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Unmissable Gardens

From the fascinating Connections Garden to the Wattle, What's the Big Idea and Banksia picnic areas, our themed garden areas show the diverse beauty of nature. The Australian Botanic Garden also has an interesting mosaic of natural areas.
 

Themed garden areas

Almost all the Garden's cultivated plants have been raised from seeds or cuttings from wild sources. Details of the original location and habitat of each plant collected are carefully documented and a reference specimen is held in the National Herbarium of NSW at the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney.

About 225 native plant species, some considered rare or endangered, and about 130 exotic species have been recorded as naturally occurring in the Garden. The dominant native species are Forest Red Gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis), Grey Box (E. moluccana) and Narrow-Leaved Ironbark (E. crebra). Introduced species which have naturalised in the Garden include the Pepper Tree (Schinus areira) and African Olive (Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata).
 

Natural areas

The Australian Botanic Garden has an interesting mosaic of natural areas that have their own intrinsic value. These woodland and native grassland areas contribute to the landscape character and visitor experience of the Garden. These areas of remnant native vegetation are becoming increasingly rare in western Sydney as urban development continues, and the Garden is now important for species conservation and fauna habitat.

A number of endangered ecological communities exist within the Garden and are listed under State legislation
  • Cumberland Plain Woodland
  • Western Sydney Dry Rainforest
  • Sydney Coastal River Flat Forest
The proper management of these areas is an important part of the work at Mount Annan, and requires consistent control of weeds such as African Olive. This regeneration work is greatly assisted by dedicated community volunteers.  Natural areas will be progressively regenerated and linked to form wildlife corridors and provide additional fauna habitat. Birdlife in the Garden has increased considerably since establishment, and the variety of landscapes and vegetation is ideal to observe a great range of birds. Native mammals are also making the Garden home, with wallaroos and swamp wallabies now commonly observed in some sections in the morning and at dusk.
Across the road from the Visitor Centre and Melaleuca House Cafe-Restaurant, the Connections Garden sits on the site of the old Terrace Garden. 

The 4.5-hectare Garden is a roofless museum which explores the interconnectedness of people and the natural world. Surrounding this Garden are many annual and perennial cottage garden style displays that are the focus for the annual wildflower display.

A stunning setting for weddings the Connections Garden sets the scene for any intimate function you might have in mind and is the premier wedding site at the Australian Botanic Garden.
 

Explore (virtual tour available on Google Chrome browser)

Relax and unwind on these beautiful lawns adorned by two ornamental lakes lying in the valley of Annan Creek. The large lawns are popular for special events and displays with the Marquee Lawn a very popular location for wedding receptions under silk-lined marquees.

While there, test your knowledge of the history of Federation with the clever Federation Flannel Flower maze or just take in the beautiful Garden vistas.

Above the Marquee Lawn is the Lakeside Pavilion which offers sweeping views across Lake Fizpatrick.

Just off Caley Drive past the lakes, walk up the path on the right-hand side of the road to Sundial Hill. Enjoy spectacular 360 degree views of the countryside including Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

Our conifer collection is planted here including kauri, bunya bunya, hoop and Norfolk Island pines. As they grow they will become a local landmark easily seen from the motorway.

There is more information on the Sundial of Human Involvement here.
Explore sustainable ideas that help reduce, reuse and recycle valuable resources into your garden.

This area is a redevelopment of the old Bottlebrush Garden. The concept for the What’s the Big Idea was to reinvigorate the existing Bottlebrush Garden by redesigning it to be more relevant to home gardeners. It displays Australian plants that are available through garden centres as well a range of sustainable ideas that help reduce, reuse and recycle valuable resources into your garden. Facilities include two barbecue areas, two picnic shelters, table settings and toilets.

As part of the Big Idea Garden, a Water-wise Garden demonstrates water efficiency in the home garden using water tanks, drip irrigation and an array of beautiful water-wise native plants commonly available in local nurseries. Here you will also find information about mulching and composting, correct pruning, turf care and fertilising. Look out for ‘bright ideas’ throughout the Garden - many are worth considering for your own home gardens. Financial support for development of this garden has been provided by HSBC through their ‘Towards Sustainable Horticulture’ program. Additional support has been received through Ramm Botanicals and Neutrog Fertiliser
This picnic area is known for vibrant winter colour and features many of the known 950 species of Acacia, including Australia’s floral emblem Acacia pycnantha. Wattles are found across the Australian continent and their colours have inspired our green and gold sports teams’ uniforms.

