Did you know you can do a free guided walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney? Each day from 10.30 am until noon, and from March until November, 1-2pm weekdays (except public holidays). It’s an easy walk around the Garden, but wearing comfortable walking shoes is recommended. The walk begins from the Information Booth at the Garden Shop. Bookings are not essential, except where an organised group is involved.
On Wednesday, Friday and Saturdays at 10 am there are also tours which explore plant uses, culture, artefacts and tasting of some bush foods under the supervision of an Aboriginal guide.
Should you prefer to explore the gardens at your own pace, be sure to include the Tropical Horticultural garden near Mrs Macquaries Road which is at its best during summer and autumn. The Glasshouse, Fernery and Palm Grove are not to be missed, and the Ponds are abundant with beauty and local bird life from late December to mid March.
There used to be a very large colony of flying fox (large fruit bats) in the gardens, but this has been greatly reduced due to recent efforts to relocate them. Garden management complained that 47 important trees had been killed by the bats, and another 300 trees were at risk. Playing loud, industrial noises to disturb their sleep seemed to do the trick, and the vast majority of the bats relocated themselves – many to the nearby Centennial Park. For more information about the Royal Botanic Garden click here…
The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden at Mount Tomah also provides free guided walks through the gardens most days at 11.30 am. Organised groups should pre-book, and they will be rewarded with an expert who offers a personalised sensory feast of the Garden’s seasonal highlights. There is a small cost involved for organised tours, but it is well worthwhile.
Plants are grouped in this Garden. There are Southern Hemisphere Woodlands, North American Woodlands, Conifer forests, a Bog Garden, Rainforest, Rhododendron garden, Proteaceae feature garden, traditional European style garden, Heath and Heather Garden and a Formal Garden wherein you will find a large collection of modern and heritage roses, and a Rosarium.
Special interest groups are catered for, using an experienced guide with the relevant specialised horticultural knowledge. These need to be booked in advance. Self-guided audio tours for adults are available for a small fee, and children may purchase a kit from the Visitor Centre to make their visit more hands-on and enjoyable. More information can be obtained from their website.