Royal Botanic Garden Sydney - the most important information
The Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney is a 30-hectare botanical garden, event venue and public recreation area. It is the oldest scientific institution in Australia and it is one of the most visited attractions in Sydney.
History of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
The Botanic Garden was founded in 1816 on the land where the first farm by European settlers on the Australian continent, Farm Cove, had been established. With the appointment of the first Colonial Botanist, Charles Fraser, in 1817, the collection and study of plants began. He went inland many times to bring back plants and specimens. The first 100 years of the Botanic Garden were filled with construction and expansion of Garden. However, many of the buildings and constructions haven’t survived until today, or they have been changed.
The modern form of the Botanic Gardens was developed mostly by Director Charles Moore who was in that position for 48 years. In 1972 the new Pyramid Glasshouse was built, the first of its kind in the world. It was replaced by The Calyx, a gallery and event space, in 2016. The space was built in honor of 200 years of the Botanic Garden. In 2019, the Garden appointed its first woman in the role of Executive Director, Denise Ora. Today, the Botanic Garden is one of the most visited attractions in Sydney, with over 3,5 million visitors each year.
What to see at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney?
The Royal Botanic Garden has many gardens that are worth visiting. You can also go on a tour that the Garden offers, to learn as much as you can about the gardens and the plants and to not miss a thing. Here are some of the highlights of the Royal Botanic Garden:
- The Calyx - this gallery and event space is home to one of the largest green walls in the southern hemisphere. It also has a cafe, shopping and events, and workshops.
- Aboriginal Cultural Tours - on these guided tours you will learn about the Gadigal people, the traditional owners of the Sydney city area. You will learn about the history of Warrane and the ways the plants in the Garden are used by the Gadigal.
- Australian Rainforest Garden - in this garden you will see Australia’s unique rainforest plants like Black Bean, Burdekin Plum and Pepperberry.
- Palace Rose Garden - this garden is located in a part of the old Palace Gardens. It features the Shelter Pavilion from 1897. The current rose garden is the ninth to be planted in the Garden and it was completed in 2006.
- The Palm Grove - this garden resembles a tropical jungle and the first palms were planted here in 1862. The rainforest trees that you can see are the Weeping Lillypilly, Hoop Pine, and Yellowwood, collected by Charles Fraser. The tallest tree in the gardens, a Queensland Kauri Pine, is located at the Palm Grove.
Tickets and opening hours of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
- Tickets - the entry to the Royal Botanic Garden is free.
- Opening hours - the opening hours are seasonal. The Garden is open from 7 am, while the closing time varies. You can check out the opening hours for each month on the Royal Botanic Garden official website.
How to get to the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney?
You can get to the Royal Botanic Garden by:
- Train - the nearest station is Martin Place and you can get there by T4 - South Coast Line.
- Bus - line 441 has stops at Martin Place and Circular Quay that are nearby.
- Ferry - you can get to the Garden from the Opera House Gate or the Queen Elizabeth II Gate that is a 10-minute walk away.
What should you know before visiting the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney?
Here are some things you should know before visiting the Garden:
- Pets are not allowed.
- Gas BBQs are allowed if there is no total fire ban in place.
- If you want to have a picnic with a small group, make sure that the shelter you want to use is not booked. You can also book a shelter or site if you have a larger gathering.
Royal Botanic Garden trivia
Here are some interesting facts about the Royal Botanic Garden:
- You can get married at the Garden.
- The Garden was listed as a state heritage in 1999.
- You can rent a venue at The Calyx.
- Plants at the Garden bloom all year round, so make sure you see the ones in bloom when you are visiting.