Swain Gardens Adventure

Swain Gardens

Welcome to Swain Gardens

Swain Gardens really is a hidden little treasure. Hidden in the back streets of Killara, even people who have lived on Sydney’s North Shore for many years do not know it exists.

This magical little garden is a wonderland for both adults and children. The garden can be traversed via wide paved paths, or by meandering paths, steps and ledges. Kids will love finding ‘secret’ pathways and adults will delight in the peace and tranquillity of the garden.

Take the Tour

A good way to start your visit to the garden is to locate the donations box (on the western side of the garden) and grab a copy of the Swain Gardens Tour Guide from there. This handy leaflet includes a map and history of the gardens.

The garden is essentially divided into three key sections – The Barbecue Lawn, Lower Garden and Wedding Lawn. There are also some easy walks to do if you are feeling adventurous.

1. The Barbecue lawn and Garden Room

The Barbeque Lawn has recently been updated with some artificial grass and is a lovely spot to let the kids run around, enjoy some lunch and relax and admire the views. There is a FREE electric BBQ as well as some picnic tables. There is a toilet located here also.

Barbeque Lawn is a great place for a picnic or lawn party

If you head out of the barbeque Lawn, you can go upwards to view the Garden Room (which was the former bird watching room of Mr Swain’s) and see the old swimming pool which is now a garden. You can have a quick look through the fence to see the former Swain residence. There is another set of loos here too!

2. Lower Garden

As you make your way to the lower garden, enjoy walking through the paths, trails and stepping stones. There are several bridges over Shot Machine Creek, many beautiful plants and it is a delightful blend between English garden and aussie bushland.

Flowers and paths

3. Wedding Lawn and Gazebo

If you keep heading up through the gardens you will come to the Wedding Lawn and Gazebo. There are more paths and garden beds to explore and admire.

A beautiful spot to get married

4. Get Walking

If you are looking for some further adventure there are two bushwalks you can take from the gardens – Wombin Reserve Walk and there is also an unnamed track on the south-eastern side of the park that leads to Twin Creeks Track (which goes through to Middle Harbour).

A bit of History

Swain Gardens was created in the 1960s after being saved from development by Arthur Newling Swain. Mr Swain spent many years planting the garden and two full-time stonemasons spent ten years constructing the terraces and bridges.

Hot Tip

The entrance to Swain Gardens is a bit of a walk in from Stanhope Road – there is only one disabled carpark on-site. It would be possible to push a wheelchair or pram around the gardens but it is steep in places.

Five reasons to visit Swain Gardens

  1. Enjoy a picnic on the Barbeque Lawn
  2. See how many flowers you can identify
  3. Let the kids enjoy the stepping stones and ledges
  4. Enjoy the free BBQs
  5. Go for a bushwalk

Freedays summary

  • Entry: Free
  • Toilets: Yes
  • Wheelchair friendly: Yes (but steep in areas)
  • Free carparking: Yes (on street only)
  • Free BBQ facilities: Yes
  • Time to spend here: 2 hours to all day
  • Food available: No
  • Address: 77 Stanhope Road, Killara NSW 2071
  • Further details: Visit Swain Gardens directory listing



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