Oasis in the Suburbs

Stony Range Regional Botanical Garden is an oasis of Australian native plants and located at Dee Why in the heart of the northern beaches, Sydney. It is a perfect place to take a walk through a variety of microclimates and to enjoy the shade of the many trees in Sydney’s intense heat. The main circuit only takes around 20 minutes to complete and includes a sensory track and a rainforest gully.


Native plants from all over Australia have been planted in the garden which is located on Hawkesbury sandstone escarpment – hence the name Stony Range. It is a home to a host of wildlife including brush turkeys, brushtailed and ringtailed possums, owls, rainbow lorikeets, lizards and native bees.

On a hot and humid day the garden provides a delightfully shady place to walk and also learn about the use of some of the native plants and trees. For instance gum trees have several uses: their wood was used for implements such as shields and bowls; the nectar of the flowers made a sweet drink; the gum was used for relieving toothache and when boiled in water has good antiseptic properties for burns and stomach upsets.


The stiff leaves of the Grass Trees (Xanthorrhoea) below, next to aΒ Eucalyptus, is a very useful plant too. The dried flower stems were used for fishing spears and fire making, the resin for glue, flowers for nectar and leaves for weaving or making twine.

An impressive Platycerium superbum/ Stag Horn fern (or sometimes known as elk horn) is found outside the entrance to the garden attached to a large red Gum (Angophera costata). A magnificent plant.


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


39 Comments Add yours

  1. This is another place to add to our list for the next time we’re in Sydney. Our daughter tells us that when she is finished travelling the world she will live in Sydney again so hopefully we will have a reason to visit again one day.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I like Sydney but it is VERY expensive to live there. My next visit to Aus will be to Perth as eldest son and family are moving there at the end of next month. Well, supposed to be!!

      1. You will love Perth. It is such a pretty city and there is lots to do and see fairly close by. We really enjoyed the three weeks we spent in WA last year and we’re going back later this year.

    2. Heyjude says:

      You live in Australia don’t you? But obviously neither Sydney nor Perth. There is so much to see in your country.

      1. We live in Queensland so more than a day’s drive to Sydney and a five hour flight to Perth. You’re right, there is lots to see. When I’m finished writing about our trip to Japan, I’m planning a series of “stay-cation” stories, all about places close to home!

        1. Heyjude says:

          I shall look forward to those. I love exploring the UK now though there was a time when I couldn’t wait to get away. So you must be near to Pommepal (though I know Queensland is a BIG state)

        2. I’ve only recently discovered Pommepal so I’m not sure where she is. Dianne Gray also lives in Queensland, near Cairns, so she’s a thousand km further north.

        3. Heyjude says:

          She lives (when she is actually there) near Burleigh Beach, not far from the Gold Coast.

        4. About 2.5 hours from me then. It looks like they do quite a lot of travelling. That’s my goal for retirement…to just tootle along with our caravan whenever we please.

  2. restlessjo says:

    Lovely textures and colours, Jude! I really like that Stag Horn fern πŸ™‚ MUST start experimenting with colour and processing. How many times have I said that? My posts are starting to look a bit samey.

    Perth, huh? Have you been there before? Another adventure awaits! I seem to remember you’re going somewhere exciting this year but I can’t remember where. Stateside?

    Thanks for the walk πŸ™‚

    1. Heyjude says:

      I think I may reblog/ move some of these posts onto the Travel Words and see how they go down on there. I don’t get a lot of traffic here which is a shame as I put in just as much work on the photos and information. I might go back to just posting single flowers here as was my original plan.

      I have visited Perth, but only briefly so I’d love to go back there and explore. No plans this year at all!! Apart from finding that elusive house!! Now WHERE is it?

  3. Sue Slaght says:

    Astounding photos Jude. The wild turkey with it’s vibrant red really jumped out at me. Well not literally but you get my drift. πŸ™‚

    1. Heyjude says:

      Phew! I’m relieved. Thought for a moment there that I was going to get sued for causing an attack by a wild turkey πŸ˜‰

      1. Sue Slaght says:

        One has to watch out for those flying creatures I understand. πŸ™‚

  4. Sammy D. says:

    Perfect for our cold snowy day πŸ˜‹

    1. Heyjude says:

      It was perfect for the humid and hot Sydney day too πŸ™‚

  5. Lucid Gypsy says:

    What versatile plants Jude. I always wonder about the people that first learnt their properties. Your first collage is excellent πŸ™‚

    1. Heyjude says:

      Trial and error I guess. No-one ever tells us how many people were poisoned or injured through experimentation. I bet Meg has some stories πŸ™‚

  6. pommepal says:

    You do find some amazing places Jude. This is a beauty. Is it easy to get too? Did that bush turkey have a nest mound. They have a fascinating sex life with the male doing all the baby duties.
    You will LOVE WA so much to see around the southern corner below Perth and easy to get to, not to mention the wild flowers if you go at the right time.

    1. Heyjude says:

      My son didn’t know it was there either! And he lives only a couple of blocks away. Yes, we saw the nest mound, I think my youngest son must be a bush turkey, he is loving caring for his new daughter – he’d probably feed her if he could!

      1. pommepal says:

        That is so lovely Jude, you must miss them living so far away. How about 6 months of winter over here and 6 months in UK?

    2. Heyjude says:

      Oh and very easy to get to as it is just off the Pittwater Road at Dee Why and can be reached by bus from the city.

      1. pommepal says:

        Will have to put it on my list of things to do, 3 weeks from today…

  7. Colline says:

    The gardens looks beautiful Jude. I love walking in places like this.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It was very welcome shade Colline πŸ™‚

      1. Colline says:

        I am sure it was. I am longing for a little of that heat at the moment πŸ™‚

        1. Heyjude says:

          I bet you are!

  8. What a lovely post Jude. Beautiful photos, and the circles worked really well. It was one of the places my mum and dad visited often, me only once I think. Thank you.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I am trying to mix up the photos a bit so glad you like the circles. I think this is probably my last Antipodean post – hope it brought back good memories. And I hope there are some gardens near here that open soon!

  9. Looks like a wonderful place to walk. But it also looks very sunny, hot and dry.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It was certainly hot and sunny in Sydney, but very humid! This place was lovely and cool for an hour’s reprieve πŸ™‚

  10. Sherri says:

    Gorgeous walk Jude, but I never thought of Australia as being humid so I’ve learnt something today πŸ™‚

    1. Heyjude says:

      Very humid in the tropics Sherri, but I didn’t remember Sydney being so humid on my previous visits (or so hot!)

      1. Sherri says:

        Yes, I thought there were parts that might be more tropical, but always thought of it as more hot and dry. Seems everywhere is getting hotter these days… Also wanted to say, really sorry I didn’t get my B&W bench photo out in time, I had to get my challenge post out and that was a day late (I don’t usually post at the weekends as you know). But I will include it in the 5 day challenge starting next week as you suggested, and then start fresh with March’s theme. Coastal views I think? Will have to take a look πŸ˜‰

  11. This looks like a shady and wonderful place to walk in the heat, Jude, with some fascinating plants. Lots of interesting uses for these plants. πŸ™‚

  12. Ana says:

    You walked and I learned about the uses of plants. We should go back to that, right?

  13. kayrpea61 says:

    I live in Sydney but I had never of these gardens. I’m on my way, thanks to you. Can you believe I found you via Restless Jo πŸ™‚

    1. Heyjude says:

      They are obviously a little-known secret! Glad to meet you πŸ™‚

      1. kayrpea61 says:

        Likewise πŸ™‚

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