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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 during Summer in Sydney.

Must Do

Sydney's natural attractions

Walking through the Royal Botanic Gardens. Image James Pipino

Sydney offers you boundless opportunities to enjoy nature, whether it's picnicking near Sydney Harbour, playing cricket with friends and family, cycling through tranquil parks or simply watching the sun set.

Bordering the shores of Sydney Harbour and neighbouring the Sydney Opera House, the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Domain are set on 30 hectares. Come here to relax, learn about rare plants, spot wildlife, picnic in a shady oasis or enjoy seasonal entertainment.

People-watch in Sydney's central green space, Hyde Park, and take a breather 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, or head to Darling Harbour's serene Chinese Garden of Friendship for a dose of rich cultural history.

Sydney Harbour meanders through the heart of the city, with parks and gardens lining the foreshore. Pyrmont Point Park, at the end of Pirrama Road, is a great location to enjoy expansive harbour views, barbecues, shaded areas and a children's playground, while Headland Park at Chowder Bay has extensive bushland, with walking tracks as well as picnic spots and cafes. Nearby, Clifton Gardens in Mosman has a 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, horseriding 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 also a great place to devour fish and chips while watching the sun set over the city.

West of the CBD at Sydney Olympic Park, you'll find barbecues, picnic shelters, walking trails, cycling paths, playgrounds and fountains that are perfect for hot summer days.

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

Keeping the kids entertained is easy at one of Sydney's many family-friendly parks. Bradley's Head in Mosman is right by the harbour, while pretty Nielsen Park has a netted harbour pool and a shady park. Bicentennial Park at Homebush Bay is great for a sausage sizzle (use the free barbecue facilities on-site) or for splashing around in the water play area. And Parramatta Park has walking trails and picnic shelters.

Royal Botanic Gardens foreshore. Image Robert Wallace
Holiday fun in the Botanic Gardens

Take advantage of the family-focused adventures at the Royal Botanic Gardens, which runs a program of events for kids. The fun and educational school holiday activities range from storytelling and insect hunting to creative arts and crafts and discovering Australia's edible plants.

Gardens and parks in Sydney

Whatever gets you out into the great outdoors, whether it's a picnic on the grass, a game of cricket, a bike ride through a leafy park, Sydney and its diverse suburbs have just what you're looking for.

Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens, an oasis of 30 hectares in the heart of the city, occupies one of the city's most prominent positions next to the 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 operate at 10am on Fridays and free guided walks kick off daily at 10.30am from the Garden shop.

The harbour foreshores and islands are accessible places of secrets and mystery.Strike out by ferry or on foot to discover these parkland treasures. Pyrmont Point Park, located at the end of Pirrama Road, offers expansive water views. The award-winning sustainable design has a fantastic kids playground with water play features. Starting from Bicentennial Park and weaving around to the Sydney Fish Markets at Pyrmont, the Glebe Foreshore Walk links over 27 hectares of open space and gives visitors unimpeded public access to Rozelle Bay and Blackwattle Bay.

Australia's oldest park, Hyde Park, contains 580 mature and exotic trees, and is home to the ANZAC Memorial building. Further afield, the 640 hectare Sydney Olympic Park site along the Parramatta River centres around Lake Belvedere and Bicentennial Park is a wetland ecosystem, perfect for cyclists, joggers, dog walkers and picnickers. Centennial Parklands covers more than 360 hectares and is one of the few parks in the world to offer inner-city horse riding.