After I was made redundant I went to Sydney to take some time out.
I love Sydney, and yes I’m aware that being Melbournian means that I shouldn’t express this publicly, but I do. There’s a lot to do, the ferry is fun, and the weather is usually better than Melbourne (although I must have bought the Melbourne weather with me as it rained every day I was there).
I tried to squeeze in as much as I could by revisiting some gems that I love, as well as visiting some places I hadn’t been to before.
There were two gardens that I had on my itinerary The Royal Botanic Gardens, which I hadn’t been to before, and The Chinese Garden of Friendship, which I’ve been to before and love.
The Royal Botanic Gardens
The Royal Botanic Gardens is huge, everything is landscaped to perfection, and there are so many different areas, some of which include:
- Government House
- Conservatorium of Music
- The Domain
- Art Gallery of NSW
- Herb garden
- Succulent garden
- Garden shop and restaurant
- Rose garden and pavilion
- Rainforest walk
To take it all in I joined a free walking tour with a tour guide whose surname was Branch, I loved that! She was made for the job.
The group was really small and the guide was very knowledgeable. It went for over an hour and showcased the main areas of the gardens. I definitely recommend seeing the gardens this way as you learn a lot, and get to see which areas you’d like to spend more time in once the tour has finished.
There are also some amazing views of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge from the gardens, so great photography opportunities exist.
As I was leaving I had my first sighting of what is now dubbed the selfie stick. It looks like a golf stick that people attach their phones to the end of so they can get a professional looking selfie, it was hilarious.
To get here I caught the free shuttle bus from Central Station and got off at Circular Quay, from there it’s a short walk to the gardens.
Mrs Macquaries Rd, Sydney NSW 2000
The Chinese Garden of Friendship
I love The Chinese Garden of Friendship, it’s so tranquil and is made up of waterfalls, a lake, pavilions, sculptures, pathways, a tea house, and koi carp, which I was told can cost up to $200,000 due to representing a long life.
Sydney is very generous with their free tours, as just like The Royal Botanic Gardens I joined a free tour here. On this tour I learnt why certain trees and plants were part of the garden, as well as the reasons behind why certain sculptures were given as gifts from other countries. One interesting tid bit was that a sculpture of zodiac signs was Japanese and not Chinese, so it was given as a mistake, this is something that many Chinese visitors point out.
I also love the way this garden contrasts against surrounding apartments and buildings. It’s a slice of peace and tranquillity amongst the hard concrete and day to day scurry of the outside world.
This garden is located in Pier Street Darling Harbour, which means you can visit the other attractions that Darling Harbour has to offer, which is a lot. At $6 to enter it’s affordable and well worth your time.
The best thing about both of these gardens is that you can revisit them as often as you like as different seasons provide different experiences.
I will definitely revisit these gardens next time I’m in Sydney.
If you’d like to see my other Sydney posts, here’s the links:
Please also feel free to visit my Sydney Pinterest board.