Sydney’s Best Secret Gardens

For those days when you’re craving a bit of time in nature, whether it be for a stroll, a picnic, reading a book or enjoying the scenery, this is your list. We’ve found 18 gardens that are perfect for all types of days and all types of adventures.  

Auburn Botanic Gardens

Chisholm Rd &, Chiswick Rd, Auburn

Best for: enjoying a long stroll and seeing the cherry blossoms in spring. Entry is $5 per person, children under 16 free and residents of Cumberland City Council are free.

Pram friendly: yes 

Nearby: there is a playground within the gardens 

More info here.

Centennial Park Rose and Column Garden

Grand Drive, Centennial Park

Best for: an epic day out. After admiring the Rose and Column garden, kids will love the playground, bike hire, the entertainment quarter, cafes and more! 

Pram friendly: yes, and bike and scooter friendly!

Nearby: Ian potter WILD playground and Entertainment Quarter

More info here.

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Square

Pier Street, Cnr Harbour St, Darling Harbour

Best for: Next time you’re in Darling Harbour or surrounds, make sure to pop into this piece of paradise. In a 30-minute stroll, you can enjoy waterfalls and lagoons, wildlife spotting and a rest break in the peaceful pavillions. The tea house is also open and offers Yum Cha. Entry is $8 for adults and $4 for kids.

Pram friendly: there is a pram friendly route on the lower pathways

Nearby: so much that we wrote a whole article about it.

More info here.


E.G. Waterhouse National Camellia Gardens, Caringbah

333 Taren Point Rd, Caringbah

Best for: Grandma’s birthday! Take her for a stroll in the stunning gardens and then enjoy Devonshire tea or lunch at the Teahouse. Open Monday – Friday 9am – 4pm. Weekends and Public Holidays 9.30am – 5pm. Entry is free.

Pram friendly: partially

Nearby: There are 2 playgrounds and a Teahouse onsite that serve breakfast lunch and high tea.

More info here.

Fagan Park Galston

38-48 Arcadia Rd, Galston

Best for: a day out with family – BYO picnic, scooters and sunscreen! Fagan Park is just stunning and favourite for locals. Make sure to explore the Gardens of Many Nations – find your favourite national garden! Note there is a playground on site and a weekend coffee kiosk too.

Pram friendly: yes, and bike and scooter friendly!

Nearby: There are plenty of lovely cafes to visit on the drive home to Ryde.

More info here.

Nurragingy Reserve Western Sydney Parklands

Knox Road, Doonside

Best for: family gatherings. Facilities include picnic and barbecue areas, kids playgrounds, bushwalking tracks, formal garden areas, the Chang Lai Yuan Chinese Gardens, a water splash area, picturesque lake and water spray. 

Pram friendly: yes, and bike and scooter friendly!

Nearby: Lakeside Kiosk serves coffee, hot food, drinks and snacks

More info here.

Parramatta Park

Pitt St &, Macquarie St, Parramatta

Best for: visiting during a day out at Parramatta Park. There’s so much to do at Parramatta park – here’s our full write up.

Pram friendly: yes!

Nearby: cafes and playgrounds can be found on site.

More info here.

Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney

Mrs Macquaries Rd, Sydney

Best for: spend the afternoon with the whole family in this 30-hectare oasis in the heart of the city. With stunning views, gardens and lots of food options, the Royal Botanic Garden is a must-see. Make sure to check out their kid’s programs which run all year. 

Pram friendly: yes 

Nearby: the whole CBD!

More info here.

Stony Range Regional Botanic Gardens Dee Why

810 Pittwater Rd, Dee Why

Best for: adventurers and bush lovers. See if you can find the ladder rope, waterfall and magic circle!

Pram friendly: partially

Nearby: Dee Why beach ?‍♀️

More info here.

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Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

420 Mona Vale Road, St Ives

Best for: bushwalking. This 123-hectare (300-acre) botanical garden is located on the edge of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. All the plants you’ll spot are native and sourced from across Australia, including 18 threatened species of flora.

Pram friendly: no

Nearby: St Ives Shopping Centre is a 5 minute drive away 

More info here.

Lisgar Gardens Hornsby

Lisgar Rd, Hornsby

Best for: camellia lovers! Aside from the formal gardens, fish ponds, waterfalls, informal lawn areas, picnic tables and a rainforest walk. Open weekdays 8am-3.30pm, weekends 10am to 4pm. Closed public holidays.

Pram friendly: no

Nearby: Westfield Hornsby is a few minutes drive away

More info here.

Paddington Reservoir Gardens

251-255 Oxford Street, Paddington

Best for: A quick break from the hustle and bustle. Paddington Reservoir Gardens is a striking urban park that makes a ruined former reservoir available for the public to enjoy and explore. 

Pram friendly: no

Nearby: Lots of shopping & cafes.

More info here.

Swain’s Garden Killara

77 Stanhope Road, Killara

Best for: a secret garden adventure. Hidden in the middle of a standard Sydney street, Swains Garden is a gorgeously tended garden that has toilets, BBQs and seating areas.

Pram friendly: yes, and bike and scooter friendly  

Nearby: Seven Little Australian Park (another hidden gem!)

More info here.

Wahroonga Park

Coonanbarra Road, Wahroonga 

Best for: enjoying the colours of autumn and jumping on crunchy leaves ? While Waroonga Park isn’t all that secret, perhaps you you visited for the playground rather than the lanscaped gardens but now it can be for both 🙂

Pram friendly: yes

Nearby: There’s a fabulous playground on-site and a cafe across the road

More info here.

Wendy’s Secret Garden, Lavender Bay

Lavender St, Lavender Bay

Best for: bring a book and treat yourself to a quiet day out. Once you read this story, you’ll want to visit right now!

Pram friendly: no

Nearby: Sails on Lavendar Bay restaurant, Milsons Point, Luna Park, McMahons Point ferry wharf

More info here.

Further Afield

Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan

362 Narellan Rd, Mount Annan (1 hour 20 minutes from Ryde)

Best for: serious plant lovers. It is a vast botanic garden with natural woodland, colourful flowers & open spaces, plus has a cafe and gift shop. You’ll find a spectacular collection of themed gardens full of wonderful, easy-to-achieve ideas for you to try at home.

Pram friendly: partially

Nearby: Mount Annan proper is a 20-minute drive away.

More info here.

Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah

Bells Line of Rd, Mount Tomah (1 hour 30 minutes from Ryde)

Best for: cool climate lovers. It is the country’s highest botanic garden features cool-climate plants, guided tours and picnic areas.

Pram friendly: yes

Nearby: Kurrajong is 30 minutes away

More info here.

Breenhold Gardens Mount Wilson

29 The Avenue, Mount Wilson (1 hour 45 minutes from Ryde)

Best for: Autumn leaf lovers! The heritage-listed Breenhold Gardens at Mount Wilson is one of the most extensive privately owned garden properties in Australia. Open Autumn and Sping. Entry is $15 per adult and $5 for children over 5+. The family rate for 2 adults and 3 or more children is $40.00.

Pram friendly: yes

Nearby: Blackheath and Bilpin are 30 minutes away

More info here.