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Royal Botanic Gardens

  • Things to do
  • Sydney
  1. People riding bikes Royal  Botanic Gardens Sydney
    Photograph: Brian Yap
  2. Royal  Botanic Gardens Sydney
    Photograph: Ronald Woan

Time Out Says

Thought to be one of the oldest public gardens in the Southern Hemisphere, Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens date back to 1810 when Governor Lachlan Macquarie and his wife had a vision for an "English parkland setting with a grand house". Over the years, this 30-hectare oasis has withstood fires, cattle grazing, invasions of flying foxes, a windmill, an aviary, and even a zoo. Today, save a few sulphur-crested cockies, it's an oasis of calm in an urban jungle.

If it's not raining, rug-up and take a free guided walk through the gardens...which should help all you urbanites to separate your Begonias from your Camellias. Although, as this month heralds the peak flowering season for banksias, you might find yourself becoming familiar with some native species as part of the Bountiful Banksias tour. Alternatively, if it's a wet weekend, warm up over brunch at the Botanic Gardens Restaurant, where you can watch the rain pour down whilst cradling your steaming cup of coffee. Exquisite.

Best For... Amateur botanists, hippy nature lovers & anyone in need of a break from the city.

Worst For... Couch potatoes.

Tours from 10.30am, daily. Free entry.


Mrs Macquaries Rd
Opening hours:
Daily 7am-5pm (or later some months)

What's On

Transformation: Art in the Recycle

After a successful online showing in August, Transformation: Art in the Recycle is now officially opening to the public on December 11 at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. Presented by the Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens, it will shine a light on the ever-increasing amount of waste that is polluting the environment.  Bringing together the works of more than 30 innovative artists and sculptors, the exhibition features everything from jewellery and textiles to homewares and custom-made couture. It will showcase treasures once lost and now found, as well as intricate pieces crafted from recycled materials like glass, paper, metal and rubber. Standout works include Jody Graham’s powerful renderings of birds, which were drawn using charred sticks from the 2020-2021 bushfires, and Dave Smith’s set of usable bowls, knife handles and chopping boards, all constructed from rescued skateboards. And don’t miss the 3D-printed works (made using filament from recycled materials) by associate professor Tim Schork and his students from the department of design, technology and architecture at UTS. When viewing the pieces you’ll be able to learn more about the artists and their reuse and recycle initiatives, which may even inspire you to make a few changes in your own day-to-day routine. A share of the proceeds from the exhibition will go towards supporting the featured artists and also funding the horticulture, conservation, scientific research and education programs within the Bo

The Point at the Royal Botanic Garden

  • Fireworks

Looking for a New Year’s Eve event for you and your mates without any kids running about? You've come to the right place, friend. The Point at The Royal Botanic Gardens is an 18+ harbourfront feast firing up style and epic views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Did someone say prime vantage point of the fireworks? You betcha.  For starters, you’ll get exclusive access to a premium waterside location at Fleet Steps with a range of seating options. Also included in the ticket price of $385 per person is a fun and festive dinner offering, including entree, main, and dessert. Think gourmet cheese plates to start, then grazing stations with mouthwatering paella, gnocchi, dumplings, and churros, followed by roving choc-tops and salted popcorn for dessert.  But it doesn’t stop there. Dance your way into 2022 to the live DJs and musicians laying down some tunes at The Point. And there will of course be licensed bars onsite to buy bevies from. Book online here. 

Bridgeview at the Royal Botanic Garden

  • Fireworks

If you're not gazing in awe at Sydney's world-famous fireworks at midnight, are you even doing New Year's Eve? But worry not, there's no fear of missing out on those revered pyrotechnics at Bridgeview at the Royal Botanic Garden. For just $260 per person, enjoy one of the closest locations you can get to the iconic fireworks display for one of the lowest ticket prices in town. For starters, you’ll get exclusive access to Tarpeian Lawn where you can set up a picnic rug with your nearest and dearest. You’ll also get a gourmet picnic hamper included with your ticket, comprising of a bottle of water, an entree of caramelised onion, manchego, and heirloom tomato tartlet, the main course of harvest fresh salad with smoky BBQ corn fed chicken breast, a decadent White Chocolate & raspberry brownie for dessert, then hummus & smokey paprika with toasted Kurrajong kitchen lavosh as a snack, and a delicious late-night supper of Gippsland aged cheddar, Tasmanian Brie, crackers, and quince paste. There are also vegetarian options to choose from. The relaxed harbourfront location will also be jam-packed full of festivities throughout the evening, with plenty of live entertainment and also a licensed bar to buy drinks from. So what are you waiting for? Gather the squad for a hassle-free, affordable New Year's Eve. Book online here.

Lawn with the View at Bennelong Lawn

  • Fireworks

Huddled between The Sydney Opera House and Government House, Bennelong Lawn offers prime views of the dazzling midnight fireworks in a family-friendly setting. For $250 per person (plus booking fee), not only will you get an exclusive spot to watch the fireworks display with your nearest and dearest, but you’ll also get a gourmet hamper filled with savoury and sweet treats to snack on (vegetarian and other dietary requirement options available). And compared to many of the other NYE parties in the vicinity, this is one of the most affordable options out there. There will also be a licensed bar on-site selling a variety of beverages and snacks, so you won't need to BYO much for this NYE experience, except for yourself, your low chairs and picnic rugs, and your optimism for a year ahead we hope is a helluva lot better than the one just past. Secure your spot now via Ticketbooth

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