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Royal Botanic Gardens

Escape Sydney’s busy downtown and enjoy the winding pathways, art installations and rose gardens of this lush haven.

Take a break from the bustle of downtown Sydney in the colorful Royal Botanic Gardens. With visually stunning flower plots, intriguing artworks spread throughout the gardens and easy access to nearby attractions, it makes a great addition to any itinerary.

Located on land that was deemed too infertile for farming, the environment is testament to the determination of 19th-century botanist Charles Fraser, who is most famous for naming thousands of Australian plants. He developed the infertile soil and collected and studied the fauna that turned the plot into a world-renowned garden. Come to see the fruits of his labor with such early plantings as the majestic Moreton Bay figs that now dominate the landscape.

Take a stroll through one of the garden’s flower exhibitions, such as the Camellia Garden that hosts many different Australian-bred species of the beautiful bloom. Don’t miss out on the Begonia Garden, where you can learn how to grow your own begonias. Walk through the Palace Rose Garden with its 1,800 roses. Signs give information on the species and benches are provided for relaxing.

See some of Australia’s most beautiful native tree life on the rainforest walk. The Palm Grove has one of Australia’s best collections of palm trees. The rare Wollemi pine and the formally manicured gardens of Government House in the gardens’ northwest are also well worth a visit.

Eat lunch at the central garden shop and restaurant.

Take a guided tour of the gardens on Monday to Friday to learn about the Aboriginal heritage of the site. Alternatively, pick up a map from the central information center and take a self-guided tour of the garden’s spectacular art installations, including the over-scaled seed sculptures by Bronwyn Oliver located near the central main pond.

The Royal Botanic Gardens are located on the Sydney Harbour, a short walk from Circular Quay in downtown. Come by ferry or catch the train to Martin Place, a 10-minute walk away from the gardens. If you come by car, pay to park in the surrounding streets.

The gardens are open daily and entry is free.

How about making your visit to Royal Botanic Gardens even more unique? Remember to try a few of these activities:

Want to know what else there is to do at this popular attraction? We suggest purchasing a Sydney, Bondi Beach & Watsons Bay Shore Excursion Tour.

For many more activities, check out our Sydney things to do page.


Guide to Exploring Royal Botanic Gardens


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Top Royal Botanic Gardens Hotel & Accommodation Deals

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Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney NZ$244
Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

176 Cumberland Street, The Rocks, NSW
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Sydney Central Business District, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Museum of Contemporary Art and Circular Quay. The Rocks Markets and Sydney Observatory are also within 10 minutes. Wynyard Station is 6 minutes by foot and Sydney Circular Quay Station is 7 minutes.

    Hyatt Regency Sydney NZ$185
    Hyatt Regency Sydney

    Hyatt Regency Sydney

    161 Sussex Street, Sydney, NSW
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Darling Harbour, this luxury hotel is steps away from Wild Life Sydney Zoo and SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium. Sydney Tower and Sydney Town Hall are also within 10 minutes. Wynyard Station is 8 minutes by foot and Town Hall Station is 9 minutes.

      Meriton Suites Sussex Street NZ$153
      Meriton Suites Sussex Street

      Meriton Suites Sussex Street

      234 Sussex Street, Sydney, NSW
         
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Darling Harbour, this luxury aparthotel is within a 5-minute walk of Sydney Town Hall and Queen Victoria Building. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and Sydney Tower are also within 10 minutes. Town Hall Station is only a 4-minute walk and Convention Light Rail Station is 9 minutes.

        Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour NZ$187
        Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour

        Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour

        100 Murray Street, Sydney, NSW
           
          4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Darling Harbour, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Australian National Maritime Museum and Sydney Lyric Theatre. International Convention Centre Sydney and SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium are also within 15 minutes. Pyrmont Bay Light Rail Station is only a 4-minute walk and Exhibition Light Rail Station is 6 minutes.

          InterContinental Sydney NZ$237
          InterContinental Sydney

          InterContinental Sydney

          117 Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW
             
            5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Sydney Central Business District, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Circular Quay, Government House and Sydney Opera House. Royal Botanic Gardens and The Rocks Markets are also within 15 minutes. Sydney Circular Quay Station is only a 4-minute walk and Martin Place Station is 8 minutes.

            Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney NZ$196
            Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney

            Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney

            11 Jamison Street, Sydney, NSW
               
              5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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              The Fullerton Hotel Sydney NZ$195
              The Fullerton Hotel Sydney

              The Fullerton Hotel Sydney

              1 Martin Place, Sydney, NSW
                 
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Sydney Central Business District, this luxury hotel is steps away from Castlereagh Street and Pitt Street Mall. Sydney Tower and Martin Place are also within 5 minutes. Martin Place Station is only a 3-minute walk and Wynyard Station is 6 minutes.

                Swissotel Sydney NZ$218
                Swissotel Sydney

                Swissotel Sydney

                68 Market Street, Sydney, NSW
                   
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  This family-friendly Sydney hotel is located in the business district, steps away from Westfield Shopping Centre, Sydney Tower and Queen Victoria Building. Strand Arcade and The Galeries are also within 5 minutes. Town Hall Station is only a 4-minute walk and St. James Station is 5 minutes.