Parks and reserves in NSW
Wander in the delightfully tranquil parks, gardens and reserves of Regional NSW. You’ll discover fascinating heritage such as the Dog on the Tucker Box, enjoy picnics in pretty town parks and stroll in beautiful botanical gardens. There is even a seaside UNESCO World Heritage rainforest reserve.
In the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden at Mount Tomah, on the Bells Line of Road near Sydney, are hundreds of cool-climate plant species and a grove of dinosaur trees, Wollemi pines. There is a cafe in the garden, as well as free guided walks and a discovery centre about the early botanist explorers.
The views of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area are mesmerising. Equally enchanting are the vistas from the National Trust-listed Everglades Historic House and Gardens, in Leura. After touring the traditional European-style gardens, you can savour light refreshments in the Tea Rooms.
Mayfield is another popular garden in Oberon. There are more charming gardens across NSW’s diverse landscapes. In Australia’s oldest wine region is the Hunter Valley Gardens. Near the mighty Murray River in Albury is the Albury Botanic Gardens. The kids will love the 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. The lovely garden grounds are perfect for a picnic. When exploring the gardens, you’ll encounter an extraordinary variety of native and exotic plant species.
You can enjoy festivals celebrating the vivid seasonal blooms, too. One of the biggest is the annual Tulip Time Festival in Bowral, which is only 90 minutes’ drive from Sydney. More than 75,000 tulips and 15,000 annuals blossom in a springtime sea of colour in the charming Southern Highlands town.
Under a purple canopy of the more than 2,000 Jacarandas, the Grafton Jacaranda Festival is the oldest flora festival in Australia. There are fun family activities and riverside Grafton is only a scenic drive away from the World Heritage-listed Iluka Nature Reserve, a spectacular littoral rainforest.
- Mayfield’s autumn, winter and spring festivals
- Daffodils at Rydal Festival, near Lithgow
- Bathurst Spring Spectacular, in Bathurst
- Griffith Garden Festival, in Griffith
- Crookwell Garden Festival, in Crookwell
For an outback panorama, the Living Desert Reserve near Broken Hill is striking in its beauty. Within the reserve are 12 giant sandstone sculptures and a serene sanctuary, with fascinating insights into Aboriginal culture and a trail through an arboretum and blood-red Sturt desert pea wildflowers.