A hidden oasis awaits you in Auburn Botanic Gardens. Only 18 km from the Sydney CBD, located on the corner of Chiswick Road and Chisholm Road, you can't miss the entrance with the large metal gates. Parking is plentiful in front of the BBQ facilities with a great playground for the kids.
Once you have stepped into the Park into such a magical space, you'll forget that where you are. Set upon 9.2 hectares of lush parkland, the gardens have been opened to the public since 1977. An area with close links to Captain Henry Waterhouse who brought the first merino type sheep to Australia.
The Gardens feature a Japanese Garden complete with waterfall, decorative bridges, ornamental trees set around a large lake and a gaggle of geese. Be wary of the geese, especially when they hiss, as they like to let you know who's the boss.
With free entry during the week days, the Gardens are a fabulous find. The gardens sprawl over mounds, with even a white tipped mountain. The kids were in a world of their own as they hunted for sticks and ventured into the wilderness. Within the gardens there are unnaturally azure blue ponds. Then it's over the iconic red bridge and walkways with wondering peacocks. We were on a mission to find the maze beside the Sunken Rose Garden.
Sorry to disappoint it's not the romantic hedge maze but a circular walk, no let me rephrase that to chasing grounds for small kids. Within the gardens is the Equal Access Playground with hidden speakers that provide an element of surprise with soft music. One tip we discovered is that the maze is adjacent to the Japanese Gardens if you don't fancy a wild goose hunt discovering the grounds through the Avenue of Remembrance, Billabong and Australian Rainforest and Amphitheatre. Food is not allowed within the grounds so take note of this.
Across the road of the Japanese Gardens is an Aviary. Venturing under the threshold we discover a menagerie of birds from parrots to doves. The kids jumped around in excitement, running from one cage to another.
It wasn't long before the kids complain that they're hungry so it's off to the car for the picnic we'd packed to have at the barbeque area with another playground for the kids to discover. In hindsight I should of whizzed by EL Jannah for a few of their amazing chicken rolls and pickles and Ablas for sweet treats. Next time I think.
I'm astounded that the kids were on their feet for 4 hours without a complaint. As soon as they were strapped into the car and I reversed out, both were fast asleep. Sign of a good day.
The highlight for the kids are the animals- you'll see peacocks and if you visit on weekends between 10.00am and 2.00pm, you can watch the Fauna Keeper feed the Swamp Wallabies, Red Necked Wallabies, Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Emus and Wombats.
Open all year from 9am -5pm. Weekend entry is $4 for adults and $5 for festival periods. The Gardens can be accessed via public transport, with regular trains to Auburn Station and the 909 Bus will drop you at Cumberland Road with a 2 minute walk to the Auburn Botanical Gardens.
I recommend you find this hidden oasis before it becomes well known.