Wendy’s Secret Garden
The beautiful Morton Bay Fig is a special spot to sit and wonder, image credit: Wendy’s Secret Garden
There is truly nothing to not like about Wendy’s Secret Garden. I’m pretty sure that everyone who visits here falls a little bit in love – with both its beauty and its story. It is quiet and peaceful, private and spiritual and you really feel quite blessed to be there. Designed and created by Wendy Whiteley after the death of her husband, the garden is truly a place of soul, love and nature.
When visiting here I loved the huge variety of people who were enjoying the space. There were office workers, social groups, runners and day trippers like me. I think it’s testament to Wendy’s devotion to this space as to how well loved and used the garden is today.
Trails and treasures
Set at the base of a steep hill and tucked into a valley, Wendy’s Secret Garden winds it way down and up the side of the valley.
It is full of winding paths and trails, interesting sculptures and knick-knacks. The wooden rails are rustic and charming. Take your time to explore all the trails and paths, and smile at the secret treasures you will uncover. There is no real plan or map of the garden so just follow the paths and see where you end up.
Enjoy the surprises you will find along the way
Come for lunch
Wendy’s Secret Garden is a popular spot for workers, visitors and locals at lunchtime. So pack a picnic, find a quiet spot and enjoy this tranquil garden. There is a centre, grassy area that has a few tables and chairs in it. You will also find benches scattered throughout the garden.
From certain vantage points, you will also be able to enjoy some pretty special views across to the harbour bridge.
Pack a picnic lunch
Full of flowers
Even in the depth of winter you will find flowers blooming throughout the garden. There are also many other impressive plants (some that were original to the site) including fig trees and bamboos.
Alive with flowers
Wendy Whiteley was married to Brett Whiteley who was an Australian artist. Brett tragically passed away in 1992. After his death Wendy started clearing up the disused railway land located at the end of their Lavender Bay garden. The area was completely overgrown with weeds and full of rubbish. Wendy did not seek permission from authorities (the land is owned by the NSW Government), however as she was not asked to stop she just keep chipping away, eventually creating the garden that stands today.
In October 2015 Mike Baird (the NSW Premier) granted a 30 year lease with a 30 year option to North Sydney Council (of the garden site). A Trust is being established to secure this beautiful garden for future generations.
Hidden in plain sight
If you haven’t been before, Wendy’s Secret Garden can be a bit tricky to find. It is most easily accessed via Clark Park (just walk through Clark Park down to the garden) or via Lavender Bay Crescent. Access via Lavender Street is via a steep set of stairs. The garden does not have any formal signposts.
More things to do
After exploring the garden, make sure to head down towards the harbour to see where the railway line runs and for some great views. If you have time explore Milson’s Point and Lavender Bay. There are a tonne of amazing things to do a Lavender Bay and I highly recommend spending some time here.
Clark Park is located next to Wendy’s Secret Garden and is also a good spot to stop for lunch.
Head down to the harbour for some great views, interesting history, walks, art and more!
Five reasons to visit Wendy’s Secret Garden
- Wander the trails and pathways
- Enjoy a picnic under the fig tree
- Spot the hidden sculptures and artworks
- Admire the views across to the Harbour Bridge
- Afterwards spend some time at Clark Park or Lavender Bay Parklands
- Entry: Free
- Toilets: No (toilets are located at the waters edge, pass under the rail bridge and they are to your right)
- Wheelchair friendly: No
- Free carparking: Yes (on street, timed parking only)
- Free BBQ facilities: No
- Time to spend here: 1 hour
- Food available: No, however there are lots of food options at Milsons Point which is only a short walk away
- Address: Access to the Garden can be found via Lavender Street or Clarke Park, Lavender Bay NSW 2060
- Further details: https://www.wendyssecretgarden.org.au/
Even more free things to do
After exploring the garden why not: