Sydney’s Best Parks and Gardens

August 31, 2012 by

Best Of Lists, Free Things To Do, Sightseeing, Things To Do, Top Attractions, Travel Tips

Sydney's Chinese Garden of Friendship

Sydney’s Chinese Garden of Friendship. Photo courtesy of snabby via Flickr.

One of the brilliant features of Sydney is the integration of a number of parks and gardens within the city bounds. These sections of green act as mini getaways for those normally rushing around downtown in the daily grind. Here is a collection of some of the best parks and gardens in Sydney.

Royal Botanic Gardens and the Domain

Here you’ll feel miles away from the hustle and bustle of Sydney, but you’ll actually be right smack in the middle. The Royal Botanic Gardens and the Domain is my favorite place in Sydney city because of the quiet open space, green surrounds and a perfect view of the Sydney Opera House or Sydney Harbour, depending on where you sit. Walkers and joggers use the path along the shore as a serene place for exercise, but nothing beats wandering through the rainforest walks and catching views of the giant flying foxes hanging in the trees.

Centennial Parklands

Commonly known as Centennial Park, this 360 hectares of parkland sits a mere 3 miles (5 km) outside of the Central Business District. Filled with ponds, barbecues and picnic areas, Centennial Park provides a calm and fun hangout on most days of the week. The evenings and summer days bring a variety of acts and activities to this area, including concerts and the popular Moonlight Cinema.

Chinese Garden of Friendship

Visiting the Chinese Garden of Friendship is even more exciting than stepping foot in the Royal Botanic Gardens, not only because you feel like you’ve stepped into a secluded park right in the heart of Sydney, but also because it feels like Ancient China in every piece of its décor. From weeping willows to lotus plants and a Chinese pagoda, you just might question whether or not you’re on the south end of Darling Harbour, or in another country altogether.

Pyrmont Point Park

Located on the Sydney Harbour, this unique park, created from sustainable sources, provides a place for relaxation or exercise with panoramic views of the water and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Child sections include a playground and water features, while joggers tend to gather to the walking path on the boardwalk, but anyone looking for a relaxing visit will enjoy the park.

Royal National Park

The Royal National Park sits about an hour to the south of Sydney, but when looking for the best of the best in terms of parks, “the Royal” serves tourists very well. Chock full of secluded beaches, walking trails and of course several barbecue areas, the park has everything you need to accommodate a visit. Add to it scenery that makes even the mere act of driving through the park a day trip option, and you can’t lose. If you only have a few days in Sydney, I highly suggest the Royal National Park for a chance to get the vibe of “real” Australia.

- Brooke Schoenman

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