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5 Sydney Parks and Gardens to Add to your Itinerary

A nature lover’s guide to Sydney’s best outdoor spaces.

It’s no secret that Sydneysiders love being outdoors. Fit in with the locals and see the sights from a new perspective by squeezing in some time at some of the top parks and gardens in the area.

Royal Botanic Garden

You will find the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney in the heart of the CBD. Opened in 1816 and spanning 30 hectares, the garden is home to endless attractions. This is the place to go if you want a dose of nature, education on native flora and fauna, or to simply relax. 
There are four precincts that sit within the garden, but don’t let that overwhelm you. Choose between the Lower and Middle Gardens, Palace Gardens or the Bennelong precinct. Themed gardens within the precincts will leave you with plenty to explore. 
Park highlights: Maps not your thing? Skip the confusion and enjoy a free one hour guided tour run by a local volunteer. Expect to see Australia’s oldest bridge, a jaw-dropping Wollemi pine tree and a glasshouse abundant with tropical plants. Leave with new found knowledge and some photos with to-die-for views that will last a lifetime. 

Chinese Garden of Friendship

Making your way through Chinatown? You’ll definitely want to make a pit stop at the Chinese Garden of Friendship. Rich in Chinese heritage and culture, the park symbolises the strong friendship between the Sydney and Guangzhou, China. 
It’s the perfect place to pack a picnic and soak up the beautiful bamboo forests and waterfalls. If you have the kids with you, grab some fish food and sprinkle it among the koi carp swimming in the lakes. Feeding takes place at 11.30am daily.   
Park highlights: Fancy a cup of tea and dim sum? A visit to the Chinese Garden Teahouse is essential. Enjoy dishes including pork and chive dumplings, or please your sweet tooth with Chinese desserts washed down with your tea of choice. 

Hyde Park

Most tourists will bump into Hyde Park by chance as they explore downtown Sydney. As Australia’s oldest park, it has been home to an assortment of activities including horse racing, cricket, rugby and even boxing over the years. Today, the park is a haven for those wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. 
Don’t leave without taking a selfie with the park's centrepiece, the Archibald Fountain. 
Park highlights: Hyde Park often hosts large scale events throughout the year. Highlights include the delectable Food and Wine Fair, ANZAC Day dawn ceremony and the Sydney Festival. 

Centennial Parklands

If we were to list all the activities offered at the Centennial Parklands, we might be here all day! Notable mentions include horse riding tours, bike rental and an 11 circuit sandstone Labyrinth. 
As many as 140 different bird species have been spotted here, making it a popular place for bird watching. Look out for different flying creatures during your visit. Breadcrumbs wouldn't go astray with the ducks and pelicans either.  
Park highlights: A visit to Centennial Park with the kids is incomplete without a pit stop at one of three playgrounds! There’s plenty of choice and space to move. When hunger hits, move over to one of the BBQ stations situated nearby and cook up a feast for your family. 

Nielsen Park

Thinking views from the harbour can’t be beat, think again!  A quick bus ride from the city will bring you to the quiet eastern suburb of Vaucluse, home to Nielsen Park. Close to the emerald blue sea, Nielsen Park is a haven year-round. 
In summer, swimming at Shark Beach (named after the shark safety net that's installed there) is a must. After your dip relax on the lawn and get a dose of vitamin D as you dry out. 
If the weather isn’t great don't fret! Take in the picturesque harbour views with a hot coffee in hand from the café.  
Park highlights: For a gem of a coastal walk, this foreshore path will tickle your fancy. Revel in the magnificent views of the sea, sand and city all while working up a little sweat. Pack a picnic and bring your significant other with you late in the day to watch the sun go down. 

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