The main flowering period is August, however there are usually some wattles in flower throughout the year. Several barbecue settings, a picnic shelter and toilet facilities are available. Planted shade trees are Sydney Blue Gums (Eucalyptus saligna). 
 
Set in a cool moist sheltered gully, this lush garden includes well known Australian plant groups including grevilleas, waratahs, banksias, hakeas and rainforest species. Plantings here showcase the best of the Australian Botanic Garden’s extensive Grevillea collection, many of which were supplied by the Grevillea Study Group of the Australian Plants Society. Dry stone walls in the Garden have been constructed by participants in weekend workshops.

Both banksias and grevilleas attract many nectar feeding birds, adding to the Garden's bird diversity. It is a favourite site for families escaping the heat of a summer's day. Cool creekline walks, barbecues, two picnic shelters and toilet facilities are available.
This is a collection of tree species commonly known as ‘Cypress Pines’ because they are distantly related to cypresses (Cupressus) of the northern hemisphere.

Early settlers used Cypress Pines extensively in buildings because of their termite-resistant wood. In Australia we have 17 species of Callitris - from deserts to rainforests, ranging from common to rare.
With a western exposure, these plants need to withstand extremes of temperatures (up to 40ºC in summer) and often fierce blistering winds.

Here you will find River Red Gums (Eucalyptus obtusa) which grow along inland river banks in areas of low rainfall, Bottle Trees Brachychiton rupestris, and the Apple Gum Angophora melanoxylon from northern NSW.
These woodland areas are a glimpse of the past, and is what the natural vegetation of the region looked like before European settlement. Known as Cumberland Plain Woodland, this type of vegetation has been heavily cleared in western Sydney and is now classified as a Critically Endangered Ecological Community.

The forest is made up of distinctive eucalypts such as the Narrow-Leaved Ironbark, Forest Red Gum and Grey Box and has a very diverse grassy understorey. These forest areas are now very important for local fauna. Take a stroll along the walking tracks where you will see interesting forest birds and occasionally swamp wallabies and wallaroos.
Mallees are small multi-stemmed eucalypts and have the greatest variety of foliage and flower form of all Australia's gum trees. As you drive through the northern section of the Garden on Cunningham Drive you can see an arboretum (tree garden) of mallees.

Most of these spectacular small trees set in a valley come from the arid parts of Australia, in particular Western Australia. If you stop for a closer look, you may see the largest of all the gum nuts and the biggest and brightest blooms of one of Australia’s most iconic plants. Local mallees include the Whipstick Mallee Ash (Eucalyptus multicaulis), from near Sydney, and the Faulconbridge Mallee Ash (Eucalyptus burgessiana), which has a restricted range in the Blue Mountains.
Rare Cumberland Plain Woodland, a threatened plant community of Sydney, surrounds this beautiful picnic area. Ornamental shrubs of this community combine beautifully with the feature dry stone walls and give a ‘cottage garden’ effect when in flower. Enjoy a picnic or barbecue and explore the nearby lake and woodland areas. Walks start from the picnic area weaving through the Woodland, where you may spot wallabies and goannas on your journey. Nearby Lake Nadungamba, two minutes walk from the picnic area, has a bird hide where many species of water birds can be observed. 

The Woodland Picnic Area is an excellent venue for large family gatherings.
Take a journey of healing and reflection, first through Cumberland Plain Woodland - the original forest that once dominated Western Sydney - then through a series of boardwalks.

The site, chosen by the Stolen Generations, reconnects Aboriginal people with the land. Their story is told in the sculptural centrepiece where visitors can sit and reflect on the tragic consequences of separating Aboriginal children from their families.

The local Dharawal people called the Camden area Yandel'ora which means land of peace between peoples. It is hoped that this memorial will encourage peace and contemplation.
The Fruit Loop displays the abundance of Australian plants which have been used in some way by Australians - both past and present. These plants have been used as food, tools and medicines in contemporary Australian culture. They also teach us about our natural environment and the resourcefulness of Indigenous people who used them to survive and flourish for thousands of years
Figs can live for hundreds of years so planting a fig arboretum needed some careful planning. Plenty of room was required to showcase the many Australian species, some of which grow to be enormous. Over time our arboretum will grow into a shady, protected place to wander or reflect.

Place a plaque on the Knot which has been handcrafted by a dry stone wall master craftsman. To place a plaque on the knot contact the Development Team on (02) 9231 8111.
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