Gardens and flower shows

Take a free guided tour of Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden at 10.30am, seven days a week, and at 1pm on weekends. You’ll need to make a reservation for the Aboriginal guided tour, which starts at 10am on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. All tours depart from the Palm Grove Centre. Or visit the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan, in Sydney’s west.

Beyond Sydney there are garden and flower festivals in the NSW regions. Tulip Time in Bowral and Leura Gardens Festival are two popular events near Sydney. Also visit the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah. A cherry blossom festival is held in wine-producing Cowra in September, an hour’s drive from Orange, another wine region in country NSW.

Tulip Time, Bowral
The Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan

Enchanting botanic gardens in Sydney and NSW

Crimson and bright red waratahs and colourful kangaroo paws are among the native flora on show in public and private gardens and at flower festivals in Sydney and regional NSW. You’ll also find cool climate plants such as tulips and cherry blossom celebrated in pretty rural towns within easy travelling distance of Sydney by car or bus.

Head for the Royal Botanic Garden, near the Sydney Opera House, to see thousands of plants, many grown only in Australia, in a spectacular harbourside setting. The Palace Rose Garden alone contains about 1,800 rose bushes. The Rare and Threatened Plants Garden has plants from across the world, and Calyx has changing exhibitions to capture your imagination.

Children will delight in a ferry ride from Circular Quay to Nutcote, the charming home and garden of children’s author and illustrator May Gibbs, in Neutral Bay. Snugglepot and Cuddlepie was published in 1918 and has been enjoyed by generations of children since, and the grounds she loved and nurtured will enchant garden fans.

The Australian Garden Show is held in Sydney’s Centennial Parklands each September. The Sydney Royal Flower and Garden Show is staged at the Royal Easter Show at Sydney Olympic Park in March and April. Both events are easily reached by public transport.

Tulip Time in Bowral in the Southern Highlands takes place in September and October; cool climate flowers are displayed at Leura Gardens Festival in the Blue Mountains, also in October, and only two hours from Sydney by train. And don’t miss a visit to impressive Everglades, also in Leura, one of many splendid private gardens in the Blue Mountains that are open to the public.