Gardens and Parks in Sydney
Sydney is a nature lover's playground. And while it's easy for glittering Sydney Harbour to steal the show, the gardens and parks that surround the city are equally awe-inspiring. Discover green parklands perfect for horse riding, pretty parks and picnic spots within World Heritage-listed convict sites.
Sydney’s signature bloom is the jacaranda. During October and November, pockets of the city explode into a sea of purple as the famous trees come into flower. View the stunning trees set against the backdrop of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, Sydney Harbour and the cobblestoned streets of The Rocks.
In the eastern suburbs, jacarandas bloom around Oxford Street, Glenmore Road and Five Ways in Paddington, as well as in the grounds of Vaucluse House. Across the bridge you’ll find Instagram-favourite McDougall Street in Kirribilli, with its splendid arch of jacarandas that creates a lavender-hued dome.
Stroll through the vast Royal Botanic Garden, curving around the harbour next to the Sydney Opera House. There are free guided walks daily, or join an insightful Aboriginal Heritage Tour and see captivating exhibitions in the Calyx. Discover a pocket of tranquillity in Darling Harbour at the Chinese Garden of Friendship.
Hyde Park is a short walk from the Botanic Garden and right next to the city centre shopping precinct. Feel the spray from the striking Archibald Fountain, then stroll under a canopy of stunning fig trees to the southern section of Hyde Park to the tree-lined Pool of Reflection, the ANZAC Memorial and bronze sculpture Sacrifice.
With its luxuriant lawns and wooded wetlands, Centennial Parklands in Sydney’s East is popular for picnics, cycling and horse riding. Catch the Rivercat from Circular Quay to the World Heritage-listed Parramatta Park, dating back to 1858. Bicentennial Park in nearby Homebush is threaded with trails for walking and cycling.
Sydney Park in St Peters covers 40 hectares of wetlands, ponds, grassy hills and shady picnic areas. It’s popular with dog walkers and has a great kids’ bike track. Barangaroo Reserve, right next to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, has unbeatable views of the harbour, smooth trails and even free wifi.
Sydney’s secret gardens
Take a ferry across Sydney Harbour to Neutral Bay where you will find Nutcote, the beautiful harbourside home of author and illustrator May Gibbs. You can also explore the famous children’s author’s enchanting garden where she was inspired to write her much-loved children's book, The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot & Cuddlepie.
Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden is an immersive oasis in Lavender Bay where you can find a quiet patch to listen to the soundtrack of chirping bids. Tucked behind Luna Park, the garden is a living artwork designed by Wendy Whitely, ex-wife and muse of late Australian artist Brett Whitely.