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 a 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.