Historic, picturesque, and relaxing, the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens cover 74 acres (30 hectares) running along the harbor from the Sydney Opera House to Woolloomooloo. A true inner-city oasis, the gardens combine exotic plantings from Europe, tropical rainforest, woodland, flowers, grasses, the Indigenous First Encounters garden, and rare horticultural exhibits. A program of events includes activities, workshops, courses and lectures, plus there are entertaining guided walks throughout the year.
The gardens are laced with leafy walkways and harbor lookouts, and they also boast a fernery, camellia garden, palm grove, and herb garden. For a walk through history, the Mrs Macquaries Bushland Walk traces a path along the coast, re-creating the landscape as it appeared when the early settlers arrived in Sydney in the early 19th century. Don't forget to stop off at Mrs Macquarie's Chair, a bench carved out of sandstone, to get amazing views of the Sydney Harbour.
Kiosks, cafes, and restaurants within the gardens offer refreshments, snacks, and meals.
Alongside the gardens, you will also find the Government House, the official house of the Governor of New South Wales. Don't miss out on this historic site built between 1837 and 1843.
Surrounding the gardens is an unfenced parkland known as The Domain. In colonial times, the Governor used this land as a buffer between his private residence and the local people of the colony. Nowadays, this open space is host to local festivals and celebrations, and is a popular spot for local recreational activities.
The Botanical Gardens flank Macquarie St in the city centre, on the eastern edge of Sydney Cove. The gardens are well served by public transport, with the Martin Place train station and Circular Quay buses and ferries just a short walk away.
The main gates leading into the gardens are close to the Conservatorium and Government House.