Royal Botanic Gardens
Why go there
The Royal Botanic Gardens are adjacent to the Sydney Opera House and framed by beautiful Sydney Harbour. They are a 30-hectare oasis of calm right in the heart of the city.
A range of activities caters for all ages, abilities and interests. You can go on a volunteer-led tour of the gardens along the paved accessible pathways, learn about the Aboriginal history and their use of the site, explore the magnificent gardens or simply relax with a picnic and enjoy the stunning harbour views.
A free guided tour which is wheelchair accessible and covers information about the gardens' history, plant life and resident flying foxes.
The Cadi Jam Ora: First Encounters garden display exploring Aboriginal history and use of this harbourside site.
The Aboriginal Heritage Tour, a guided walking tour.
The Trackless Train Scenic Tour, between the Botanic Gardens Cafe and the Queen Elizabeth II Gate near the Opera House. Departs every 20 minutes (weather permitting) - not wheelchair accessible.
Mrs Macquaries Chair, one of the best look-out points over the harbour.
Access for all
Download a copy of the gardens' access map which shows the location of parking spaces, accessible toilets and best access points.
Tours and programs
Palm Grove Centre
The centre includes a souvenir shop, accessible toilet, wheelchair hire and has ramp access.
Free 1.5 hour guided walks leave from the Information Centre beside the Garden Shop at 10.30 am, 7 days a week. There is also a free 1 hour guided walk of the Garden weekdays from 1 March to 30 November at 1 pm.
Cadi Jam Ora: First Encounters Garden Display
A section of the gardens has been developed to explain traditional Aboriginal use of the land, their understanding of plants and the environment and the impact of early settlers. Located near Palm House, Cadi Jam Ora has pathways around the display that are generally flat and paved. The nearest accessible entrance is Woolloomooloo Gate on Art Gallery Road.
Aboriginal Heritage guided tour
The guided tour departs from the Information Centre at the Garden Shop every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 10 am. Tours last 1.5 hour and a fee applies.
Mrs Macquaries Chair
Mrs Macquaries Chair can be accessed via three loops:
- The Waterfront loop is a level, paved pedestrian pathway extending from the Botanic Gardens through the Yurong Gate to Mrs Macquaries Chair.
- The pedestrian pavement along Mrs Macquaries Road, is accessible by car and wheelchair. A unisex accessible toilet is located off Mrs Macquaries Road, just north of Victoria Lodge.
- The pedestrian loop above the Waterfront loop. Best access is from Victoria Lodge where the path is flat and paved. The path leads to a viewing platform 100m south of Mrs Macquaries Chair which has binoculars to enjoy the spectacular views. A steep paved gradient connects to Mrs Macquaries Road. The pathway then leads to a flight of stairs at the northern point. The eastern pathway is rough and uneven in places with some steep gradients.
How to get there
The Royal Botanic Gardens are best accessed by the Queen Elizabeth II Gate, from the Opera House promenade and Circular Quay. Alternative access points are Woolloomooloo Gate (opposite the Art Gallery of New South Wales) and Victoria Gate.
Accessible buses run along The Macquarie St Historic Precinct and also Art Gallery Road.
To view the maps, you need Adobe Reader
Interactive map: http://maps.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/accessibility-map/