Blue Mountains Botanic Garden (around 90 minutes from Sydney CBD) was one of the first places we visited after the lockdown restrictions were eased in the state of NSW. We were longing to get some fresh air but wanted to pick a place that wasn’t crowded and also friendly for elderly parents. The garden is located in Mount Tomah and was perfect for nature lovers like us.
This is the only botanic garden in Australia which is located in a UNESCO world heritage area. The garden is built along the mountainside from where you can see stunning views of the valley.
We started from home at around 10 am and reached the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden in an hour. Surprisingly, the parking area was very busy and we were very lucky to find a spot at the last level of car parking. Since the garden is humongous in size, the place wasn’t too crowded. We could leisurely walk along the path, admiring the beautiful and unique flowers that had bloomed in the season.
The garden is separated into different feature gardens where plants belonging to similar species are grouped together.
Proteas – These are now my new favorite flowers. Proteas are native to South Africa, but a lot of flowers from the Protea family grow in Australia. They have an interesting history too. Billions of years ago, Australia and Africa were a part of a continent called Gondwana. When the continent split, over time Australia produced other varieties of Protea.
I had only seen Proteas as small shrubs or a single plant before, but when I came across this massive bush of huge Protea blooms, I couldn’t contain my excitement. Neither could anyone passing by this spectacular foliage. Also, it was wonderful to watch everyone admiring these flowers without touching or harming them in any way.
A delightful bunch of Golden Guinness Everlasting flowers looking bright and happy.
These massive Aloe and Aeonium plants looked magnificent as they towered over the visitors.
We thoroughly enjoyed walking along the well-maintained pathways, surrounded by such rich and diverse flora. In addition, this was the first time I could closely admire so many Australian native plants in one place.
Banksia – These stunning brush-like flowers are native to Australia and very popular in the Australian landscape. Banksia genus has around 170 species in the Proteaceae plant family. You can find a wide variety of Banksia flowers – in different colors and shapes.
I believe these are Eucalyptus bush (correct me if I am wrong). They look like tiny bells and I absolutely loved the color. My mil and I spent considerable time around this, admiring and trying to find out what they were.
Sharing more photos from the garden below
Check out the beautiful landscaping. All around the garden you can see similar landscape designs with different species of plants.
This uniquely Australian hardy Blue Grass tree was as tall as me. We found it while walking back to the car park.
Unfortunately, the restaurant was closed due to the pandemic so we couldn’t grab a bite. It would have been wonderful to sit here and enjoy the view of the valley. But we had packed a picnic, so we laid down our mat in the garden and had homemade paratha and upma.
TIP – There are very few restaurants and cafe in this mountainous area, do carry water or snacks
We visited the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden at the beginning of the Australian winter. Some parts of the garden still carried the last of the Autumn leaves. Since we couldn’t travel anywhere during Autumn, I was really happy to see these bright colors.
The area was badly impacted during the bushfire earlier this year when potions of the forest were burnt and numerous wildlife was lost. During this visit, it was really heartening to see nature claiming back what it had lost. The green growth against the black trunks and branches looked beautiful and glossy against the evening light.
Ample car parking available inside the garden
Facilities – Picnic area, restaurant, and Toilet
Wheelchair and Stroller friendly
Fees apply – but since we visited after lockdown, the entry was free. Please check Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Sydney website for more information.
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