Stony Range Regional Botanic Garden

You’ll love the warm welcome to Stony Range Regional Botanic Garden

There are some places that make you feel happy and this pint sized botanical garden is one of them for me. Stony Range Regional Botanic Garden is a small garden in Dee Why (in Sydney’s Northern Beaches) and I love visiting it for the peace and quiet it offers all visitors. 

I have been here both with kids and without and there really is something for everyone. It has meandering (yet easy) walks, waterfalls and lots of beautiful plants. Kids will love the kid friendly activities and adults will love the peaceful walks. 

Set on 3.3 hectares the Range was given its name because it’s set on a Hawkesbury Sandstone escarpment (very stony!!).

Explore the themed areas at Stony Range

So firstly, how is the garden set up? Well considering its size, Stony Range Regional Botanic Garden packs a lot in. It includes 19 themed areas across three main micro-climates (the rain forest gully, the sandstone heath and the Federation Cascades).

The garden is choc full of ferns, beautiful big gums, bush tucker plants, orchids and other natives. To help the botanically challenged among us the garden is dotted with signs that help identify trees and other flora.

The garden is super easy to get around

One of the best things about the garden is how easy it is to get around. I love the easy walkways and paths, but also that you can get off the beaten track a little bit if you choose. Throughout the garden you will find a series of walkways that will lead you around the themed areas. The main pathway is fully concreted and takes around 20 minutes. It is suitable for prams and wheelchairs. Walkways up higher in the garden are not pram or wheelchair friendly but definitely worth the effort if you can make it up there.

The centre piece of the garden is a decorative pond. There are also cascades that meander through the middle of the garden.

The garden also includes a sensory track where everyone is encouraged to use their senses to experience everything around you.

Make sure you grab a copy of a ‘Themed Areas’ map at the entrance to help guide you around the garden.

The paths are easy to navigate

There is a small picnic area which includes a FREE bbq or you could head down to Dee Why or Freshwater for a cool dip.

Family BBQ spot – look out for the possum hide-away

Fun for the little ones at Stony Range

The garden is perfect for the little ones as the walks are easy and not very long. Kids can take part in a ‘find me’ activity where they have to find a set list of items (grab a copy of a ‘Find Me’ brochure at the entrance).  Kids should also look out for signs to the Magic Circle area. Here they can help build a Dragon’s Nest, make a Banksia Man or pick a flower to decorate the Fairy House. I love the fairy house and I often wonder if it is the only bush fairy house in Sydney?

Fairy tepee and Dragons nest – how divine!!

Kids can also explore the Secret Hideout Area near the BBQ and make their own cubby house or an insect house – make sure to look for some ‘snakes’ or ‘spiders’ in the trees.

Native Bee Hive

Enjoy watching the bees swarm around the native bee hive

Top Tip

When you enter the gardens there is a large display that holds brochures which detail all sorts of different activities and information on Stony Range. There is a map here as well as information on the themed areas as well as kids activities.

A bit of background

Stony Range Botanical Garden was an abandoned stone quarry which the local Government took over in 1957. It was opened as a reserve in 1961. In 2007 it became a Regional Botanic Garden of Native Bushland. Today it is lovingly cared for by a group of volunteers with the aid of donations and funding from Northern Beaches Council.

Five reasons to visit Stony Range Regional Botanic Garden

  1. Enjoy an easy walk through nature across three microclimates
  2. See beautiful wildflowers during springtime
  3. Great activities for kids without an ipad in sight
  4. Simple bbq facilities
  5. Purchase plants from the nursery on Tuesdays 10.00am to 1.00pm and Saturdays 2.00pm to 4.00pm

Freedays summary

  • Entry: Free
  • Toilets: Yes
  • Wheelchair friendly: Yes
  • Free carparking: Yes
  • Free BBQ facilities: Yes
  • Time to spend here: 1 hour (unless you are having lunch)
  • Food available: No
  • Address: 810 Pittwater Road Dee Why NSW 2099
  • Further details: Visit Stony Range Regional Botanic Garden’s directory listing

More free things to do 

After exploring the garden why not:

  • Walk the Greenlink Walk at Long Reef Aquatic Reserve
  • Visit Dee Why Beach
  • Explore Sydney’s other botanical gardens

 

 

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