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The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney

When: All year round
Price: Free

Sydney’s magnificent Royal Botanic Garden

Founded in 1816, is the oldest scientific institution in Australia and one of the most important historic botanical institutions in the world. Its stunning position on Sydney Harbour is only a 25 minute tram ride on the Sydney Light  Rail from our Sydney Lodges properties, the Royal Botanic Garden is well worth your time when in Sydney.

Every month the curators put together a list of What’s blooming this month to encourage visitors to specific gardens depending upon season and/or productivity.

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.  There are also Indigenous Tours to learn the history of the Gadigal people and how they cultivated and lived on this land, including tasting Aboriginal bush foods.
  • 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.

The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney packs wholesome natural beauty and a great ambience for relaxation as well as education. Pack a book, a picnic, sketch book or journal, some headphones and lay in the sun taking in views of Farm Cove on Sydney Harbour, directly next to the 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 including the Domain and the Art Gallery of NSW.

For a truly unique Aussie experience, go for a dip or swim some laps at the Andrew ‘Boy’ Charlton Pool, (aka ABC Pool) a heated 8-lane 50m salted water pool right on the harbour overlooking the Navy (HMAS Kuttabul) and Woolloomooloo.  Once a working-class neighbourhood and wharf, the suburb is now home to a number of waterside apartments, restaurants, cafes, galleries and pubs to drop in and sit for a rest or dine out before heading back to your room at Sydney Lodges.

The Royal Botanic Garden is open from 7:00 a.m. every day, and closes from between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 depending on the season. The surrounding Domain parkland, however, remains open for enjoyment all day and night, every day.


Our Randwick properties are conveniently located to the gardens, take public transport (Light Rail) to Circular Quay and then it’s a short walk over the hill or past the Opera House to the Gardens. If you want to just relax and enjoy a train trip around the Gardens, the mini train can be booked and starts at the Opera House Gates.