I'm a student living in Sydney with a great love of food, history and the outdoors.
Published June 4th 2013
Feeding friendly ducks as well as yourself
The E. G. Waterhouse Camellia Gardens are a little bit of paradise, right in the heart of the Shire. With views of Yowie Bay, these gardens make a beautiful place to escape from the world.
Opened in 1970 as a part of the Captain Cook Bicentenary Celebrations and named after Eben Gowrie Waterhouse, a linguist and avid collector of rare Camellias, this Garden plays an important role in the preservation of rare Camellia plants. These gardens contain thousands of different plants, a beautiful waterfall, tranquil walks and a duck pond containing some of the most amiable ducks known to man.
The gardens also house a Japanese Tea House, serving up great food, whether you feel like a dainty cake or a full meal. You can also bring a picnic and find a shady spot in the gardens to relax. Guided tours of the gardens are run between June and August.
The duck pond at the bottom of the garden plays host to many friendly ducks, some of which are so comfortable around humans that they will eat from your hand. Feeding bags can be bought from the Tea House for a very small sum, making a day out in the Gardens an exciting one as you watch the antics of the hungry ducks.
One of the Garden's friendly ducks
The E. G. Waterhouse Gardens also have a section set aside as a tactile garden for people who are deaf and blind. Donations can be made to the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children at the Tea House. This section of garden makes for an enjoyable experience for any visitor, as all the plants have different textures and scents. It would be a fantastic learning experience for young children in particular.
The rose garden and duck pond gazebo can also be hired out for weddings. This would be an absolutely beautiful place to get married, as the gardens are so picturesque, just like a fairy tale.
The Gardens have some of the most beautiful water features
There is ample parking both at the President Ave entrance and the Kareena Rd entrance, though disabled access is limited between the two due to the deeply sloping hill. This is not an experience I would recommend for someone who is a bit unsteady on their feet, due to this steep incline. People with mobility issues can still access the top levels which includes the Tea House and a beautiful stretch of gardens, as well as the lower level which houses the sensory garden.
Entry is free and the gardens are open every day except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Good Friday. Whether you are looking for a wedding venue, a place to take the kids or somewhere to relax with a good book and a picnic, the E. G. Waterhouse Gardens will not disappoint.