Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. Botanic Garden in New South Wales, Australia

Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney

Botanic Garden in New South Wales, Australia

Farm gardens Photo © CHRIStophe Robert HERVOUËT

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Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney

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Bartlettina sordida - Royal
	Botanic Gardens Sydney
Bartlettina sordida - Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. Photo by David Midgley
The Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney are located in the heart of the city. The entrance to the gardens lies right next to the iconic Sydney Opera House and a short distance from Circular Quay, Sydney’s main transportation hub. The Royal Botanic Gardens are one of three public botanical gardens in Sydney.

These 30-hectare green gardens are situated between the stunning Sydney Harbour and the eastern parts of the Central Business District. The southern border of the gardens is Cahill Expressway, while the northern end is marked by Farm Cove in Sydney Harbour. Gently sloping hills are the setting of many different themed gardens. The extensive lawns are nice places to relax, read, or have a picnic. The views from the top of the hill are fabulous and take in a large part of the harbor, including the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. A walkway runs along the waterfront and also offers spectacular harbor views. This is a popular path among joggers and people walking their dogs.

The Royal Botanic Gardens are an excellent, green place to get away from the rush of city life and enjoy the greenery. They are open every day of the year from 7 AM to sunset.

Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens -
	Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens - Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. Photo by Matt Chan

History

Lotus - Royal Botanic Gardens
	Sydney
Lotus - Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. Photo by David Midgley
Farm Cove, the northern border of the Royal Botanic Gardens, was the location of the very first farm in Australia. It was established by Governor Phillip in 1788. The farm didn't last though, but the land has remained in cultivation ever since.

Another governor, Governor Macquarie, chose this part of land as the site of the Governor’s Domain in 1816. He established the Botanic Gardens in a section of this domain. The first colonial botanist was hired in 1817 and so began the study of plants in Australia. As a result, the Botanic Gardens are the country’s oldest scientific institution. Between 1862 and 1883, the gardens even had their own zoo, Sydney’s first.

In 1879 , the Garden Exhibition Palace was built, a fantastic example of Victorian architecture. It was an enormous building that covered more than two hectares and was a prominent landmark in the skyline of Sydney. The palace was the setting for the International Exhibition which drew in more than a million visitors. Unfortunately, the magnificent building was devastated by a fire in 1882.

The title ‘royal’ was added in 1957 and the official name became Royal Botanic Gardens. Other public gardens were opened in the 1980s and 1990s and now the Royal Botanic Gardens, as well as the two other major botanic gardens in Sydney, and The Domain are managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust.

The Domain still exists and consists of 34 hectares of unfenced, open park space. It adjoins the Royal Botanic Gardens and is open to the public 24 hours per day. This is the location of many of Sydney’s largest events and festivals.

Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens -
	Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens - Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. Photo by Matt Chan

Fauna and Flora

Playing with macro - Royal
	Botanic Gardens - Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
Playing with macro - Royal Botanic Gardens - Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. Photo by natalieingram
Being such a large, green area within a major city, the Royal Botanic Gardens provide an urban refuge for many animals. Visitors can spot several bird species, as well as run into the occasional spider, snake, frog, lizard, or possum.

The gardens are most famous for their colonies of Grey-Headed Flying Foxes. These bats can be seen resting and hanging from tree branches throughout the day. The Flying Fox colony has up to 22,000 individuals at its seasonal peak. The bats are most impressive around dusk, when they fly out by the thousands to feed on insects. However, the bats also cause serious damage to trees and other plants in the Royal Botanic Gardens and the management is considering moving the colony to other areas in Sydney.

Royal Botanic Gardens IMG_8392 - Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
Royal Botanic Gardens IMG_8392 - Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. Photo by OZinOH

Visiting the Royal Botanic Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens are free to visit and are open to the public from 7 AM until sunset. The main entrance lies next to the Sydney Opera House and a few minutes’ walk from Circular Quay, which has a train and bus station, and a ferry terminal.

Playing with macro - Royal
	Botanic Gardens - Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
Playing with macro - Royal Botanic Gardens - Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. Photo by natalieingram
There is a visitor center in the botanic gardens; the Palm Grove Centre lies in the heart of the gardens and has a shop, toilets, visitor information, and a restaurant and café. Visitors could spend an entire day or more walking around the gardens and seeing all the different plant collections and buildings. There even is a trackless train that runs through the garden and transports people between themed gardens. Examples of those fascinating gardens are the Herb Garden, Rainforest Walk, Succulent Garden, Pioneer Garden, and Palm House. There are many, many more though.

Similar Landmarks

There are wonderful botanic gardens in every major city in Australia; Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, and Perth all have their own botanic garden, offering a green escape to city dwellers.

The two other botanical gardens in Sydney are Mount Annan Botanic Garden (Wikipedia Article) and Mount Tomah Botanic Garden, and The Domain adjoins the Royal Botanic Gardens.

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Author: bramreusen. Last updated: Feb 08, 2015

Pictures of Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney

Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens - Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens - Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. Photo by Matt Chan

Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens - Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens - Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. Photo by Matt Chan

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