do you know about this gem in the Blue Mountains?
The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah is located on Bells Line of Road via Bilpin and provides stunning vistas and landscapes.
If you can drag yourself away from the impressive view of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area from the Garden’s veranda, there are lots of varied walks for you to enjoy.
There are guided and self-guided walks to choose from through the stunning surrounds of our cool climate Garden with its world class collection of 48,000 plants. A free printed guide to a self-guided seasonal walk is available. This brochure will take you around the Garden to make sure you see what’s blooming in winter, spring, autumn and summer.
Most days a knowledgeable volunteer guide offers a free tour of the Garden and can entertain with historic stories and in depth plant knowledge, showing you what’s looking good in the Garden.
Or wander down the beautiful Lady Nancy Fairfax walk through ‘the jungle’, pristine Blue Mountains rainforest preserved by conservationists in the 1920s.
Trip through the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan
Whether you prefer your walking on road or off, the Australian Botanic Garden has a walk for everyone.
With the main entrance off Narellan Road, Mt Annan in the outskirts of Sydney, this 416 hectares botanic garden features a variety of habitats ranging from Cumberland Plain Woodland to Western Sydney Dry Rainforest and Sydney Coastal River Flat Forest.
And if you love dramatic vistas and have reasonable fitness, then a walk up the famous Sundial Hill will reward you with spectacular 360 degree views of the entire region including the Sydney skyline and the Blue Mountains. But be warned, this climb is not for the faint hearted!
Just down from Sundial Hill is the Wollemi Walk of Discovery which boasts genetic replicas of each of the 100 trees that are left in the wild in Wollemi National Park. This is a gentle walk that takes the visitor on a journey of discovery where they can learn about this very ancient plant while enjoying the fresh air and peace that emanates from this beautiful botanic garden.
For the less intrepid walker, there are short walks at each of the themed gardens which include: the Connections Garden, What’s the Big Idea Garden, the Wattle Garden as well as the Banksia and Grevillea Gardens. Each walk has been interpreted to provide the visitor with an insight into the amazing world of Australia’s native plant life.