Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens

‘Have you ever noticed that botanical gardens often make you think of Paradise?”  Francis Halle French botanist 2004

Welcome to the Royal Sydney Botanic Gardens, a little piece of paradise in Australia’s largest city.

….who would be anywhere else on a lovely summer’s day?

Sydney Harbour, Royal Botanic Gardens, Harbour Bridge

The Royal Botanic Gardens were established in 1816 and cover an area of 30 hectares along the foreshore of Sydney harbour.

Plants, lawns, trees and bush line the edge of the city right up to the Opera House and give views of the Harbour Bridge.

Can you imagine trying to preserving that amount of prime land for the public today?

Salute to our visionary forebears!

The Gardens are home to nearly 9000 plant species from all over the world, with a focus on Australia and the South Pacific.

A sign near the sculptures says…

‘ Before European settlement this foreshore was a mud flat. Seeds, flotsam were washed up by waves. Ships arrived in the tide in 1788 and crops were planted soon after. This area has been dedicated ever since to the introduction and propagation of plants reflecting the changing culture and horticultural needs of the day.”

Palm by Bronwyn Oliver







Magnolia by Bronwyn Oliver

These sculptures symbolise the seeds washed up by the tide, blown by the wind, eroded by the water, and laden with potential for vigour and transformation.

The huge older trees, like this fig tree have been given space and time to grow, and now they provide plentiful shade in summer. (They say the shade of a big tree is worth one air-conditioner)

The flowers of the mature Magnolia trees are magnificent at this time of the year.


This tropical garden has lush colourful foliage, and flamboyant flowers and plants…orchids, hibiscus, palm….sensory overload while I sit nearby drinking iced coffee!




Our home in Canberra, a four hour drive away, is a world away in terms of  plants and climatic conditions. We have hot dry summers and cold, frosty winters. The Sydney climate of long humid summers and mild winters is a big contrast.


The Botanic Gardens provide habitat for wildlife….colourful birds, fruit bats and water dragons..



Rainbow Lorikeet

The Herb gardens, not far from the city streets, have blossoming herbs, sunflowers and all kinds of bee attracting flowers…

…what a bonus to have so much variety in such a big bustling city…




This beautiful sundial was fascinating for tourists and especially children…..imagine the sun directing our time rather than our Iphones ….incredible!

I love visiting big cities like Sydney…but, thank goodness for gardens like this glorious one…..

I return to my favourite quote….(one day I will find out who wrote it..)

”when the world wearies, and society does not satisfy, there is always the garden”

Salute again to those generous forebears who had the wisdom and energy to started this wonderful garden… for everyone.

Copyright Geraldine Mackey All Rights Reserved




26 Replies to “Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens”

  1. What a wonderful place, I well remember it from visits to Sydney over the years. Rainbow Lorikeets are also another distant memory from the 50s.

    1. They are beautiful birds, but not well liked by locals because they are very assertive and always get food before other birds. (but I like them!)

    1. I feel sorry for you! I will be looking out for some summer posts from you in our winter… what a challenge winter is!

    1. Yes… I think you & Judy would love it.. So much diversity. And today greedy developers would be doing deals for this land.

  2. Those beautiful lorikeets are certainly the party animals in my garden! They swoop in every day and disturb the equilibrium of all the other birds just peacefully going about their business. When they have stirred everyone up – they swoop off again.

  3. What a lovely piece of gardening heaven. The flowers are gorgeous, the sculptures amazing, and, well, you knew you’d get me with the colorful birds. Yes, a big thank you to the forwarding thinking people who set this area aside to be admired and enjoyed by many. Thank you for the tour. 🙂

    1. Lovely! I’ll spend some time looking at her details and quotes…thanks.
      Have you got a new blog site? wasn’t sure if I got your most recent post.

    2. If you would like more information about Minnie Aumonier (English writer and artist; 1865-1952), I have a Facebook page, ‘M. Aumonier – Minnie’, where I share all the information I have found about her, including her books, poems and paintings.

  4. It was simply lovely reading this, I spent many days walking around these gardens five years ago, and had me a picnic under that fig tree, I remember a huge banyan tree too. I’m so glad these gardens were created, lucky you getting to visit! xxx

  5. What a beautiful Botanic Garden, Gerrie. The Lorikeet is so gorgeous. I remember seeing them when we visited Kuranda Village in the rainforest in Cairns. One came and perched on hubby’s shoulder. 🙂 Lovely photos.

    1. Thanks Sylvia, the Lorikeets are so colourful, but locals tell us that they are very bossy with other birds, but still great for Photographers!

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