The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and the Domain: Part One


We had left it too late to catch a train up to the Blue Mountains after struggling to find the bus stop for the free shuttle service #555 and ended up walking to Central Station. After that we decided to take the train back to Circular Quay and slowly stroll around Sydney Harbour to Mrs Macquaries Point (Domain – Yurong Precinct) and then through the gardens to see as much as we could before the feet complained. The weather was warm, but very cloudy and we weren’t surprised by a shower or two which were very brief. A few large splats and that was that.


The walk really starts at Circular Quay where all the ferries depart from. It wouldn’t do to visit Sydney and not go on at least one ferry, but we’ll save that for another day. After admiring the bridge, it is impossible not to admire the Opera House and even go inside for a tour if you wish.

Entering the gardens via the Queen Elizabeth Gate the first thing that you notice is the amount of runners on this trail! Just before lunch and it appears that half of Sydney are stuffed into lycra and pounding the pavements. Singles, couples, teams of joggers pass us by in both directions, sweating profusely in many cases.

Ignoring them as best as I could I concentrated on looking at the Australian Native Rockery that was along the beginning of the trail.

At the far side of Farm Cove we could see a very large flowering jacaranda tree and the end of Mrs Macquaries Point where you have excellent views back to the Opera House and bridge, and also where you find Mrs Macquaries chair.

Heading back into the garden at Victoria Lodge Gate we meandered around to the Palm Grove area for a bite to eat and drink, before looking around the rest of the garden.

fairy fan flower
Fairy Fan Flower

More lovely walks can be found over at my friendΒ Jo’s place.


27 Comments Add yours

  1. restlessjo says:

    WHAT a location for Botanic Gardens, Jude! Almost hard to focus on the plants, though I love that magnolia and the splashes of yellow πŸ™‚ Talking of splashes, I don’t mind a splat or two πŸ™‚ And WHEN are you taking me on that ferry ride? (I know- greedy person- just wait, patiently!)
    Gorgeous birds in the garden too, and that lovely shot of La Ballarina. Fabulous post, Jude. Many thanks!

    1. Heyjude says:

      It is a lovely garden Jo, and the walk around the cove is so nice with the views, although those joggers do get in the way of a photo now and then! I have never been to a city where so many exercise in public like Sydney – always jogging, cycling, roller blading, doing yoga in the park or on the beach, stretching, doing push-ups, headstands… quite astonishing! I did go on a few ferry trips, but not many great photos from them. I’ll see if I can cobble enough together for a post especially for you πŸ˜‰

  2. pommepal says:

    You have captured the Botanic gardens in a beautiful gallery of images, not only the flowers and shrubs but those runners, that shows how this garden in the very heart of Sydney is so well used, and the views, love that shot of the Opera House and the bridge.
    Hope you are not any where near Martin Place at the moment. We watch in horror at the drama unfolding. Every one saying “how can this happen in Australia?”

    1. Heyjude says:

      On my first visit to Sydney back in 1998 I was amazed at all the people exercising in the garden and running along that trail! Even more now! Yesterday I was in the city, but not affected by the siege as I walked around the CBD. I returned to the gardens and did get a shot of the Opera House with no-one around. Very weird. You just knew something wasn’t right when you see that sort of emptiness in a large city. A shocking thing to have happened.

      1. pommepal says:

        Thank goodness more hostages weren’t shot.The Opera House was in shut-down too. Have a safe journey home Jude.

  3. Colline says:

    Beautiful flowers. Definitely a place worth walking through.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Colline – more flowers to come in part two πŸ™‚ Though actually the trees were more impressive than the flowers in this garden.

  4. Patrick says:

    Thanks for the small view of the garden. If I ever get to visit Australia, I will definitely make this a must see spot.

    1. Heyjude says:

      This is mainly of the perimeter walk along the cove and then a little way into the garden at Victoria Lodge Gate. There will be more of the gardens next week if you want to see more! And I definitely recommend a visit to Sydney if you can get out this way πŸ™‚

  5. restlessjo says:

    Heck, Jude! I was just watching the seige on the news. Cities the world over are dynamite, aren’t they? Take care out there! πŸ™‚

    1. Heyjude says:

      Live life every day Jo. You just never know…

  6. Oh it’s beautiful Jude! I’m really missing light, bright, sunny days. There’s so much that I do love about the winter months but I get soooo tired all the time I hardly seem to get out and and about to enjoy it.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I think it is the grey days that totally zap the energy. I’m seriously thinking of trying one of those lamps that help with SAD symptoms to see if that helps.

      1. I keep wondering about the lamps too! It’s a bit brighter today but I have so much on I can’t go out to play with the camera.

        1. Heyjude says:

          Blue skies here too, which is nice, but I have a sore foot again (I think I have figured out the problem is Achilles tendonitis and I overdid the walking on Monday in Sydney, plus I whacked my ankle against some metal stairs on a train and have a very black foot!) so I can’t walk very much at the moment. Shall pop up to the market though for some nice free range eggs and home-made marmalade πŸ™‚

        2. Ow!! Yes, I get similar pain with the Fibro 😦 It’s so painful just putting your foot down! Have you tried strapping it for a bit of support? Well, I guess it’s forcing you to just chill out which is quite a good thing πŸ™‚ Mmmnnn, home made marmalade! I shall be enjoing some of Simon’s mums home made jams and jellies in Shropshire after Christmas πŸ™‚ She makes a wonderful plum jelly!

  7. Lucid Gypsy says:

    This is such a joy after a grey Devon day!

    1. Heyjude says:

      I’m praying for blue skies and sunshine on my return! No grey πŸ˜‰

  8. I love your sulphur-crested header and that super-splendid opera-house-and-bridge shot. It’s hard to find a new angle on these two Sydney icons, but you’ve done it. The white folded magnolia below the white opera house sails is a lovely juxtaposition. You’ve made me hunger for a tourist trip to Sydney – it’s decades since I walked around to Mrs Macquarie’s chair, although I’ve walked through the gardens when I’ve been researching in the State Library more recently.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It’s a lovely green space in the CBD – and nice that you picked up on the ‘sails’ images. I went back on Monday, mainly to photograph the lotus flowers, but there weren’t many in flower and those that were too far away to get a close-up.

  9. Just popped back from part 2. Gorgeous photos as always. How many photos are in your photo file?

    1. Heyjude says:

      A LOT Carol! But that’s pretty much all I do these days – take photos and then write about them πŸ˜‰

    2. Heyjude says:

      …oh, and look for houses online! Must. must, must get myself a garden next year!!

      1. . . . and (I’m) trying to find somewhere to stay in France for a month or two, studying French, now taking an online nutritional therapy course as well as taking photos and looking for a house. Sleep. Huh.Who needs it?

  10. Jude you showed this part of my home town perfectly.
    I say my home town because I was born in Sydney same time as the Bridge was completed.
    The gardens and the harbour make Sydney a beautiful city.😍

    1. Heyjude says:

      A great city Jack πŸ™‚ I hope Pauline lets you have some rest and relaxation over the holidays before she drags you off on your adventures again πŸ˜€

      1. I am enjoying my comfort zone all the familiar things flat biking and warm surfing and catching up with friends at the at the gym and clubs.
        We will be off in March to Sydney then The Land of the Long White Cloud. Pauline will post all the news as usual.

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