Parks and Gardens in NSW
Regional NSW is scattered with parks, gardens and reserves, meaning a place to have a picnic, take a hike, or simply relax is often around the corner. Go in search of jacarandas, spend the night in a vast cool climate garden, stroll through UNESCO World Heritage rainforest reserves and join in the fun at dedicated garden festivals.
Jacaranda season in NSW
During October and November, parts of NSW explode into a sea of purple as the iconic jacaranda trees come into flower. One of the best places to see them is Grafton, where petals from more than 2,000 jacarandas carpet the streets. Don’t miss the annual Jacaranda Festival, the oldest flora festival in Australia, in November.
Gardens in the Blue Mountains
Tramp around the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah and you'll find hundreds of cool climate plant species and a grove of ancient Wollemi pines. There is an award-winning cafe in the garden, as well as free guided walks and a discovery centre about the early botanist explorers.
The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area is another scenic spot to indulge your love of nature. Enjoy enchanting vistas from the National Trust-listed Everglades Historic House and Gardens in Leura. After touring the European-style gardens, you can enjoy scones slathered in jam in the Tea Rooms.
Gardens around NSW
There are dozens of gardens with diverse landscapes across NSW. Find Australia's largest cool climate garden, Mayfield, in Oberon and stay in a pop-up glamping tent. There's also the Hunter Valley Gardens in Australia’s oldest wine region and Albury Botanic Gardens near the mighty Murray River, which has an interactive children’s garden.
The Australian Inland Botanic Gardens is near Wentworth, the historic paddle-steamer port at the confluence of the Murray and Darling rivers. Find a pocket of shade to spread a picnic blanket after exploring the pretty garden grounds, where you will encounter an extraordinary variety of native and exotic plant species.
For an outback panorama, visit the Living Desert Reserve near Broken Hill, where giant site-specific sandstone sculptures loom on the sun-blasted landscape. The serene sanctuary offers fascinating insights into Aboriginal culture. Follow the trail through the arboretum to discover blood-red Sturt desert pea wildflowers.
Garden festivals and events
You can celebrate the seasons at festivals dedicated to NSW's brilliant blooms. Expect a quilt of colours to be laid out for the annual Tulip Time Festival in Bowral each September. More than 75,000 tulips and 15,000 annuals are showcased during the festival, held in the charming Southern Highlands.
Add these garden festivals and events to your calendar include: