There's no shortage of ways to get outside in Sydney. From harborside nature reserves to lovingly landscaped royal gardens and postmodern playgrounds, an inviting green space is never far away in the Australian capital. Here are our top picks.
Australia's oldest public park, this is a favorite refuge for city dwellers looking for a break from the bustle of Sydney’s central business district. Tree-lined avenues and ample lighting make it a great spot for a stroll from dawn to dusk, while an ANZAC memorial and St. Mary’s Cathedral across the street add a dose of culture.
A favorite with families, this circular park on Darling Harbor is a great stop for all ages to burn off some energy, with picnic areas, challenge courses, and a playground anchored by a giant spider web climbing structure. On hot days, bring swim gear and let the kids splash around in interactive water features, or visit at night to frolic among illuminated fountains and sculptures.
A newer addition to Sydney’s green spaces, this sustainably landscaped park on the Sydney Harbor headlands pays tribute to Australia’s indigenous heritage with Aboriginal cultural markers and terraced gardens made from locally quarried sandstone and native plant species. Check event listings to see what's happening at the Cutaway cultural space beneath the reserve.
The sheer size of this sprawling green space makes you forget you're in the middle of a major city. Walking paths lace across grassy meadows perfect for pick-up ball games, and multiple lakes provide a home for more than 140 different species of birds. Bring your binoculars and some breadcrumbs and spend a peaceful morning bird-watching.
Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
For a fragrant respite near Sydney Harbour, pop into these 200-year-old gardens planted with native Australian and exotic species. Kids will delight in a ride on the Choo Choo Express train, while Aboriginal walking tours offer insight into indigenous experiences.