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Top Parks and Gardens in Sydney

Sydney’s home to parks you’ll definitely want to spend time in.

Gardens near the Sydney Opera House in full bloom
Hi, I'm Madigan!

Madigan Talmage-Bowers is a writer based in Denver, Colorado. She has also lived in Italy, San Francisco, and New York City, where she studied media theory at the New School. She loves introducing her kids to ancient history, local art, hiking trails, and new foods on adventures around the globe.

There's no shortage of ways to get outside in Sydney. From harborside nature reserves to lovingly landscaped royal gardens and postmodern playgrounds, an inviting green space is never far away in the Australian capital. Here are our top picks. 

Tumbalong Park

Strollers wander a path amid the lawns of Tumbalong Park in Sydney.
Tumbalong Park by Darling Harbour.Photo Credit: Alexander Jung / Shutterstock

A favorite with families, this circular park on Darling Harbour is a great stop for all ages to burn off some energy, with picnic areas, challenge courses, and a playground anchored by a giant spider web climbing structure. On hot days, bring swim gear and let the kids splash around in interactive water features, or visit at night to frolic among illuminated fountains and sculptures.

Barangaroo Reserve

Aboriginal performers at Barangaroo Reserve in the heart of Sydney, Australia.
Artists performing at Barangaroo Reserve.Photo Credit: Holli / Shutterstock

A newer addition to Sydney’s green spaces, this sustainably landscaped park on the Sydney Harbor headlands pays tribute to Australia’s indigenous heritage with Aboriginal cultural markers and terraced gardens made from locally quarried sandstone and native plant species. Check event listings to see what's happening at the Cutaway cultural space beneath the reserve.

Centennial Park

Huge, old trees inside shady Centennial Park in Sydney.
Centennial Park is a popular place to enjoy the sun.Photo Credit: Catrin Haze / Shutterstock

The sheer size of this sprawling green space makes you forget you're in the middle of a major city. Walking paths lace across grassy meadows perfect for pick-up ball games, and multiple lakes provide a home for more than 140 different species of birds. Bring your binoculars and some breadcrumbs and spend a peaceful morning bird-watching. 

Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

Water lilies and bronze statues at Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.
Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is two centuries old.Photo Credit: Kanchana Sukhatip / Shutterstock

For a fragrant respite near Sydney Harbour, pop into these 200-year-old gardens planted with native Australian and exotic species. Kids will delight in a ride on the Choo Choo Express train, while Aboriginal walking tours offer insight into indigenous experiences.

Hyde Park

Fountains and statues in leafy Hyde Park in Sydney.
The nation's oldest public park.Photo Credit: Taras Vyshnya / Shutterstock

Australia's oldest public park, this is a favorite refuge for city dwellers looking for a break from the bustle of Sydney’s central business district. Tree-lined avenues and ample lighting make it a great spot for a stroll from dawn to dusk, while an ANZAC memorial and St. Mary’s Cathedral across the street add a dose of culture.

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