destination NSW

Gardens and parks in Sydney


Relax in Sydney's parks and gardens

With its abundant green spaces, leafy parks and fragrant gardens, Sydney’s natural environment is the perfect place to embrace the warmth and energy of the great outdoors in Sydney.

Must Do

Sydney’s natural attractions

Walking through the Royal Botanic Gardens. Image James Pipino

Sydney offers boundless opportunities to enjoy nature, whether it’s picnicking near Sydney Harbour, kicking a ball around with friends and family, cycling through tranquil parks or simply watching the sun set.

Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens, an oasis of 30 hectares in the heart of the city, occupy one of the city's most prominent positions next to the Sydney Opera House on the harbour. It's a place where locals and tourists retreat for peace, relaxation, education and learning about horticulture. Aboriginal Heritage Tours of the Royal Botanic Gardens are available and free guided walks kick off daily at 10.30am from the Garden Shop.

People-watch in Sydney’s central green space, Hyde Park, and take a stroll under its arbour of trees. Nearby, you’ll find Hyde Park Barracks Museum, a World Heritage-listed site where you can learn about Australia’s convict past. Enjoy zen tranquility in Darling Harbour’s serene Chinese Garden of Friendship and experience a dose of rich cultural history.

Sydney Harbour meanders through the heart of the city, the foreshore lined with parks and gardens. Pirrama Park, Pyrmont, at the end of Pirrama Road, is a great location to enjoy expansive harbour views, barbecues, shaded areas and a children’s playground.

The showpiece of Headland Park is Georges Heights Lookout. Marvel at the stunning panoramic views of Sydney Heads, the Pacific Ocean, the eastern suburbs and city skyline. The park also has extensive bushland, with walking tracks, picnic spots and cafes. Nearby, Clifton Gardens in Mosman is like finding hidden treasure, well-loved by the locals for its great children’s playground and large park by the harbour.

In the eastern suburbs, Centennial Parklands has 360 hectares of wide-open space for cycling, walking, horse riding and lazy lakeside dining. Also in the east, Nielsen Park, part of Sydney Harbour National Park , is a popular recreation area. The harbourside park at Watsons Bay is a great place to devour fish and chips while watching the sun set over the city. Catch the ferry back to Circular Quay for a final treat.

West of the CBD at Sydney Olympic Park, you’ll find barbecues, picnic shelters, walking trails, cycling paths, playgrounds and fountains, perfect for an active day in the outdoors.

Horse riding in Centennial Park. Image Peter Solness

Horse riding in Sydney

Saddle up for a ride in Centennial Parklands, just 15 minutes from the city centre. The Centennial Parklands Equestrian Centre offers rides and instruction for every age and level, providing you with a unique opportunity to get close to nature.

Neilsen Park café on Shark beach, Vaucluse. Image Andrew Gregory

Family-friendly picnic parks

Enjoy one of Sydney's many family-friendly parks. Bradleys Head in Mosman is right by the harbour, while picturesque Nielsen Park has a netted harbour pool and a shady park. Bicentennial Park at Homebush Bay is great for a sausage sizzle with free barbecue facilities on-site. Parramatta Park has walking trails and picnic shelters.

Royal Botanic Gardens foreshore. Image Robert Wallace

The Royal Botanic Gardens

Take advantage of the family-focused adventures on offer at the Royal Botanic Gardens. The fun and educational school holiday activities range from storytelling and insect hunting, to creative arts and crafts, as well as tours discovering Australia's edible plants.