Royal Botanic Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens are situated in one of Sydney's most beautiful locations

Flowers at the Royal Botanic Gardens frame the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge
Flowers at the Royal Botanic Gardens frame the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge cc licensed photo by Rê mineira

The 75 acre Royal Botanic Gardens are located on ground overlooking Farm Cove just south and east of the Sydney Opera House. These beautiful gardens are the culmination of nearly two centuries of hard work dedicated to the science of botany in Australia. The gardens are indeed the main centre for botanical sciences in Australia. Come and discover the amazing collection of plants, both native to Australia and from around the world in this magnificent setting.

The Gardens occupy the site of Australia's first farm which was started in 1788. Interestingly, due to poor soil and growing conditions, the farm was not a success, however the land continued to be cultivated. In 1816 Governor Macquarie founded the gardens as part of the Governor's domain, which later became the location of Government House. He appointed a botanist from the Colony to oversee research and develop the gardens.

The great majority of development that you see today took place under the direction of Charles Moore, a botanist from Scotland, between the years 1848 and 1896. During World War 1 and through the Great Depression, cut backs caused the gardens to regress some, however in 1959 after the gardens where designated as "Royal" they began once again to receive the attention and enhancements they deserved.

While you are welcome to explore the gardens on your own, there is a free guided walking tour every day at 10:30am and also on Monday to Friday from March through November at 1pm. These start from the information booth located just outside the garden shop at the Palm Grove Centre. You can also expect to see lots of colourful birds and wildlife in the gardens. The gardens are also a superb spot to just come and relax; a beautiful oasis from the surrounding city.

Nearby attractions: Government House, Sydney Opera House, Art Gallery of NSW, Customs House, Justice and Police Museum, and Museum of Sydney.

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: No

Currently Closed

Hours This Week:
  • Monday: 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Thursday: 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Friday: 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Saturday: 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Sunday: 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Address: Mrs Macquaries Rd, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Phone: (02) 9231 8111

Official Website: Royal Botanic Gardens

Map of nearby accommodations:


Line Nearest Station Walking Time
T2, T3 or FerryCircular Quay7 minutes
T4Martin Place3 minutes

How to get to Royal Botanic Gardens by

By Train or Ferry: exit at Circular Quay Station and proceed west on Alfred Street then left on Albert Street and right on Macquarie Street. Enter the Gardens by the horse and rider statue at Bridge Street.

By Train: exit at Martin Place and walk east through the plaza to Macquarie Street; cross over and enter the narrow walkway just to the right of the Sydney Hospital Entrance. Continue east on the walkway the the pathway into the Garden.

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Rated 4.7 out of 5Royal Botanic Gardens Star Rating

5 Star Rating Feb 20/19: It was a drizzly day and we joined a group that had a volunteer, Geoff Richards, who was exceptional in explaining the history of the many types of trees in the garden and had a very good demeanor. The tour was very educational. There were making interesting and beautiful flowers.I definitely recommend this activity for visitors.

Robin Sukhan - 2 days ago

5 Star Rating Amazing gardens, grounds and park! So beautiful with such a wide variety of Flora! Peaceful and serene with a great view of the Sydney harbor, opera and bridge from here. Lovely for an evening picnic, read a book or photographic walk. It has several long trails that you can take with spectacular views of downtown Sydney as well. The Royal Botanical Gardens are a must visit when in Sydney.

June Sasu - 9 days ago

5 Star Rating We visited the Botanic Gardens and were pleased to have a breeze accompany us on such a hot day. The trees are majestic, the views impressive and the different areas to visit are so varied. My favourite was The Calyx with The Bite Me exhibition of carnivorous plants. The display was beautiful and the backdrop planted wall quite breathtaking. The collection of waterlilies and the Japanese Gardens were a favourite spot too. There is always something to see no matter what the time of year.

Grace Gilmore - 10 days ago

5 Star Rating Stunning botanical gardens right in the heart of the city. Don’t skip them! The gift shop is full of carefully selected books about the area and local wildlife. The exhibit centre has fantastic programs on all year. You could spend 5+ hrs here wandering and still not see it all.

Jana Clark - 14 days ago

5 Star Rating What a beautiful place to visit! There were so many different places and gardens to visit. One visit is not enough. There were lots of people about enjoying themselves. The trail to the Sydney Opera house offered beautiful views of the harbor. Trails were clearly marked and provided estimated walking times. The grounds were well maintained and not a single piece of litter to be found anywhere.

VC Wolfe - 1 month ago


Sights around the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney on a beautiful sunny day

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