Sprawling over 34 hectares, The Domain is a venue for large-scale outdoor events, open-air concerts, and other public gatherings. Located within the traditional land of the Cadigal people, the area was established by the First Fleet as a farm for growing grain in 1788. Over time, The Domain has become one of Sydney’s most loved green areas, used every day by many Sydneysiders and visitors for sport and leisure. The main part of the parkland takes in the peninsula on the eastern flank of the Royal Botanic Garden.
Founded in 1816, this gem is the oldest botanical garden in Australia. A walk through the Royal Botanic Garden will bring you up close to an outstanding collection of flora from all over the world - with a little extra emphasis on species from Oceania.
Only a 3 kilometre walk from our Kings Cross and Potts Point properties, the Royal Botanic Garden is well worth your time when in Sydney.
Leading attractions at the Royal Botanic Garden
Every bit of this garden stands out, and every visit brings with it a new discovery. However, we think these handpicked delights are a must-see when visiting the Royal Botanic Garden for the first time.
- The 1885 Glasshouse (Latitude 23 )
This house will blow you away with its collection of begonias, hoyas, and orchids, flowering amongst tropical plants with their abundant foliage. Even more captivating is the fernery, which displays over 200 species of ferns inside just one single garden. The Glasshouse itself is a stunning piece of architecture and worthy of marvelling at on its own, as well.
- Palm Grove
A lush area of the garden where you will find more than 300 species of palm. Almost all of these species are now extremely rare. They exist amongst a collection of Australian rainforest trees that were planted in the early 1800s, including an Australian conifer holding the record of being the Royal Botanic Garden’s tallest tree.
- Wollemi Pine
If you haven’t heard of the Wollemi Pine, it’s an incredible tale. The Wollemi Pine is a variety of a southern hemisphere conifer that was once very common in Gondwanaland. It’s basically a dinosaur tree that was rediscovered in 1994 by David Noble in Sydney’s Wollemi National Park. A must-see simply due to its odd-looking features, let alone its history.
- Cadi Jam Ora: First Encounters
This 52-metre garden display interprets the Aboriginal history of the Royal Botanic Garden. Lying amongst native vegetation - some as old as 200 years - this award-winning garden display has stories telling of the first encounters between European settlers and Indigenous communities in Australia.
- The Calyx
This architectural space is a hub of activity, offering an exciting range of events, workshops, exhibitions, and concerts in the heart of the Royal Botanic Garden.
Attractions close to Royal Botanical Garden, Sydney
The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney packs wholesome natural beauty and a great ambience for relaxation as well as education. Pack a book, a picnic, a journal, or just some headphones, and lay in the sun taking in views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Once you’ve had a good rest and plenty of one-on-one time with nature, you can stroll to one of these nearby attractions for more good times:
- The Art Gallery of NSW
A short stroll away from the Royal Botanic Gardens is the Art Gallery of NSW. One of Australia’s largest art galleries, the Art Gallery of NSW is Sydney’s most important gallery and home to a great collection of Australian art (ranging from settlement to contemporary), European art, and Asian art, with a dedicated Asian Gallery. Entry to the Art Gallery of NSW is free, and temporary exhibitions are often in place, with events occasionally running.
On the other side of the Royal Botanic Garden, behind the Art Gallery of NSW, lies the suburb of Woolloomooloo. Once a working-class neighbourhood and wharf, the suburb is now home to a number of waterside apartments and small cafes and pubs. For a truly unique experience, go for a dip at the Andrew ‘Boy’ Charlton Pool, a heated salt-water pool that sits right next to the Royal Botanic Gardens and Sydney harbour.
Distance to Royal Botanical Garden from Randwick or Potts Point
If you’re looking for hotels near the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, our properties in Kings Cross and Potts Point make for a fantastic base. Located within walking distance to the Royal Botanic Gardens, a comment we often receive on TripAdvisor is how much our guests enjoyed the long stroll through this picturesque garden.
Just 3 kilometres away from the gardens, our Potts Point properties are a prime accommodation spot to enjoy this delightful spot. It’ll take you less than 10 minutes to reach the gardens via taxi - but if you’re up for it, then we definitely suggest taking the longer but more worthwhile walk.
If you want to stay closer to Randwick, and Sydney’s Eastern Suburb beaches, our Randwick properties are about 9 kilometres away from the gardens. This translates to about 15 minutes of travel time on a car, and around 40 minutes by bus. What you lose in proximity to lush gardens and rare palms, you’ll gain in proximity to glimmering beaches.
Royal Botanic Garden opening times
The gardens are open from 7:00 a.m. every day, and close from between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 depending on the season. The surrounding parkland, however, remains open for enjoyment all day and night, every day.