Cover Image: @brrch_floral on Instagram
With Winter on the way it can sometimes feel easier to stay indoors and avoid the chilly, gloomy weather. But it's no secret that we'd be better off physically and mentally doing the exact opposite. And now that we've been given the green light to head out and explore again, nature seems like a great place to start.
Here are our favourite walks, wanders and gardens in and around Sydney where you’ll be guaranteed to get a good hit of flowers and nature. Be sure to check they are open before you go.
This garden is a hidden gem with an incredible back story. This winding little oasis off the coast of Lavendar Bay was built by Wendy Whiteley and her helpers over many years on the unused railway land at the foot of her house. There are trails to get lost in, little nooks to sit quietly with a book, and many types of flora for you to admire. It’s easy to forget that you're standing right next to the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge in one of the world’s busiest cities.
Fagan Park spans 55 hectares in Galston, Sydney. It’s filled with cafes, picnic and barbecue areas, a cottage, kids playground, rural museums and bike paths, but all this doesn’t steal the limelight from the glorious nature that surrounds you. There are 10 hectares of gardens (called the Gardens of Many Nations) including Japanese, Dutch, Chinese and Mediterranean to satisfy everyone’s tastes. Get there quick to catch a glimpse of the Autumn colours before all the leaves fall.
While Milson Park is only small, there are so many great things about it. It’s mostly known for being at the base of a famous Jacaranda-lined street in Kirribilli, which becomes a major tourist attraction when they bloom in November, but it’s also so picturesque being sat right on the shore line. You’ll find a sprawling lawn, fascinating rose varieties (take my word for it) dotted throughout, and a community garden where the locals are growing food. There’s a café huddled on the wharf too if you can’t go very long without a coffee.
This is the only botanic garden anywhere in the world that's located within a UN World Heritage Area. There are formal gardens, rock gardens, a “bog” (or swamp) garden and a Plant Explorers Walk which features over 400 different plant species based on 300 years of exploration through Asia. In short, you will not be disappointed by the spread of flowers (some very rare!) in this picturesque garden wonderland.
Here lies yet another garden oasis that makes you forget you're in the beating heart of the Sydney CBD. Chinese gardens with their running waterfalls and weeping willows always offer such a deep sense of calm, and there’s a teahouse serving Chinese tea for that extra layer of self-care. The hidden pathways lined with flowers will satisfy your flower cravings and the stunning garden pavilions are a lovely spot to while away the day with a book.
This is one gorgeous garden haven in one of the most picturesque corners of the city. The entrance is always filled with beautiful blooms that change with the seasons, and the park itself can be linked up to a longer walk down through Circular Quay and under the Harbour Bridge. Before you head over, check their website for the Plant of the Month (always a rare and exciting treat) so that you can go hunting for it in the garden.
Nutcote is the charming harbourside home and museum of the very famous author and illustrator May Gibbs (remember Snugglepot and Cuddlepie?). The house and enchanting garden are maintained by volunteers year round, so visitors are treated to different flowering goodies popping up as the seasons change. It’s also a short walk from Sydney Harbour and the Neutral Bay Wharf, so a ferry ride might also be on the cards.
For more nature walk inspo, check out this wonderful book Walks in Nature in Floreat's online store.