When in Sydney, do as the Sydney-siders do...is that the phrase? It should be, because the Royal Botanic Gardens are a staple of every Sydney-sider. It is a place to spend time with family, enjoy some peace and relaxation, and a great place for kids to learn about plants and horticulture.
The Royal Botanic Gardens are surrounded by an unfenced botanical parkland known as The Domain, which is open 24 hours a day! It has incredible views of the harbour, and is a great place for picnic and games with their vast green spaces and playing fields.
Over 30 acres are home to an outstanding collection of plants from around the world, of course with a focus on the native Australian ones, and the neighbouring South Pacific. The plant life is fragile, so kids will need to take special care, but a great learning experience on the fragility of nature.
The Royal Botanic Gardens have feature gardens within the complex, where you can see specific collections of incredible plants, such as the Rare & Threatened Plants, the Herb Garden and the Rainforest Walk.
The garden is also a haven for wildlife who call this natural setting home. Ducks, birds, and possums all love to visit, but make sure you don't feed them if you see them! They look cute but they can't process human food and it hurts their tummies. Make sure if you see frogs, snakes and spiders to just enjoy them from afar. This is Australia after all and there are some creatures not very safe, as much as they are beautiful!
If you love walking, they gardens have their own self-guided walking tours which are themed - from Aboriginal Heritage Walk to Discovering The Domain. A great way for families to enjoy the park at their own pace.
So...do what the Sydney-siders do and enjoy this beautiful park. There is so much to see and do to fill and entire day and a great way for the city to remind you how wonderful it is!
The nearest station is Martin Place. St James and Circular Quay are also very close.
There is metered parking along Mrs Macquaries Road, Hospital Road and Macquarie Street. There is also undercover parking is available at the Domain Car Park, Sydney Hospital, the Sydney Opera House and in Macquarie Street. So plenty of options!
The Palace Gate Cafe, Pavilion Restaurant and Botanic Garden Restaurants are all available to recharge your batteries, but of course it's Sydney so there are a heap of options around the city!
You can also see the gardens by Choo Choo Express, an independent company within the park but super fun!
The Gardens Shop is located in the Palm Grove Centre, open 9.30 am to 5 pm daily except Christmas Day and Good Friday.
They have a number of programs for schools so just give them a call to discuss what you need for your students and they can help you work out a plan.
There are a number of accessible entrance gates, and a number of toilets for wheelchairs. Some of the indoor and outdoor venues have accessibility but no bathrooms, so just pick up a map when you arrive or ask the lovely people who work there. Wheelchair hire is available at the Gardens Shop in Palm Grove Centre.
For parking special bays are provided near the Woolloomooloo Gate outside the Art Gallery of NSW.
The plants are delicate so kids, no climbing on or playing with the plants. They could be very rare!