Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney

> > Relax and learn in Sydney's Royal Botanic Garden

The Royal Botanic Garden has a stunning location: it is right in the heart of City, next to the Opera House and connected through a walkway to the other recreational parkland, the Domain.

The oldest botanic garden in Australia was established in Sydney in 1816.

Over 3,500,000 people go through its beautiful coastal setting each year to either relax, exercise, breathe fresh air, enjoy the display of flowers and its growing collection of plants, attend open air opera shows, watch movies or walk along the shore and admire the city skyline and the mighty opera building.

People go there for leisure and knowledge. The garden is also a scientific institution and a learning, research and botanical art hub.

entrance of Royal Botanic Garden, Shakespeare Place Sydney

Entry to the Royal Botanic Garden from Shakespeare Place with the NSW State Library in the background

What to do in Sydney's botanic garden?

Open every day, with free access it is no wonder so many people visit.

It is a great place to go during lunch time for city workers. It is an even greater spot to celebrate weddings. With breathtaking views, luscious greenery and elegant artworks people come to celebrate their special day. 

sydney opera house and bridge view from the botanic garden

You don't have to get married to hire a lawn or pavilion at the garden. An anniversary, party or picnic is a good excuse to spend time with friends and family and smell the roses while you are there.

Botanic garden Sydney lawn

And if you want to know more about the garden, its past and its plants enlist the help of a volunteer. There are free guided tours every day.

Or take the choo choo express for a ticketed train scenic tour.

Not keen to join a tour? Pick a map at the information booth and walk on your own. 

train scenic tour of the royal botanic gardens

If you want to get very close to the garden's rich aboriginal heritage, book a ticketed aboriginal tour and learn about bush tucker and aboriginal culture.

Woccanmagully, the aboriginal name of the site, became Farm Cove, when the first settlers tried to grow grain and establish a farm. Unsuccessfully.  

re-creating a settlers' veggie patch - sydney botanic garden

Above is a re-creation of the farm the early settlers tried to set up on-site.

Governor Macquarie established it as a botanic garden in 1816 after finalising the construction of a road that loops around the the tip of Woolloomoolooo Bay, up towards Mrs Macquarie's Point, and down towards Farm Cove.

Mrs Macquaries road

This is how the road looks like today, with gorgeous city views.

The name of the road?

Mrs Macquarie of course.

Because she loved walking to the point and sitting on a rock chair that also bears her name and that has become famous for its spectacular views.

Mrs Macquaries chair
view from Mrs Macquarie's chair

From its humble beginnings as a farm, the Royal Botanic Garden has evolved into an important source of knowledge about plant species, local and acclimatised, soil and water adequacy as well as landscaping techniques.  

herbs section of the botanic garden

It used to be Sydney's first zoo with an aviary. It is not a zoo any longer. Today the water birds are roaming freely and they are aplenty around the ponds and creeks that are part of the garden's ecosystem.

sydney botanic garden pond

In 2016 the garden celebrates is 200th birthday.

sydney botanic garden celebrates 200 years in 2016

The Calyx - green art

As part of the anniversary a new exhibition centre was established. The Calyx is a green art gallery built to entice people to explore and connect with the environment. With continuously changing botanical exhibitions that target our sensory perception, the Calyx is the place to visit and feel part of the nature.

the calyx centre at the sydney botanic garden
green exhibition at the calyx

There are many events happening in the garden, from art exhibitions or classes, to science lectures to craft workshops to community gardening and so much more. Just visit and you'll be overwhelmed with what's on offer.

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