Parks & gardens in NSW

Regional NSW is dotted with beautiful parks, gardens and reserves. Go in search of jacarandas, spend the night in a vast cool climate garden, admire sculptures in the Outback and join in the fun at dedicated garden festivals. 



Gardens in the Blue Mountains 

Wander through the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah and you'll find hundreds of cool climate plant species and a grove of ancient Wollemi pines. Its alpine climate makes for spectacular changes in foliage throughout the year. There is café perched high above the garden, as well as free guided walks and a discovery centre about the early botanist explorers. 

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. Breenhold Gardens in Mount Wilson is open each spring and autumn, and is known for its vibrant deciduous trees, stone walled gardens, bush trails and lush lawns. Nearby, Windyridge is filled with gorgeous cool climate plants, water features and outdoor artworks. 

Gardens around NSW 

Find Australia's largest privately owned cool climate garden, the 65-hectare Mayfield, near Oberon. Festivals are held in the garden each season and you can even stay in a pop-up glamping tent. The Orange Botanic Gardens are built around the former Clover Hill farm and include the original homestead garden, an orchard, billabong, rose garden and Indigenous forest. Kids will love the adventure playground next door. 

Couple rowing in a lake at Mayfield Garden - Oberon

Mayfield Garden, Oberon

The Hunter Valley Gardens are in Australia’s oldest wine region and house multiple themed areas, like an Oriental garden, Indian mosaic garden, Italian grotto and a Storybook Garden. Regular events transform it into a winter wonderland, Christmas village and dinosaur forest throughout the seasons. The Albury Botanic Gardens near the mighty Murray River, has an interactive children’s garden. 

Near Nowra on the South Coast, Merribee is an 1850s house surrounded by ornate gardens designed as unique ‘botanical rooms’. Taste the Edible Garden, explore the Apothecary Garden (modelled on medieval monastic gardens) and inhale the fragrance of over 1,000 bushes in the Lavender Paddock. Further south, the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden contains only plants native to the region and is also home to kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas and numerous birds. 

View across to the 'Dordogne' garden at Merribee - Historic Garden Estate, Merribee

Merribee - Historic Garden Estate, Merribee - Credit: Merribee - Historic Garden Estate

The Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens are bursting with native plants and lush rainforest, feeling more like natural bushland than manicured gardens. Kids can learn about local birds by following the Story Walk, with illustrated panels set throughout the Hoop Forest. The North Coast Regional Botanic Garden in Coffs Harbour is a mix of natural forest and formal gardens that feature exotic plants, fragrant herbs, mangroves, endangered species and more. Follow one of the eight signposted walks through the gardens to learn about the region and its history. 

Red-browed Firetail Callicarpa pedunculata at Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens, Lismore

Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens, Lismore - Credit: Friends LRBG

The Cowra Japanese Garden is a little slice of Asia in the heart of regional NSW, showcasing the town’s unique connection with Japan. Opened in 1979, it has five hectares of immaculate traditional gardens, ponds full of koi and cultural experiences like bonsai workshops. Wellington is also home to a Japanese garden, the Toyama Osawano Garden. In the centre, a man made peak has water trickling down into a tranquil stream. 

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. 

Entrance to the Australian Inland Botanic Gardens, Buronga

Australian Inland Botanic Gardens, Buronga - Credit: Saunders Design Photography

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 in NSW 

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: 

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, known as the Jacaranda Capital, where petals from more than 2,000 jacarandas carpet the streets. Don’t miss the Grafton Jacaranda Festival, held in late October/early November each year. 

Discover lovely parks & gardens in NSW