Blue Mountains Botanic Garden

Blue Mountains Botanic Garden View from Visitors Centre

Enjoy the views across the Cumberland Plain at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Visitors Centre

It never ceases to amaze me all the truly magnificent places there are to explore around Sydney. And the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden is no exception.

This amazing garden, set up a hillside, offers wonderful views, unique gardens, pavilions, walks and picnic spots. And awesomely entry to the gardens is free! 

There is 28 hectares of garden open to the public  and over 900 species of plants onsite so you can be sure to see something special. The gardens are divided into feature gardens which include a formal garden, rock garden, Brunet lawn garden, bog garden, rhododendrons, confiers and woodlands.

There is heaps of great stuff to do here, so pack a picnic, bring your walking shoes and set out on an adventure.

Read on to find out the best things to do at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden.

1. Enjoy the Daffodil Festival

Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Daffodil Festival

The mass daffodil displays at the gardens are an amazing sight

The Daffodil Festival is held each year at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden. The festival celebrates the opening of the first daffodils in the garden, as we ease out of winter and into spring. This year visitors will be able to see more than 75 daffodil cultivars.

You’ll also be able to enjoy a Daffodil Discovery Walk and a Growing Bulbs workshop.

The best place to see mass plantings of the daffodils is in the Aldred and Effie Brunet Garden. Here you will find large garden beds full of these beautiful plants. To find the garden, exit the Visitors Centre and head to your right. It is a short walk from the Visitors Centre. It is located just near the Brunet Pavillion on the gardens map.

The festival will run from 24 August to 1 September 2019.

There are over 75 cultivars of daffodils to see around the garden

2. Stop by the Visitors Centre

Blue Mountains Botanic Garden view from the Visitors Centre

The Visitors Centre view is not to be missed

The Visitors Centre is the obvious place to start your day. Here you can pick up a map and enjoy an amazing view from the balcony.

The Visitors Centre is also home to a small gallery space and an exhibition titled ‘The Botanists Way’. The exhibition is interactive with informative displays for adults and kids. It explores the plants and animals that can be found within the Blue Mountains region.

The Botanist Way is an interesting exhibition and worth checking out

3. Explore the garden by foot

Blue Mountains Botanic Garden path

The paths are a mixture of paved, gravel and bark

The garden offer a lot of great walks that will take you through the many different themed areas. Throughout the garden are paved, gravel and bark paths.

When going on a self guided walk, make sure you stop by the Visitors Centre and grab a map. There are a few different walks, all of which will take you through various areas of the garden.

I think some of the best areas of the garden include the formal gardens (which are located out the front of the visitors centre), the bog garden and the daffodil garden.

If you are up for some serious walks make sure to check out the areas in front of and beside the Visitors Centre. It is easy to just explore the area behind the Visitors Centre, but some of the best walks are actually in front of the Visitors Centre.

The front of the Visitors Centre is also home to a group of Wollemi Pines.

The key thing to note is that the garden is spread out around the Visitors Centre and down a hill. It is steep and could be difficult for people with mobility issues or if you have young children with you. I was there with three kids, including a pram, and it was a bit difficult to get back up the hill from the bottom of the garden. You may prefer to take the shuttle bus around the garden if you are concerned about making it back up to the top.

4. Jump on the Shuttle Bus

Blue Mountains Botanic Garden rockery

The shuttle bus will get you to some hard to get to spots

A great way to get around the garden is to hop on the shuttle bus. Unfortunately the bus is not free ($8.50 per head, children under 5 are free), but it is a great option for families and also anyone with mobility issues.

The shuttle will give you a 20 minute tour of the gardens and take you to some spots that you otherwise may not be able to get to.

Jump on the shuttle at the Visitors Centre, check the departure times when you arrive.

5. Head off on a Guided Tour

Blue Mountains Botanic Garden rockery

A guided tour will help you find your way around

If you prefer a guided tour, then free guided tours leave from the Visitors Centre each day at 11.30am.

Best of all the guided tours are free!

6. Enjoy a Picnic and BBQ

Burnet Garden BBQ area

The Brunet Garden is a great picnic spot with a shelter and BBQs

The Brunet Garden (where you will find the daffodils) is also home to a picnic shelter and BBQ area. This is a lovely serene spot to picnic, although during the festival room may be a little tight!

There is also a great flat, grassy BBQ lawn to the left of the Visitors Centre, tucked behind the formal garden. I think this is probably the best BBQ area as it is flat and easily accessed from the carpark. There are picnic tables, room for the kids to run around and lots of lovely shade for summertime.

Of course you can also pick a spot anywhere in the garden to lay down a rug and enjoy a quiet picnic – you will be spoilt for choice!

You can also hire the picnic shelters for functions.

The grassy BBQ lawn is a beautiful spot for lunch

7. Cafe and Kiosk at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden

The Potager

The Potager balcony is a special spot to enjoy a coffee

If you wish to dine in then you have two great choices.

The Potager has a wonderful view across the valley and it situated right next to the Visitors Centre. It offers a breakfast and lunch menu inline with most cafe fare. The Potager is normally open Wednesday to Sunday, but check before arrival.

Or the Ugly Mug Kiosk is a more relaxed option, with light meals and takeaway coffee. The Kiosk is open mixed hours so check with them before arriving. You’ll find the kiosk just near the formal garden, out the front of the Visitors Centre.

8. Attend an event or workshop

Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Workshops

Come along to a workshop and learn a whole heap about plants

Make sure to sign up to the gardens newsletter so you can stay informed of all the great events the garden hosts. There are always lots of free things to do, happening right throughout the year. Otherwise keep an eye out on the What’s On section of their website.

9. Buy some native plants

Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Floral Display

These amazing ornamental cabbages were for sale when we visited

If you are on the lookout for some neat native plants then make sure to check out the plant stall out the front of the Visitors Centre.

There are often seasonal flowering plants and native on sale at pretty reasonable prices – and all funds go straight back to the garden!

10. Stay the night

Amazingly there are two houses to stay in within the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden.

The first is the Jungle Lodge which sleeps 10 and the second is the Camellia Cottage which sleep 8. Both can be booked through Stayz.

Top tips

Formal Garden Blue Mountains Botanic Garden

Don’t forget to stop by the formal garden

  • Don’t forget to grab a map. Signage around the gardens is a bit scatty  but the map will help you find your way around
  • Makes sure to check out the gardens in front of the Visitors Centre, the formal gardens are wonderful, there is a great boardwalk and you’ll see some Wollemi Pines
  • If you have young kids with you, the upper section is a great spot to explore and the grassy lawn is great for kids to run around in
  • There is a kids activity pack ($7.50 from the Visitors Centre) which will keep them amused as you make your way around. Suitable for older kids
  • It can get busy on weekends so come later in the day if you can
  • Explore the surrounding areas. There are great cafes, orchards and quirky shops to explore.

Getting here

The gardens are only accessible by car or tour. For up to date details on how to access the garden, check their website.

Freedays Summary

  • Entry: Free (donations appreciated)
  • Toilets: Yes
  • Wheelchair friendly: Yes (in parts)
  • Free carparking: Yes
  • Free BBQ facilities: Yes
  • Time to spend here: 1 hour to all day
  • Food available: Yes
  • Address: Bells Line of Rd, Mount Tomah NSW 2758
  • More info: https://www.bluemountainsbotanicgarden.com.au/

More things to do

Why not check out Sydney’s other Botanic Gardens.

 

 

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