Blue Mountains Accommodation

Parks and Gardens

If your interests tend more towards the floral, you will find a paradise of pleasures in the Blue Mountains. There are botanical gardens, formal gardens, rainforests, woodlands and spring displays all over the Blue Mountains. Spring is the most colourful time, with azaleas and rhododendrons blooming all over, and the bush is spiked with waratahs and wattle blossoms. The sheer shocks of bright colour, backdropped by blue views and underscored by warm sandstone are enough to bring joy to the most jaded spirit. Gardening has long been a passion of Blue Mountains people, who were not afraid to mix introduced plants for their shape or colour with the more subdued native flora, albeit set in awesome scenery. Most gardens have an entrance fee.

Leura is particularly gardens-oriented, and has its own Spring Festival to showcase the floral abundance. For the garden displays see www.leuragardensfestival.com.au. Mt Wilson is also florally-inclined, and has a variety of private gardens open in the spring. Some of the gardens have disabled access, and the best way to experience any of them is to leave your car and walk as much as you can. There are numerous perfect picnic spots in and around the gardens.

Gardens to visit include:

  • Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens - the cool-climate, higher altitude annexe of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney - has a wonderful collection of native and exotic species. It was here that the mysterious Wollemi pine (Wollemia nobilis) was brought for safekeeping after its discovery deep in a canyon in the Wollemi national park. Thanks to the efforts of the botanic garden staff, this once-rarest of trees is now available commercially. The gardens are situated at Bell's Line of Road, Bilpin, and are open daily from 10am-4pm. Contact (02) 4567 2154 or see www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/mount_tomah_botanic_garden.

  • Everglades, Leura – an inter-war (1930s) period garden now administered by the National Trust. The Everglades gardens are a marvellous marriage of European landscaping and Australian bush. It's not only the gardens that are spectacular here, as there are classic Blue Mountains views as well.
    37 Everglades Avenue, Leura (02) 4784 1938
    www.evergladesgardens.info

  • Mt Wilson – Mt Wilson has a history as a 'hill station' for the early Europeans who settled in Sydney. It afforded a cool alternative to the steamy city in the summer, and gave them the opportunity to plant gardens and avenues with plants they could recognise. Over a hundred years later the mature trees - plane trees, limes, elms, beeches, liquidambars and ornamental cherries - give the town a lovely leafy feel. September-November is the best time for the flowering trees, and March-May for the autumn leaves.

  • It's not all European nostalgia though, the Cathedral of the Ferns is a rainforest remnant of huge tree ferns along Mt Irvine Road. A wide range of eucalypts as well as sassafras and coachwood trees complete the picture.

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