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

Open Now

Hours This Week:
  • Monday: 7:00 AM – 5:30 PM
  • Tuesday: 7:00 AM – 5:30 PM
  • Wednesday: 7:00 AM – 5:30 PM
  • Thursday: 7:00 AM – 5:30 PM
  • Friday: 7:00 AM – 5:30 PM
  • Saturday: 7:00 AM – 5:30 PM
  • Sunday: 7:00 AM – 5:30 PM

Address: Mrs Macquaries Rd, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Phone: (02) 9231 8111

Official Website: Royal Botanic Gardens


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

4 Star Rating These gardens are stunning and well worth visiting on any trip to Sydney. They have some of the most amazing views of the harbour and the Opera House. The botanical gardens are remarkably well kept with manicured lawns, amazing gardens and trees. The cafe is very good and reasonably priced. Loads of toilets and drinking fountains, it is very well serviced. Personally I preferred the botanical gardens of Melbourne, the setting and views are second to none.

Chelsea Drake - 13 days ago

5 Star Rating Beautiful garden, nice to stroll through the park, relaxing atmosphere. Even a small bar selling drinks and you can sit in a chair on the loan watching people and scenery. And of course amazing view of the opera house and Sydney downtown skyline. Definitely a place to go, either if you are visiting Sydney or living there. Don't miss beautiful sunset!

Pankaj Sarkar - 23 days ago

5 Star Rating A lot to be done and seen in the botanical gardens! Places to sit, a bar/snack shack, kids activities, and amazing views. Very clean and safe. Great view of both the opera house and the bridge. Nice boardwalk along the ocean. Popular place for runners.

Paige Smith - 29 days ago

5 Star Rating Out of all the cities in the world I’ve visited few have a botanical gardens quite like this. Ridiculously situated right on the harbor and near the Opera House and Harbor bridge it’s a real treat to walk through day or night. The gardens are filled with all the kinds of natural goodies you could wish for. It’s a peaceful and nourishing place to spend some time. A must do.

Kyle Freeman - 1 month ago


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

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